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PIA Press Release
Sunday, January 01, 2012


AFP, international partners bring water purifying machines to Iligan

ILIGAN CITY, Jan. 01 (PIA) -- Fifty-two years old Sendong survivor Lidelia Mesina who worked as a chemist in the Middle East cried while narrating her sad experience about the devastating typhoon that destroyed their community and killed many lives.

“It was a very fearful night, when I was awakened by a sudden rush of flood water which reached up to hip-level and I heard our neighbors outside screaming for help,” Lidelia narrated while holding a water hose.

“I called up for help from my parents and other relatives through my mobile phone but they were out of reached,” she shared her story that fateful night.

She continued, “The next morning, sad news had reached me that my parents, my two nieces and my nephew were found dead after they were swept away by strong current brought by the 20 feet rushing flood water.”

Lidelia lost 15 relatives and one is still missing.

The survivors climbed trees clinging for hope to survive and others luckily hooked up on two-story houses.

But despite the loss of loved ones and the tragic experience, Lidelia voluntarily offered the ancestral house of her parents to become water station of safe drinking water for the community.

She praised the soldiers who brought the water purifying machines in their place.

“We have no water to drink, there’s no electricity, everything was lost but having you here (pertaining to the soldiers) ease our sufferings a lot. We don’t know how to thank you,” Lidelia stated.

As a chemist, she personally tested the water then hurriedly shared to the local folks and personally managed the distribution of water in their community.

The ASPEN 5500 purifying machine is capable of purifying 5000 gallons of water daily.

The machines are being used under a joint agreement of the Armed Forces of the Philippines National Development Support Command (NADESCOM), and the US Marine Corps Forces Pacific.

The ASPEN 2000 machine can purify 2000 gallons of floodwater or 1800 gallons for Aspen 5500 and 300-500 gallons for the ASPEN 2000.

The AFP hopes to acquire more of these machines through the joint agreement.

The machines are run by electricity. They have built-in battery that can run three hours independently producing 1,500- 2,000 gallons for the (2/3) of saltwater.

It may be recalled that the AFP through NADESCOM deployed two teams with these machines during the onslaught of typhoon that inundated Central Luzon a few months ago.

The same machines were also deployed in Bataraza, Palawan during the cholera outbreak early this year and middle of this year in Sorsogon.

The same machines were also deployed in Thailand. The machines were sent back to the Philippines with the addition of two ASPEN 5500 and one ASPEN 2000 are now in the country.

Three water purification teams and machines deployed two teams in sitio Tebasak, Barangay, Makasandig led by 1LT Martinez.

They are operating ASPEN 2000 and ASPEN 5500 while the other team with one machine is at Sitio Tambo, Barangay Hinaplanon, in Iligan City.

The combined output of the three machines is at 12,000 gallons of potable water on the average daily. Two types of machines are now working.

A generator set is used when electricity is not available commercially. In both areas, people hurriedly lined up after seeing some of their community leaders taste test the purified water.

The successful project in bringing purifying machines is a joint effort of US Marine Corps Forces Pacific, NADESCOM, 4th ID, 1st ID, 52nd Engineering Brigade and 2nd mechanized Brigade. (5th CRG-News/Pfc Reah Costales)

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