Marawi crisis: More health worries as temporary shelters get congested

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 14 2017 06:16 PM

Evacuees wait to be rescued on dump trucks in Marawi, May 26, 2017. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA- As the Marawi crisis enters its 4th week, more people are scrambling to seek shelter away from the battle-torn city, 

But with over 200,000 people fleeing Marawi City, evacuation centers in nearby cities are getting more congested, which posts health and sanitation risks. 

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) delegation in the country said aside from safety from the clashes, another concern that they are working to address is the sanitation of evacuation centers.

Martin Thalmann, deputy head of delegation of the ICRC, explained that they are working to improve evacuation centers hosting refugees from Marawi since these lack ample supplies and facilities.

“Now, we have a major concern which is sanitation. You have many thousand people staying in evacuation centers and these evacuation centers are not prepared to host so many people,” he said in an interview on ANC’s “Early Edition” Wednesday.

Thalmann said ICRC was looking into adding more portalets and wash areas in evacuation centers aside from distributing basic relief goods which include food and water supplies.

Aside from sanitation, Thalmann said they are also addressing specific needs of women and children by providing them with household items and supplies for their hygienic needs.

“They also get essential household items and hygiene items because you have to imagine many of these people did not have time to pack anything they just fled the town,” he said.

Thalmann also urged locals in nearby cities in Marawi to help evacuees by donating relief goods or by opening their doors to fleeing civilians.

"Our main concern right now is the trapped civilians because civilians should not be trapped in a situation like this," he said.