COTABATO CITY: The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) will construct sanitation facilities in some of the evacuation camps in Lanao del Sur to help ensure the health and wellbeing of the families staying there.
While majority of the almost 46,000 families displaced by the armed conflict in Marawi City have sought shelter in their relative’s houses, others have no choice but to stay in crowded evacuation camps.
ARMM Gov. Mujiv Hataman said the unfavorable conditions at these camps expose the refugees, especially the children, to potential health risks.
He led a team of ARMM officials, with Executive Secretary Laisa Alamia, that inspected the evacuation sites in Saguiaran town and one in Malabang town recently and found these needed sanitation facilities.
The ARMM’s Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) will construct 20 toilets in two evacuation camps in Saguiaran and 10 toilets in Malabang. They will also build washing and bathing facilities as well as water tanks.
The separate facilities for men and women will cater to at least 500 families.
ARMM Regional Health Secretary Kadil Sinolinding said, “Some of evacuees have died due to water-borne diseases. Clean and sanitary environment will save children who are highly vulnerable.”
The ARMM, in coordination with other government agencies responding to the Marawi City crisis, is utilizing the Disaster Assistance and Family Access Card (DAFAC) system to ensure efficient relief distribution and to evaluate the status and determine the needs of affected families.
In addition to the region’s Crisis Management Committee in Cotabato City, the ARMM has established operation centers in Iligan City and Malabang to facilitate the coordination of its humanitarian response, which include relief and medical assistance, rescue and retrieval of trapped civilians.
Hataman said the ARMM will transfer its operation center in Iligan to Marawi to improve relief efforts and other humanitarian interventions to families who have evacuated to different towns in Lanao del Sur.
with Kenneth Hernandez