UAE to implement various projects in Marawi City

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By Divina M. Suson, Correspondent
August 13, 2019

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MARAWI City--The United Arab Emirates government is launching several projects as its way of giving interventions in the ongoing rehabilitation of the war-ravaged Marawi City.

UAE Ambassador Hamad Saeed Al-Zaabi said these projects include architectural and operational plans which are being requested by the Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation and will be funded by the embassy.

Al-Zaabi mentioned about rehabilitation of schools, construction of child and youth center, construction of center for orphans and construction of rural health unity in nearby Butig town in Lanao del Sur.

He said the UAE government is focusing on the education and health interventions to the residents displaced due to armed conflict.

UAE IT Manager Faisal Mohd Nabil said these projects have already its funds in 2019 but the embassy is still waiting for the local government unit of Marawi to forward to them which schools need to be rehabilitated or constructed and which area these centers are going to be built.

“May budget na kami. Kung ilan ang kakasya sa budget yun ang i-implement namin in coordination with the LGU. Ang UAE Embassy ang mag-implement,” Nabil said.

(We have budget. We will implement these projects based on the approved budget in coordination with the LGU. It is the UAE Embassy that will implement.)

Ground Zero visit

Al-Zaabi visited the former main battle area, now referred to by the government as most affected area (MAA), others called it ground zero, after he visited the transitory shelter site in Barangay Sagonsongan where more than a thousand of internally displaced persons (IDPs) are staying while waiting the go signal of the government for them to go back to their areas inside the MAA.

He went to the Grand Mosque and the Bato Ali Mosque where a Catholic priest, Fr. Teresito Soganub, was held hostage by the Dawlah Islamiya extremists for 100 days in 2017 Marawi siege.

There are 31 mosques inside the MAA destroyed during the war and need to be rebuild.

Priorities

Despite the destructions of mosques inside the MAA, Al-Zaabi clarified that the UAE is not prioritizing the rehabilitation and rebuilding of the Muslim religious houses because the embassy is focusing on health and education.

Al-Zaabi visited Marawi City for the first time to celebrate Eidl Adha with the internally displaced persons who are staying in the transitory shelters in Bahay Ng Pagbabago Transitory Site in Barangay Sagonsongan.

He distributed one kilo of cow meat to each family in Sagonsongan butchered by the IDPs as Muslims worldwide celebrate today Eid’l Adha or Feast of Sacrifice.

The UAE Embassy bought 19 cows for the celebration.

He joined around two thousand Meranaws in the Eidl Adha prayer in Dinalan Mosque in Sitio Camague, Barangay Tubod in Iligan City at 6:00AM before proceeding to Marawi City.

He also distributed around 200 sacks of fertilizer and five carabaos to farmers of Tamparan, Lanao del Sur, about 30-minute drive from Marawi.


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