COTABATO CITY — To ensure the safety of the communities in their areas and to capacitate the local government on understanding and using the geohazard maps, the Mines and Geosciences Services (MGS) of the BARMM Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources, and Energy (MENRE) recently conducted an information and education campaign on Geohazard Mapping in Cotabato City on November 8 at Robinson Hall 4, Alnor Convention Center, Cotabato City.

Geohazard mapping is an ongoing priority program of MENRE, which MGS is implementing. Its main objective is to identify areas in the Bangsamoro Region susceptible to various geologic hazards.

MGS geologists and mappers conducted on-site visits in each Barangay in Cotabato City to verify the information provided by the communities about the frequency of flooding and other geohazards. The validation process involved using aerial shots and geomorphological interpretation. Following these, the MGS Team then embarked on a geohazard mapping and assessment (1:50,000 scale) and (1:10,000 scale).

On the right hand, Aminshani Lukman, the Chief Geologist of MGS, emphasized that the primary objective of conducting geohazard mapping and assessment is to provide LGUs with a useful tool to determine areas prone to certain hazards for preparedness measures and will give them an evidence-based reference for their various developmental plans such as their Comprehensive Land Use Plan and Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Plan.

On the other hand, Geologist I Al-Muzah E. Tinio with Cartographer III Ismudan Isnain Jr., further expounded that under GRRRP, a subprogram of the Mineral Resources and Geosciences Development Program, is responsible for evaluating the relocation sites, temporary shelters and evacuation centers chosen by the LGUs to ensure their suitability for the purpose.

Participants were from LGU-Cotabato City, the City Planning Development Office, the Office of City Engineer, the City Assessors Office, the City Environment and Natural Resources Office, the City Agriculture Office, and the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office.