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Building Resilient Coastal Communities: Building Back Better Maliwaliw in Eastern Visayas in the Philippines

The Eastern Visayas Region in central Philippines is a hotspot of natural hazards. It is prone to typhoons, storm surges, flooding, droughts, landslides, red tide, and volcanic eruptions. In November 8, 2013, the region was hit by Typhoon Haiyan, one of the strongest typhoons ever recorded on the planet. It killed at least 6,000 people and damaged millions worth of livelihood and infrastructures. One of the communities severely affected by Typhoon Haiayan is the Municipality of Guiuan in Samar Province where the storm made its first landfall. Guiuan is a second-class municipality with 60 villages, a population of 52,999, and around 13,000 households. It is a coastal village where majority of the residents’ main source of livelihood is fishing. The typhoon completely destroyed houses, buildings, trees, and other infrastructures in the village, including the livelihood of many smallholder fishers.

The Guiuan Development Foundation Inc. (GDFI) is a non-stock, non-profit organization that is committed to empowering communities and protecting the environment. To help the people of Guiuan bounce back, GDFI partnered with Give2Asia to build a model coastal community that is resilient to natural disasters. The objectives of this project are to: resettle families living in high-risk areas to safer grounds; provide sturdy houses to Haiyan-affected families; develop environment-friendly and resilient livelihoods; establish natural buffers for additional protection of the village; and strengthen sense of community and be better prepared for any hazard.

The chosen site was the village of Maliwaliw in Guiuan, an island community surrounded by 100 hectares of mangroves and a partner of GDFI in coastal resource management. It is home to 100 families, where 50 of them are living along the coast, which is a no build zone.


GDFI conducted disaster risk reduction seminars to strengthen the sense of community and hazard preparedness of the villagers of Maliwaliw. Shortly after the training was conducted, the village was hit by Typhoon Ruby and the people were able to immediately apply what they learned from the trainings.

GDFI also conducted a community-based forest management agreement (CBFMA) planning for the livelihood component of the project. Mud crab ranching is implemented in the mangrove area where the organization has a CBFMA for 94 hectares. In addition, GDFI developed three project sites for beekeeping with 10 colonies each. The villagers were trained on how to handle and take care of the bee colonies.

Aside from these, a shelter project was implemented wherein shelters were designed to withstand disaster and provide sustainable shelter to the villagers. Coastal greenbelt trainings were also conducted.


I am one of the leaders here in the mudcrab ranching. We divided the ranch into two groups because we observed with the first batch the crab’s reproduction was unsuccessful because the water is too shallow. That is why we chose a new area that is deeper because we also wanted to grow other species in the pond that can be an additional source of income.

Cesario Calicoy, 58 years old
People’s Organization Leader
Maliwaliw Village

I would like to thank Give2Asia who helped us by giving us houses. This is really a big help to us. These sturdy houses could protect us should another calamity hit us again.

Nicolas Caligoy, 77 years old,
Member of MMA Association

I received shelter and livelihood from Give2Asia through our Association. I received livelihood training on mudcrab, beekeeping, and oyster culturing. The next time a natural calamity hits our village again, I can now manage to help my family survive. I will make sure to make my livelihood successful. Thank you very much to Give2Asia!

Jessica Makawili, 37 years old
Member of MMA Association

This is article is a project of the Guiuan Development Foundation Inc. (GDFI). To support their work, click here.

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