The Ministry of Human Settlements and Development, through Bangsamoro Director General (BDG) Esmael W. Ebrahim, welcomed Country Director Kunhali Muttaje of the Islamic Relief Worldwide and discussed the possibility of partnering for a stilt core shelter project that will establish 200 housing units in Ligawasan Marsh.

The meeting happened at the BDG Office, MHSD Regional Office, Bangsamoro Government Center, Cotabato City on February 21, 2024.

Fanny C. Devino, Country Programme Manager (CPM) explained that 200 of the poorest families from the 11 Barangays of Pigcawayan, particularly those whose routinary livelihoods are interrupted due to haphazard floodings, are the target beneficiaries of the project.

The project aims to construct 200 stilt houses with toilet and water points and would stand to gain from coordination with the MHSD, that has awarded multiple resettlement housing projects in the course of its operations.

BDG Ebrahim advised that further coordination with the Office of the Chief Minister, Bangsamoro Planning and Development Authority and the Special Geographic Area Development Authority (SGADA) should also be ensured. He emphasized the invaluable pieces of advice and insights that may be sourced from Administrator Butch Malang as a resident and chief executive of the project’s target site, especially on the selection of beneficiaries.

Under Pigcawayan is Pangankalan, BDG Ebrahim mentioned, which is a very dear place to the heart of Chief Minister Ahod B. Ebrahim. He then highlighted the proposed eight municipalities under the SGA after the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) passed Bills 129-136, which established last August, 2023, Pahamuddin, Kadayangan, Nabalawag, Old Kaabakan, Kapalawan, Malidegao, Tugunan, and Ligawasan.

The visit was prompted after Salem C. Demuna, Director II for Operations and Management Services, met with CPM Devino during the 3rd Bangsamoro International Development Partners Forum held at the Acacia Hotel Davao, Davao City on February 16.

Islamic Relief Worldwide is a faith-inspired humanitarian and development agency working to save and transform the lives of some of the world’s most vulnerable people. Established in 1984, it works in over 45 countries assisting individuals, families and communities through emergency response and development projects that typically help over 10 million people each year.