THE Ministry of Social Services and Development in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (MSSD-Barmm) has set up community kitchens at evacuation centers in the region.

The MSSD-Barmm said in a statement Sunday, October 30, that it is to ensure that nutritious meals are provided for the evacuees of Tropical Storm Paeng in Cotabato City and in the provinces of Maguindanao del Norte and Maguindanao del Sur.

On Friday, October 28, the MSSD delivered six sets of cooking equipment and food supplies to its regional office in Cotabato City to Broce Elementary School in Datu Odin Sinsuat town and municipal gymnasium of Sultan Mastura both in Maguindanao del Norte, and to three evacuation sites in Cotabato City.

The MSSD-Barmm deployed field workers to man the community kitchens, according to Hashim Guiamil, chief of MSSD's Disaster Response Management Division.

MSSD's Maguindanao provincial branch office located at DOS also immediately put up a community kitchen on Friday to serve hot meals for the flood-affected residents in the area.

Guiamil said that 15 more sets of cooking equipment and food supplies were turned over Saturday, October 29, to the provincial office for distribution to several evacuation sites in Maguindanao del Norte and Maguindanao del Sur.

Guiamil said that the MSSD initially provided on Friday, October 28, relief assistance to Paeng victims in Maguindanao provinces and Cotabato City.

A total of 900 packs of ready-to-eat meals, 1,504 sacks of 25-kilo rice, 1,500 packs of relief goods and 50 sleeping kits were provided to evacuees in Maguindanao.

Meanwhile, 300 packs of ready-to-eat meals and sleeping kits were given to affected families in Cotabato City.

Guiamil said the MSSDis conducting a thorough assessment of Paeng's aftermath to better plan for its relief strategies. (SunStar Zamboanga)