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It was around 10:00 p.m. last December 16 when nine months pregnant Eagil Bautista was roused from sleep by loud voices in her neighbourhood in Zone 7, Barangay Acacia, one of the villages affected in the recent flooding in Cagayan de Oro City in the Philippines.

To her surprise, her feet immersed in water when she got up from bed to find out what was going on. When she opened the door, flood water came surging in and, all of a sudden, the water inside their house was already waist-deep. Her husband was away at that moment but luckily, his sister and parents were around to help her out of the house.

"Pumunta kami sa kapitbahay na hindi pa binabaha yung bahay, pero inabot din ng tubig kaya lumipat kami sa covered court ng barangay (We sought refuge at the house of a neighbour but the floodwater eventually seeped in as well)," the 32-year-old Eagil narrated.

In the same neighbourhood lived Lindy Ocoras, 18, who is five months pregnant with her first child. She had to first ensure that her three younger siblings were on safer grounds before she and her husband escaped the fast-rising floodwater.

"Nahirapan ako tumakbo dahil sa kundisyon ko, mabuti na lang kasama ko ang asawa ko. Kumatok kami dun sa kapitbahay naming may malaking bahay na mataas, mabuti na lang pinapasok kami (I had difficulty running because of my condition, it was good my husband was around. A neighbor allowed us to seek temporary shelter in their big house)," Lindy said.

Eagil and Lindy were among the mothers temporarily sheltered at the West City Central School in Cagayan de Oro City which was visited recently by the United Nations Population Fund to distribute hygiene or "dignity" kits to pregnant and lactating women and clean delivery kits to women in their last trimester of pregnancy.

The hygiene kits are distributed to the women to protect them and their babies from disease and infection while staying in the evacuation centers. The kits contain basic sanitary supplies such as soap, changing garment, underwear, towels, toilet paper and sanitary pads. Women in their last trimester of pregnancy were also given clean delivery kits which could be used in case of an emergency childbirth outside a health centre or hospital.

Just like most of the evacuees, Eagil and Lindy were not able to save any belongings when they fled their houses. It was therefore a great relief when they received hygiene kits, also known as "dignity kits," from UNFPA.

When asked what else she needs while temporarily sheltered at the evacuation center, Eagil said food and clothing donations are overflowing, and then she shyly added she wish she could have more underwear. She was, therefore, thankful to receive more than just underwear when she opened her hygiene kit.