A SCOTTISH aid worker assisting the relief effort in the aftermath of the devastating Philippines’ typhoon said today she was “immensely proud” of the amount Scotland had raised as she spoke of the gruelling task faced by her British Red Cross team.
Katy Martin, from Paisley, who has been in Cebu, one of the areas worst hit by Super Typhoon Haiyan for two weeks, said she had been working “long, long hours” at a Red Cross supplies warehouse, and with initially “very, very limited sleep”.
Speaking via video link to the charity’s Scottish HQ in Glasgow, she said: “I have not been out in the field and not seen the massive scale of devastation, but it has been described to me as almost like the aftermath of a tsunami.”
Scotland has contributed £4.8 million to the UK Disasters Emergency Committee’s appeal, which has raised £66m so far. The British Red Cross has raised £6.4m.
Ms Martin, 31, is among a team which has provided relief supplies to 30,000 families, such as tarpaulins for shelter, jerry cans and hygiene kits. She will stay out there until 10 December.
Ms Martin said problems encountered had included getting the sheer volume of supplies through the local airport, and finding vehicles to bring the material to the warehouse, then take it on by barge to other islands.
She said: “The level of work has been very, very high.”
However, she added: “I’m absolutely amazed at how fast the Red Cross has brought together all its people on this scale.
“This is going to be very much a long-term programme. There are going to be a lot of shelters and houses to be rebuilt, and that’s obviously going to take a very long time.
“I would encourage people to give money if they have not done so already because there is a lot of work to be done and it’s very much appreciated over here.”
The senior community fundraiser, who has worked for the British Red Cross for three years, underwent a demanding specialist emergency response training course in readiness to help out after such disasters.
She has also suffered an quake tremor aftershock while asleep, but said she had been too tired to be scared.
Ms Martin said: “It felt as if my bed lifted from the floor and fell back down again. I was not really sure what had happened until the next day when it was confirmed to have been an aftershock.”