NorthCot flood victims get relief support PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 20 August 2013 11:32

Close to 500 Moro and non-Moro families in Pikit town in North Cotabato displaced by recent flashfloods received relief and medical supplies over the weekend from the provincial government, officials said.

The office of Pikit Mayor Sumulong Sultan, in a statement, said 2,598 individuals, more than half of them children and women, have been provided with food and medical supplies during the relief mission initiated by the office of North Cotabato Gov. Emmylou Taliño-Mendoza.

Pikit, which is North Cotabato’s  oldest municipality, is surrounded by swamps that connects to the perennially flooded 220,000-hectare Liguasan Delta at the tri-boundary of the adjoining Maguindanao, North Cotabato and Sultan Kudarat towns.

The villagers the provincial relief workers had initially served were from the scattered Barangays Batulawan, Takepan, Nalapaan, Gli-Gli, Bualan, Gokotan, Dalingaoen, Dunguan,  Kalaeban and Poblacion Proper that were hit by last week’s flashfloods spawned by heavy rains in surrounding hinterlands.

Local officials said most of the evacuees are still reluctant to return to their homes owing to the recurring rains in the forested hinterlands of North Cotabato and Bukidnon, from where springs big rivers that drain into the Liguasan Marsh.

The downstream channels of the marsh, now heavily silted, first traverses the towns of North Cotabato’s neighboring Pikit, Aloesan, Midsayap, Libungan and Pigkalagan towns, before draining into the Moro Gulf in the southwestern coast of Cotabato City.

The provincial government’s relief mission in Pikit was assisted by the local police office, the Army’s 7th Infantry Battalion and the 602nd Brigade, which has jurisdiction over more than a dozen of the 17 municipalities in the province.

Mendoza said she had asked the Army’s 7th and 40th Infantry Battalions to help monitor the level of water flowing through rivers, that straddles through low-lying North Cotabato towns, that overflows during the rainy days.

Mendoza’s office dispersed last week a big herd of cattle and goats to 93 farmers from 11 flood-stricken barangays in North Cotabato’s Midsayap town, which was also affected by recent conflicts instigated by Moro bandits.

The farm animals are to be breed by the recipient-farmers for meat and dairy production to hasten their recovery from the devastation wrought by man-made and natural calamities.