IDPs vacate schools, transfer to Mampang transitory site PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 18 May 2014 13:57

By NARRABELLE Z. BUE

In preparation for the opening of classes on June 2,  spadework has been doubled-up to finish the construction of the transitory sites for the internally displaced persons (IDPs) temporarily housed at the elementary schools of Mampang and Arena Blanco.
Transferring to the temporary shelters are women Noraida, Dia and Repa.   They all came from the Cawa-cawa evacuation site and stayed at the Mamang Elementary School for almost 2 months.
With their belongings on board government  trucks, the seventy-nine (79) families from Mampang and Arena Blanco Elementary Schools moved in yesterday to the new Mampang Transitory site which is approximately 1.5 kilometers from the main city-road bordering both barangays.
Dia, who hails from the houses-on-stilt community of Mariki, relayed her excitement of settling in the new temporary site where they will be housed for a period of 6-10 months as projected by the City Government.
“Excited ako na makalipat sa lugar na malapit sa dagat dahil marami akong pwede mapagkakakitaan ng hanapbuhay.  Pwede akong maglatu o magsigay” (I am excited to transfer as the place is near the sea where I could gather latu or shells for me to sell) Dia said.
The vast marshland lot owned by the City government of Zamboanga is situated in the southern part of the city overlooking the Basilan Strait.  ‘Bakawan’ or mangroves partly obscures the area from the open seafront.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development financed the construction of 10 bunkhouses in partnership with the 52nd Engineer Brigade of the 545th Construction Battallion of the AFP.  Total cost of the project is P10M.
Each bunkhouse has 24 rooms with each partition having a floor area of 8x12 feet.  Each room can accommodate a family of 5 members.
The bunkhouses are designed to adapt to wetland conditions that concrete posts were used to elevate the flooring.  Catwalks or boardwalks were part of the blueprint that would interconnect the bunkhouses.  Corrugated G.I. sheets and plyboards were used for the roofs and walls for a more-durable refuge for the IDPs.
Construction of latrines and wash areas is still on-going however, portalets are in-placed temporarily until the needed facilities are completed.
Water facilities as well as electricity lines were also installed.
As the family heads kept busy in the hauling of their luggages and other belongings, DSWD provided mosquito nets and food packs good for 2-3 days to ensure their food supply as they get settled into the new environment.    International Organization for Migration (IOM) also distributed new kettles and thermos jugs.
With more bunkhouses to be completed soon, the Shelter and Camp management clusters are now working on the transfer of IDPs from other schools like the Talon-Talon ES and more families from the Cawa-Cawa site.