Situated in one of the most remote areas in Eastern Samar, the people of Anislag, Quinapondan have grown quite accustomed to being isolated during heavy rains, having lived near a river for so long. The community members continue to live in the area simply because they have nowhere else to go albeit its being high-risk to flooding. “When it rains, the river reaches the height of about 4 people stacked together,” said one elder community member, who expressed that Anislag will always be their home, however risky or precarious it may appear to be.
Mainly, the team under the Oxfam THRIVE Project “Building Inclusive, Resilient Communities; Better Shared Risk Governance” (BIRC) visited Barangay Anislag to learn about their stories and experiences on disasters as well as their hopes and aspirations on what and how a resilient community should be. The BIRC Project Team sought the voices of all relevant sectors, especially the most vulnerable members of the community, such as the elderly, women, children and youth, and persons with disability, to try and capture the significant views and insights of these individuals that can better facilitate the implementation of the aforesaid project which is aimed at building the adaptive capacities of 3 municipalities in Eastern Samar (Giporlos, Quinapondan, Salcedo).
Still, beyond this simple task, the team also helped to foster inclusivity and empowerment by amplifying the voices of the people at the fore of disasters. By initiating this rudimentary yet essential process, the community of Anislag are now more aware of what they can do to attain a resilient barangay. They are now keen to partake in this journey, embracing this new commitment to transform their newfound consciousness into tangible plans and projects that can build an inclusive and resilient Barangay Anislag.