Don't miss a story sign up to Exmouth Journal's FREE daily newsletter CLICK HERE

Typhoon survivor Keith frustrated by slow progress

11:23 30 January 2014

Keith Wakefield, who has had a miraculous escape from Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.

Keith Wakefield, who has had a miraculous escape from Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.

Archant

A former Exmouth businessman who was caught in the devastation of Typhoon Haiyan has thanked his supporters for their help in allowing him to start rebuilding.

However, Keith Wakefield says he is still facing a struggle to live day-to-day, and to achieve his ambition of rebuilding his language school.

Keith, who lives with wife Elaine and four members of her family in Palo on Leyte in the Philippines, where he moved six years ago, has previously told of how they survived the November typhoon in a shipping container he used to transport his belongings from the UK, emerging to find their community totally devastated.

Nearly three months on from the disaster, Keith has managed to make some improvements to his home, but there is a long way to go before he and his neighbours can return to anything like normality.

He explained: “We have managed to construct a wood and canvas structure around the container, keeping the container as the central part for safety reasons, just in case.

“We had the fallen coconut trees on our land cut into beams to construct the roof, and covered this with canvas we managed to get from American aid. The canvas was four metres by 60 metres so there was plenty left over, so we were able to help others with their roofing problems.

“We also managed to get a large canvas tent from German aid. It is a bit like Swiss Family Robinson, making and mending from the wreckage.

“We are luckier than most that have nothing. Until January 24, it rained every day here, most days torrential rain, so this has hampered everyone’s efforts to rebuild even basic shelter.

“Most of where we live has still not got any power. We are the only ones in our area with any form of power. Every time our neighbours hear the generator go on they come round for us to charge up their rechargeable torches and mobile phones.

“As for food and good drinking water we are in the same boat as everyone else. The small amount of supplies etc, that we managed to bring back from the island of Cebu did not last long and it depleted our resources considerably. Some of the larger stores are now partially open but food prices are inflated. Not all is available.”

Keith continues to be frustrated at the slow speed of distribution of international aid in his area, for which he blames incompetence by officials and point-scoring among politicians.

However, money raised for Keith directly by the people of Exmouth has got through to him, allowing him to cover most of his family’s essential needs since the disaster and help the people around him.

He said: “The £1,000 raised by the kind people of Exmouth was a great help in covering these costs. We were able to help more people because of this and we will continue to help those in need as best we can.”

Keith now hopes to rebuild his English Language Academy, which is currently conducting lessons with no electricity, and says he would appreciate a £1,000 loan to move it into a more suitable building, which could also be used as a base to distribute aid.

Donations to assist Keith’s work in his community can be paid into the ELA Typhoon Relief Fund account at the Exmouth branch of Nationwide, sort code 070246, account number 42754563.

0 comments

Other News Stories

Pamela Squire.

An Exmouth woman is warning others to be on their guard against potentially bogus companies.

Read more
06:30
Budleigh Salterton Public Hall. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref exb 5404-10-12AW

Public hall: People in Budleigh Salterton are being urged to snap up tickets for a charity event.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:30
(L-R) Stephen Berisford, MD of SJB foods with Adrian Pitts, Estates Surveyor from Clinton Devon Estates.

An East Devon business has relocated - just metres away - to new premises at Colaton Raleigh.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:11
Boating lakes at Exmouth Fun Park.

An Exmouth seafront tourist attraction has been given a stay of execution – but will close after next summer, it has been revealed.

Read more
Yesterday, 15:25
The Singing for Fun group meet in the hall alongside St Margarets church in Topsham every Tuesday 11am till 1pm and new members are welcome. Ref ext 21-16SH 6109. Picture: Simon Horn.

Video and Picture

Read more
Yesterday, 14:00
Election 2015

The date for the referendum for whether Britain stays in the European Union is Thursday, June 23.

Read more
Yesterday, 13:35
Exmouth beach hut. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref exe 5226-24-14SH To order your copy of this photograph go to www.exmouthjournal.co.uk and click on Photo Orders

District bosses say demand for beach huts in East Devon is still strong, despite changes to tenancy agreements.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:30
Zena Hawkins and Jo Brooks-Herbert from King's Garden Centre with David Richardson from Exmouth Royal British Legion and Jean Gregory from Littleham branch are appealing for RBL volunteers. Ref exe 19-16AW. Picture: Alex Walton

The Exmouth branch of the Royal British Legion is calling on volunteers to come forward to help this year’s Poppy Appeal.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:00
Staff at Diggers Rest, Woodbury Salterton, raise more than £1,000 for the Exeter Leukaemia Fund (ELF)

A charity has thanked a kind-hearted Woodbury Salterton business for its donation of £1,065.

Read more
Yesterday, 06:30
Gill Laws receives her British Empire Medal from the Lord Lieutenant of Devon, David Fursdon.

An Exmouth community champion says she will never forget two days in which she attended a Buckingham Palace garden party and received the British Empire Medal.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 13°C

min temp: 8°C

Most Read News

Great British Life

Great British Life

Useful Links

Advertise in the Paper
Submit a Story
Subscriptions Order
Competitions
Photo Orders
Family notices
iwitness24
Google Plus
Facebook
Twitter
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Image
Read the Exmouth Journal e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Local business directory

Exmouth's trusted business finder

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists


Find planning applications