EDITORIAL|Clean water and a healthy community

THE PHILIPPINES is an archipelago of 7,100 islands with a very long coastline and abundant water resource such as lakes and waterfalls. But these river systems and springs do not necessarily translate to safe drinking water.

In many remote villages in the Philippines, water collection for the family’s use falls on the shoulders of women and young girls. They spend at least two hours walking at least six kilometers each day for water, taking time away from school, not to mention the risks they face along the way while doing this task.

Water is essential to the growth of a community. It has immediate impact on the lives of the people in terms of health and sanitation. Access to clean water sources help women, their children and ultimately, the community, improve their situation and push development forward.

In the village of Dado, Alamada town in North Cotabato, safe drinking water was scarce. Their source of water was about three kilometers downhill only accessible by foot on a steep slope. This community has been ravaged by conflict between the government and the rebels fighting for autonomy in the 70′s up to the 90′s. Even with the peace agreement between the government and the Moro National Liberation Front in 1996, progress has been slow due to its distance from the urban center and the lack of vital infrastructures such as roads and electricity.

In 2014, a ramp pump project was introduced by a non government organization which brought clean water to this upland community. The technology brings water, which may come from rivers or springs, to a higher level. A mechanical hydraulic pump is used and the water flows directly to a catchment facility then distributed to faucets located closer to the houses of residents. This ramp pump produced a total output of 14,521 liters per day serving as drinking water for 85 families in the community.

Two years hence, the project manager of TKD Green Technologies, Tina Delima, said that there are more children in schools, lesser health problems were reported and there were no more reports of outbreak of communicable diseases.

Clean drinking water, as shown by this community project, is vital in the development of a community.

Posted in Opinion