“Bakwits” from fire are now “bakwits” from rain

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 14 April) — The City Social Services and Development Office (CSSDO) is currently looking for alternative evacuation sites for 382 families displaced by the April 4 fire in Isla Verde who are presently staying in makeshift tents in Magsaysay Park. 

The park, however, is no refuge from the rain and floods.

Virginia Bautista, poblacion district officer of CSSDO said some of the bakwits (evacuees or internally displaced person), even those whose tents had been pitched in the park, got wet because of the rains.

The park’s security guards on  Tuesday  said they were afraid for the evacuees since some areas where tents were pitched get flooded during a heavy downpour.
City Health Officer Josephine Villafuerte had earlier said that the evacuees should be moved to more sturdy shelters to reduce risks of contagious disease being passed on among evacuees.

Villafuerte said the current set-up exposes evacuees to diseases such as respiratory and digestive infections due to poor ventilation and hygiene issues.

Residents in nearby communities have also complained of foul smell near the evacuation cetners, she sai, adding that the city “should also add more portable toilet facilities.”

“What’s lacking are shelters. There have been reports of some schools not opening their buildings for the evacuees, so some of them are staying at the school gyms,” Villafuerte said.

The CHO has deployed a team of three doctors available for all evacuation areas, with two nurses and two midwives per evacuation area on standby at any time.

Villafuerte said they dispense the medicines to patients themselves on a set schedule instead of just distributing the medicines, to assure treatment.

She said there is enough supply of medicines the evacuees can avail of, for free.

The evacuees have been receiving aid from different government and non-government sources since the April 4 fire, the latest from the office of Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, who doled out P1.5 million for 3,001 families last Saturday, according to the CSSDO.

The city government also recently distributed cash and non-case items to the evacuees. (MindaNews)