Feature: Accessible drinking water for Dabaonons becoming a reality
by Jean Duron-Abangan
Tagum City (25 February) -- Drinking water has remained a costly commodity in Davao del Norte but it will soon be within reach now that the Davao Integrated Development Programme (DIDP) gets into community water supply development.
In an interview, Davao del Norte Planning and Development Chief Josie Jean Rabanoz noted how people in the province are largely depending on bottled mineral water and peddled water in tanks for their drinking use.
To address such need, she said the provincial government is taking stride in making water available right at the community through implementing a project introduced by DIDP in cooperation with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
Funded by JICA, water supply projects are now being put in place in pilot areas among which are Barangay Alejal, Carmen in Davao del Norte; Cabidianan, Nabunturan in Compostela Valley; Waan in Davao City; Baon, San Isidro in Davao Oriental; and Bangkal, Matan-on Davao del Sur.
Rabanoz said water supply in Davao del Norte is good only for domestic use such as washing clothes, taking a bath but is not fit for human consumption.
"Chlorination is not enough, there must be a water treatment unit to get rid of harmful substances," she said referring to the water supply system project that would be pilot tested in Barangay Alejal through DIDP.
Once made operational in July 2010, the water supply project would be able to serve around 400 households.
Rabanoz is optimistic that the technology introduced by DIDP with JICA would eventually make potable supply much accessible and affordable as well.
The provincial government would be incurring substantial cost of investment for such project but Rabanoz said that the "water supply that residents would be getting is a lot cheaper than the ones they are buying."
"This would eventually become an income-generating (venture of the barangay) but there should be collaborative efforts and cooperation among barangay officials and residents," she said.
In a separate interview, DIDP Assistant Executive Director Grace Magalona explained that the Local Governance and Rural Empowerment Project (LGREP) of DIDP, through which the water supply system development is being implemented, is integrating community organizing as one of its components.
Before the water supply development came along, DIDP had already conducted trainings on ground water supply detection, community organizing, and designing of small water supply facilities.
Residents in areas with level II water supply system would be organized into Barangay Water Supply Associations (Bawasa) which would take care of collecting fees necessary to sustain the water supply operation, Magalona explained. (PIA XI) [top]