Over 100 families of the Dumagat Tribe living in Norzagaray, Bulacan have started to reap the benefits of clean and safe water supply after the One Meralco Foundation (OMF) energized the community’s water facility.
In a statement, OMF said that they recently installed a three (3) kilowatt portable solar photovoltaic system to power up the Sitio Sapang Munti community’s integrated water system, which provides access to potable supply that can be used for drinking, bathing, washing, and cooking.
Following the electrification, the water facility, built by the Manila Water Foundation, can now filter, store, and distribute up to 10,000 liters of potable water through strategically placed communal faucets 24/7.
With no access to a water system, members of the Dumagat Tribe previously relied solely on water that flows from the stream (sapa) and spring (bukal) for their daily needs even if their community is situated within the confines of the Ipo Watershed—which supplies nearly all of Metro Manila’s water needs.
OMF quoted Marites Cruz, a member of the community who has been fetching water from the stream for nearly 50 years, as saying that said the development brings new hope for the community and relieves them of worries about possible health problems.
“Dati, yung ibang mga kasama namin ay nagpapakulo ng tubig lalo’t kapag may sanggol. Minsan, pagkatapos umulan, malabo ang tubig kaya inaantay pa naming luminaw pero di pa rin kami nakakasiguro kung malinis talaga yun,” she said.
(Before, our community members had to boil water especially if there’s a baby in their family. Sometimes, after it rains, the water is murky and even if we wait for it to clear up, we still cannot be sure that it’s safe to consume.)
The energization of the integrated water facility in Sitio Sapang Munti is the first initiative of OMF for its Electrification for Water Access program which aims to provide underserved communities with safe, clean, and reliable water source.
“While having access to potable water is a basic need and right, this still remains elusive for many Filipinos. To help bridge the gap, OMF has taken steps to help bring basic needs such as water and electricity closer to as many underserved communities as possible,” OMF President and Meralco Chief Corporate Social Responsibility Officer Jeffrey O. Tarayao said.
Catherine R. Cueto