Access to Safe Water

 

Women of Barangay Palao sa Buto, Datu Paglas, Maguindanao washing clothes with water from a deep well (photo care of the Bangsamoro Development Agency)

The community members of Barangay Inug-ug in Pikit, North Cotabato, and Barangay Palao sa Buto in Datu Paglas, Maguindanao now enjoy the benefits of safe water supply with the solar-powered water system level II, an infrastructure constructed under the Mindanao Trust Fund-Reconstruction and Development Project Phase II (MTF-RDP/2).

Villagers of the said barangays, which are situated in Camp Rajamuda, one of the previously acknowledged camps of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), shared their daily life struggles fetching water from a deep well and traveling more than two kilometers to the town proper just to buy potable water.

Mambai Ulangkaya, 60, was always worried that her grandchildren might get sick from drinking well water. Before, there were numerous incidents of children suffering from stomach aches who had to be rushed to the hospital.

 

Solar Powered Water System of Barangay Inug-ug, Pikit, North Cotabato

“It was our practice to boil the water first before drinking. But with the incidents, we were never complacent again when it comes to our kids. We find ways to buy safe drinking water even if it costs us some money and time to travel the distance,” said Mambai.

Mambai is an active member of Palao sa Buto Fisherfolks Association from the elderly sector. She owns a sari-sari store and is living with some of her grandchildren.

"Now that there is this [water system] project within our community, our worries turned to joy,” Mambai told the team during community consultation.  Our neighboring barangays also benefit from this development. We will surely take good care of this,” she said. 

 

Solar Powered Water System of Barangay Palao sa Buto, Datu Paglas, Maguindanao

The PhP 2.98 million water system installed at Barangay Palao sa Buto and the PhP 2.52 million project at Barangay Inug-ug comes with nine tap stands segregated in different sitios and a water filtration system.

 The People’s Organization (PO) sells potable water to adjacent barangays to generate funds for the maintenance of the water system.

“Suppliers here usually vend purified water for 30 pesos per gallon. But we are selling it for only 10 pesos per gallon to help residents in need,” said Palao sa Buto PO President Amir Ulangkaya.

Water sources in Camp Rajamuda communities have high salt content which made it difficult for them to acquire serviceable liquid for drinking and other necessities. The water filtration system is a big help to make the water potable.

 

CFSI and BDA trying out the purified water being sold by the People's Organization to the community

Musa Edres, President of Inug-ug Namagayon Farmers, emphasized the benefits of the newly-constructed project. “This kind of gift given to us is what we really need in our community,” he said. “Not just the water system but the whole [MTF-RDP/2] project really changed our lives. With that, we will cherish this deeply,” Edres added.

Adapted from Community and Family Services International (22 March 2021). Camp Rajamuda communities value access to safe water.  URL: https://cfsi.ph/worldwaterday-2021-valuing-water/ (accessed on 06 June 2021)