FOR low-lying areas like Masantol town, shelters that can withstand prolonged flooding where residents can take refuge become a necessity.
This was what encouraged two non-government organizations, in partnership with the local government here, to come up with floating evacuation centers which residents can use during times of calamities.
On Saturday, The Center for Emergency Aid and Rehabilitation Inc. (Concern) and AWO International finally turned over the two units of floating evacuation centers to residents of Barangay Nigui here.
The innovative shelters have a size of 8x8 meters complete with bedrooms and a bathroom made of bamboo and plyboard, and are sitting on some 80 210-liter drums which serve as a floating devices.
The floating shelters were also installed with solar panels as source of electricity, rain pipes and water purifiers to ensure clean and potable water, and is partnered with a floating garden where residents can plant and harvest vegetables year-round.
Marcelo Lacap Jr., Pampanga Coastal Emergency Response (PCER) focal person, said that each shelter can safely accommodate up to 80 persons, but priority will be for senior citizens, persons with disabilities, sickly and children.
“The purpose of the floating evacuation center is to provide decent shelters to people in times of flooding. These are movable and can go along the tide so there is really not much to worry, especially that everything that a person needs is already present inside the house,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mayor Danilo Guintu expressed his gratitude to the non-government organizations for hearing the concerns of and extending their assistance to the coastal residents here.