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  1. ITV Report

Nine-year-old hunts for treasure amid Typhoon Haiyan debris

Rose, 9, uses an upturned refrigerator as a small paddle boat Photo: Mark Bushnell/Oxfam

Rose perches precariously inside an upturned refrigerator and uses a wooden paddle to negotiate the floating debris left by Typhoon Haiyan.

The nine-year-old was in the city of Tacloban when the devastating storm hit the Philippines last November.

Like many coconut farming and fishing families, hers was left without a livelihood when the 195 mph winds uprooted trees and sent boats flying.

Now she uses the refrigerator to scour a pond near her home for useful items like pans, clothes and drinking glasses.

Rose has vivid memories of the day Typhoon Haiyan hit, describing how the sea "moved backward and after that we got three waves".

She survived by clinging to a cabinet and finding her way to higher ground, but some of her friends died in the deluge.

"I am afraid because my dead friends might let me see them as ghosts and force me to follow where they want to go," she says.

Her favourite things to find are "things with beautiful designs" as well as pans that her family can use for cooking.

The things that I found in this pond are really useful to us because we don't have everything. The kitchen wares that we used to own are gone and also the plates.

– rose

She describes how she used to swim and bathe in the pond, but that it too dirty now.

Amid the useful items she finds there are also bodies - some with missing heads and limbs - as well as motorbikes and cars.

Rose was in Taclobanon Leyte island when the typhoon hit Credit: Mark Bushnell/Oxfam

Despite an unprecedented international aid effort, the coconut farmers and fishermen, who account for an important part of the economy, face years of hardship after their livelihoods were swept away.

According to Oxfam, more than 30 million coconut palms are thought to have been destroyed in the typhoon, and they will take at least six years to grow back.

An estimated 30,000 boats were destroyed by Typhoon Haiyan's storm surge leaving fishermen and women with no way of earning an income.

Some of the pots and pans Rose salvaged Credit: Mark Bushnell/Oxfam

Justin Morgan, Oxfam's Country Director in the Philippines said:

Millions of people are hanging in the balance, unsure how they will survive for the coming months and years. Coconut farmers and traders are integral to one of the Philippines' most profitable industries and yet they are being left out of the recovery effort. Without cash support and income options, hundreds of thousands of productive and skilled workers will be out of work for years to come.

Fast delivery of emergency relief by the international community in the first three months has prevented widespread hunger and outbreaks of disease. But unless the Government steps in to provide the poorest farmers and fishers with real practical help, all the gains made so far could be lost.

– Justin Morgan, Oxfam

The charity has provided farmer cooperatives with tools to clear the land of fallen coconut trees, allowing them to replant new crops and sell the timber.

It is supporting fisher people to rebuild their broken boats and providing loans as well as fishing nets.