Bar­ili wa­ter taps no longer run dry

Ang way prob­lema sa tu­big, ang prob­lema ang pag sa

Cebu Daily News - - COMMUNITY -

With the pres­ence of rivers and water­shed ar­eas in Bar­ili town, south­ern Cebu, wa­ter is not a prob­lem there.

Yet, ac­cord­ing to Mag­daleno Barga­mento of Kauswa­gan Wa­ter Ser­vices and San­i­ta­tion Co­op­er­a­tive (KAWSSCO), the coop could hardly pro­vide enough potable wa­ter to the nearly 2,500 house­hold con­sumers.

“Bar­ili,

man­age wa­ter sources (Bar­ili has no prob­lem with wa­ter; the prob­lem is on how to man­age the wa­ter sources),” said Barga­mento.

Lo­cated 61 kilo­me­ters from Cebu City, res­i­dents in the 19 barangays of Bar­ili rely on KAWSSCO for their daily wa­ter con­sump­tion.

Ac­cord­ing to Mercedita Mari­nay, school head of Cab­ca­ban El­e­men­tary School, par­ents had to stay up late at night to store wa­ter for the con­sump­tion of their chil­dren, com­posed mostly of stu­dents, the fol­low­ing morn­ing.

“Lisud sad gyud mi kay maghakut mig tu­big sa layo (It was so dif­fi­cult for us since we had to fetch wa­ter from afar),” said Mari­nay, who is also residing in the area.

Act­ing on these chal­lenges, KAWSSCO part­nered with Peace and Eq- uity Foun­da­tion (PEF) and Coca-Cola Foun­da­tion (CCF) to re­ha­bil­i­tate and up­grade Bar­ili’s wa­ter sys­tem in 2017.

Along with the con­struc­tion of a wa­ter reser­voir and the in­stal­la­tion of transmission and dis­tri­bu­tion pipes and a gas-chlo­ri­na­tor, the pro­ject also looked into de­vel­op­ing the May ana falls as a new wa­ter source to in­crease sup­ply. Hav­ing the wa­ter sys­tem pro­ject also al­lowed KAWSSCO to source bulk wa­ter from the Man­tayu­pan river.

“With this pro­ject, we were able to uti­lize the wa­ter from the rivers,” Barga­mento said.

“We’ve been im­ple­ment­ing wa­ter projects since 2011 be­cause Co­caCo­la­hasacom­mit­mentto re­plen­ish ev­ery drop of wa­ter that it uses,” said Ma. Cecilia Al­can­tara, Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor of CCF.

In its mis­sion to re­turn to na­ture the amount of wa­ter used in the pro­duc­tion of their bev­er­ages, CCF helps pro­vide ac­cess to safe wa­ter.

“This pro­ject with PEF is a lit­tle bit dif­fer­ent be­cause the part­ner­ship in­volves work­ing with ex­ist­ing as­so­ci­a­tions and coops that just need a lit­tle help to ex­pand. With PEF as our part­ner, they have iden­ti­fied wa­ter coops that have the ca­pa­bil­ity to scale-up what they are do­ing al­ready.Whatwe­want­todo is to help bring suf­fi­cient wa­ter to more peo­ple,” Al­can­tara said.

PEF part­ners with CCF to cre­ate last­ing so­lu­tions and sup­port projects that will de­liver clean and safe wa­ter to the com­mu­ni­ties.

“We have a three-year part­ner­ship with Co­caCola to sup­port wa­ter projects. To­tal fund for this ini­tia­tive is around P22 mil­lion, with P8.7 mil­lion al­lot­ted for the KAWSSCO pro­ject,” said Den­nis Omar Salvo, PEF’s part­ner­ships and pro­grams man­ager.

To date, PEF has in­vested over P200 mil­lion in var­i­ous wa­ter projects across the coun­try.

With the re­ha­bil­i­tated wa­ter sys­tem and a new wa­ter source, house­hold con­sumers would no longer have to en­dure dis­rup­tions in wa­ter sup­ply.

“The re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion and up­grad­ing of the wa­ter sys­tem will help the co­op­er­a­tive ful­fill its mis­sion to pro­vide con­tin­u­ous wa­ter sup­ply in the mu- nic­i­pal­ity of Bar­ili,” said KAWSSCO man­ager Maria Cristina Alesna-Gomez.

Seen to ben­e­fit over 10,000 house­holds more in the com­ing years, KAWSSCO con­tin­u­ously works to strengthen its wa­ter sup­ply.

“It is my hope that this wa­ter pro­ject be man­aged well and nur­tured in the com­ing years,” said PEF's area of­fi­cer Al­berto Roslinda.

Water­shed con­ser­va­tion ef­forts are be­ing un­der­taken for the wa­ter sys­tem to re­main ef­fi­cient and sus­tain­able. “We need to take care of our wa­ter­sheds be­cause it’s so es­sen­tial and I’m glad that they’re us­ing na­tive trees,” said Al­can­tara.

Ev­ery year, the coop’s con­sumer-mem­bers are re­quired to plant at least three seedlings in iden­ti­fied water­shed ar­eas lo­cated in Barangays Man­tayu­pan, Mayana and Hunob.

“The con­tin­ued suc­cess of the pro­ject will rely on KAWSSCO’s man­age­ment and also the sup­port of the coop’s mem­bers to not waste wa­ter. I am happy to note that they took part in the tree plant­ing ini­tia­tives,” Salvo said.

To­day, KAWSSCO’s house­hold con­sumers in Bar­ili’s 19 barangays are now guar­an­teed with clean and safe wa­ter that flows on tap 24/7.

The re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion and up­grad­ing of wa­ter sys­tem in Bar­ili town is seen to ben­e­fit 10,000 house­holds more in the com­ing years. CON­TRIB­UTED PHOTO

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