The Philippines: Humanitarian needs continue although floods are receding

12 July, 2011
Stagnant pools of water are common in many IDP camps in Mindanao, providing fertile breeding for a host of water-borne diseases. Credit: IRIN/David Swanson
Stagnant pools of water are common in many IDP camps in Mindanao, providing fertile breeding for a host of water-borne diseases. Credit: IRIN/David Swanson

In Mindanao, the floods in Cotabato City and parts of Maguindanao have begun to recede, especially in areas away from the rivers. However, according to OCHA Sitrep No. 8, many large villages along the rivers remain flooded. Five people died in Northern Mindanao in landslides caused by continuous rains in Northern Mindanao on 3-4 July. The high water levels continue to move significant amounts of water hyacinth plants from the Liguasan Marsh, which disrupts water flow and causes stagnation.

The city authorities and Local Government Units (LGUs) in Maguindanao have been overwhelmed by the extent of the floods, and humanitarian agencies are continuing to support the local authorities in their efforts to aid affected communities.

So far, WFP has distributed 809 MT of mixed commodities to approximately 266,040 people in Maguindanao and Cotabato City. It is also continuing regular 'protracted relief' activities including food for work, food for training, emergency school feeding, and supplementary feeding programmes in five Central Mindanao provinces, including Maguindanao.

Over 200 children were found to be severely malnourished in a recent nutritional assessment conducted by the City Health Office in 20 evacuation centres in Cotabato City. UNICEF is now distributing Infant Feeding in Emergency (IFE) supplies in evacuation centres in Cotabato City and Maguindanao through Save the Children. Meanwhile, the agency continues to provide therapeutic feeding for children in Maguindanao and North Cotabato and is treating children referred from evacuation centres.

Water, sanitation, and hygiene partners are helping 2,157 families in Cotabato City, distributing family hygiene kits and water containers to affected families in both Maguindanao and Cotabato City. In North Cotabato and Sultan Kudarat provinces, the Humanitarian Response Consortium/OXFAM Great Britain (HRC/OGB) has distributed 7,151 hyposols and 3,836 jerry cans as well as carrying out hygiene promotion activities.

Among the affected community in Cotabato City, there are 26,961 women of childbearing age (WRAs) including 3,237 who are pregnant, while in Maguindanao, there are 115,495 WRAs of whom 13,860 are pregnant.  The UNFPA medical team has helped 481 pregnant and lactating women (PLWs) in six flooded villages of Datu Piang in Maguindanao and 20 evacuation centres in Cotabato City. The team is also on the lookout for possible Gender-Based Violence (GBV) cases in the evacuation centres and flood-affected communities. Meanwhile, WHO, in coordination with local health offices, is providing psychosocial support to people in Cotabato City and Maguindanao.

Shelter remains a high priority for people still stuck in evacuation centres and for those returning to their homes in Cotabato City. As many families lost their belongings to the floods, they are in need of items like cooking pans, ladles, plates, water containers, and so on. Supplies of mosquito nets and mosquito repellent will also become essential as the waters stagnate.

More>> OCHA Situation Report #8  -  ReliefWeb