How IDPs coped with Ramadhan in the evacuation centers

December 7, 2017 // Leave a Comment

Globally, Ramadhan was observed from May 26 to june 24 2017.  It is one of the holiest months in the Muslim calendar.

When the armed extremist group composed of Maute-ISIL-Abu Sayyaf Salafi jihadist groups attacked Marawi, it was near the onset of Ramadhan.

So for the the whole month of Ramadhan, the Muslims in Marawi had to contend a new condition and face a new challenge when it came to the observance of the fasting month.  It was a daunting month.

A full blown war was waged by the government against the extremist militants that included thousands of soldiers deployed in Marawi, not to mention the almost daily airtstrikes that pounded the city center where the militants conducted a guerilla type of warfare. 

As a result, thousands of families had to leave Marawi and come down to Iligan City in the assigned evacuation centers.

There were two main large evacuation centers for Maranao IDPs in Iligan:  One in Barangay Maria Cristina and another in Barangay Buruun. During Ramdhan, the families were accustomed to prepare food in the afternoon to be served at the end of the fasting day. But the lack of kitchen and cooking facilities in the evacuation centers made life difficult for Muslims who were used to eating as one family during  Iftar.

Add to this the lack of clean water, the lack of space, and most of all the lack of privacy in the cramped evacuation centers during the month of Ramadhan.

Maranao Muslims either had to depend on food ration from the DSWD to cope with the Ramadhan or shared food cooked by families within the center.

While it may not be that timely, the distribution of kitchen utensils by MARADECA and PBSP to IDPs in the major evacuation centers was a relief for most families who had  to adjust to an extremely difficult way of life during the 2017 Ramadhan.

For most Muslims from Marawi, it was a bitter month of fasting, as many had to forego eating in the evening.