How does a Philippine Water Buffalo end up with a name like Snow? Or Romeo, Peter, Isabella, Chico, Amy, Stinky, Sid Vicious, Zeberdee? These and others are the names of Water Buffalo in the Philippines, named by their generous sponsors that purchased them for a remote village called Cagnocot.
This village was virtually all but destroyed when one of nature's most magnificent monsters, Typhoon Haiyan – known as Typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines – roared across Leyte on 8 November 2013. The strongest typhoon on record, with winds of over 350 kph (220 mph), this was a Category 5 Super Typhoon and was the Philippines deadliest; killing over 6,000 people.
In Cagnocot Leyte, 555 farming families lost almost everything when Typhoon Yolanda smashed their homes and destroyed their crops. Now, a team of five villagers have focused on how best to help their community. They are asking for only essential tools for rebuilding their agricultural economy. Seeds, tools for plowing and farming, basic construction material, and subsistence food and safe drinking water systems. And, he most essential tool of all, the water buffalo (Carabao)
With water buffalo, everything happens much faster. What might normally take a person a year, with a water buffalo can happen in weeks or days. These hardy, hard-working animals are the farmers most wanted resource for rebuilding their lives. They are essential for clearing fallen trees and for planting crops, including fast-growing crops. Cleared and well-plowed fields yield the greatest harvests. One buffalo can be shared by 10 families who look after the animal. At least 56 buffalo are needed: more will make a bigger difference.
So far, 20 Water Buffalo have been bought and given to the farmers of Cagnocot, through the organization Rebuild A Village. Next week, Harriet and Richard Bushman are hosting an evening of classical music and a dinner fundraiser. With this event, they hope to again get more donations toward these essential items, and have more people sponsor Water Buffalos. For approximately 200KD you can sponsor and name a Water Buffalo yourself. Or get a group to go in and sponsor one jointly. Or just make a donation towards this excellent effort.
It will take many years of hard work before the families of Cagnocot come close to what they once had, but these tools and essential water buffalo will make a new beginning possible. For more info about the organization go to www.rebuidavillage.org or contact the Bushmans directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.