Millions were affected when Typhoon Haiyan swept through the Philippines earlier this month, claiming thousands of lives. The widespread destruction left behind by the cyclone is causing severe food shortages in parts of the country, as well as forcing many residents to live without electricity or water. In order to replenish their supply of food, one small fishing community is braving the ocean in homemade boats made out of old refrigerators.
Typhoon Haiyan, or Yolanda as it is also known, utterly flattened the provincial capital city of Tacloban in Leyte. Less than 13 miles south of Tacloban, the town of Tanauan was also similarly hit. Reuters reported that the fishing community lost their boats when the typhoon struck, along with some of their homes. Now, Tanuan’s residents not only find their livelihoods at stake, but face going hungry as well. That was when the people of Tanuan began looking in the rubble for a solution.
“We got the idea to use refrigerators as boats from my children, they just asked me if we could use it as a boat then we tried to do it and tested it,” fisherman Jimmy Obaldo told Reuters.
Broken pieces of refrigerators found among the rubble made for suitable hulls, and the townspeople soon took to the idea of making them seaworthy. The improvised craft are dangerous, however, and rarely taken far out on the water. Obaldo said he can catch enough fish to feed his family as well as some extras to supply the local market. Others in Tanuan reported that food remains low and need to be bought from nearby towns.
The video below shows Tanuan’s fishermen in action: