Glendale supports arboricultural aid mission after typhoon

National green services supplier Glendale is helping a humanitarian response charity rebuild a region of the Philippines as it recovers from a devastating typhoon.

Residents of the typhoon-hit Phillipines learning chainsaw skills from DART team. Image: Supplied
Residents of the typhoon-hit Phillipines learning chainsaw skills from DART team. Image: Supplied

The company has donated £2,000, enabling a team of four volunteers to be deployed to Northern Samar, one of the worst affected areas of the country, after it was struck by typhoon Nona on December 14.

Arboriculture specialists from DART (Disaster Arboriculture Response Team) International UK, which helps make trees safe in disaster zones across the world, are now working to rebuild areas affected by the disaster.

More than 40 people have been killed and 700,000 evacuated from their homes as a result of the typhoon, which caused heavy rainfall, flooding, landslides and power cuts. Approximately 100,000 homes have been destroyed, and a further 181,000 damaged.

The DART team is carrying out vital clearance work, making schools safe from windblown trees and hanging branches, while identifying and pruning high risk trees which could pose a danger.

In addition to the clearance work, the team has been training local people in basic arborist skills and chainsaw handling, as part of a resilience initiative supported by the local government. DART has also purchased building materials to enable urgent re-roofing work to begin at a primary school.

Glendale arborist Gary Bailey helped set up DART International UK, after witnessing first-hand the aftermath of typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines in 2013, and is one of the four arborists involved in the current aid mission.

Mike Metcalfe, operations manager for DART International UK, said: "Despite the difficult circumstances and very warm weather, the team is in good spirits and overwhelmed by the gratitude of the local community.

"In a country which experiences around 20 typhoons a year, it's important to teach communities ways they can help alleviate the extent of the damage caused, and we're pleased to have the full support of the local government regarding our training and resilience initiative.

"Once the local volunteers have been trained, the idea is that they will then train others in the community, creating a lasting legacy of DART's work in the area and attempting to establish preventative measures in the hope this can help reduce the terrible impact where future incidents are concerned.

"We're extremely grateful to Glendale and all those who provide us with vital support, allowing us to carry out this important work and help put people's lives back together."

Terry Doyle, regional director for Glendale in the south west, added: "The work that DART does is crucial in helping local people try to restore some sense of normality. Our support means we've enabled experienced specialists to reach the worst hit areas, who are now helping to rebuild the lives of those affected by the terrible disaster."

Glendale, DART's first corporate sponsor, has provided ongoing support to the charity including donations, sponsorship, IT and marketing support.

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