Quake survivors in dire need of comfort rooms, portalets in evacuation sites

Kristine Sabillo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 03 2019 01:16 PM

KIDAPAWAN CITY — In one of the evacuation sites in Magsaysay town, Davao del Sur, two women are hard at work, digging a hole.

Their task? Help prepare a place that around 200 families can use as a makeshift toilet.

Gerney Bokuya, one of the evacuees, said they have to walk far to find a house where there is a bathroom and water supply.

“The problem is, if you don’t know anyone here, you have to just make do and find a way to relieve yourself,” he said in Filipino.

Bokuya said people ended up digging a hole in the ground because there are no toilets in the area.

In almost all evacuation areas visited by the ABS-CBN News team, the lack of sanitation facilities is a common problem.

In Makilala town in Cotabato, day care worker Merly Pulong said a whole day passes without her using a bathroom.

Magsaysay Mayor Arthur Davin said it’s been difficult to set up facilities for all of their evacuees.

“We are constructing restrooms but we also need to cater more than 200 families. It’s really a challenge. You’re not yet done with one and then more evacuees come,” he said.

“We’re hoping for portalets if there are any (to be donated or lent) because it’s easier to set up,” he said.

Evacuees from Upper Bala, especially the women, also asked if it’s possible for donors to send toiletries, in addition to food and potable water. Soap and alcohol will go a long way to keep their children clean, they said.