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Conservationist right at heart of relief work

relief workA PRESELI girl and conservation activist is on the front line of the Typhoon relief effort in the Philippines.Last month, the world was shocked to see the devastation left behind in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan which had recorded record wind speeds.

With many areas cut off and in desperate need of essential supplies, such as food and water, the country has since relied on a worldwide effort to provide both material and human relief.

The Pembrokeshire Herald had an exclusive interview with one of those helpers, Sally Snow, who is also a shark researcher.

Sally explained the organisation for whom she works and what her role is.

“I work for a non-profit organisation called Physalus. I guess I am primarily a whale shark researcher in the Philippines. Earlier this year I co-ran our whale shark project in Southern Leyte, one of the provinces that has been hit worst by Typhoon Haiyan.”

Asked about her and her organisation’s contribution to the relief effort, she said:

“We organised a relief trip to Ponson Island in Camotes who had received very little relief before we came (this is what you will have seen us doing on S4C or ITV).

“The Caluya islands were badly affected by the Typhoon and their main livelihood, seaweed farming, was swept away. Operation Seaweed is all about helping the community get back on their feet. Money raised will help replace lost seaweed plants so they can get their lives back on track. With their houses now destroyed they are in desperate need of this resource in order to help rebuild their homes and lives.”

Sally went on to talk about the current state of affairs in the region: “Conditions are improving: power is coming back and, now that the people have food and water, it’s more about building materials. Now is the time when things get harder, when the world takes less interest; those who needed saving are still alive but the rebuilding is the greatest challenge. So many people have been displaced and are without homes or work, it will be a long time before these people are able to stand up on their own feet again”.

“If people want to support our relief effort with Operation Seaweed then they can donate via paypal on the operations seaweed facebook page:https://www.facebook.com/operationseaweedcaluya.

Alternatively, people can donate via our paypal link on the physalus website: www.lamave.org/publications/donate/.