Our Project Officer in the Philippines writes:
I proceeded to Jipapad, Eastern Samar to have an inspection to a water system project proposal. To help you recall, in our last Board Meeting, the project proposal for water system of the community was postponed because there were items needed to clarify in the project.
It was a long trip going to the community. It took me 6 hours in order to reach the place. The entire region was mountainous but the road was good. Though communication signal was extremely bad, I managed to reach the community almost midnight.
The next day, Fr. Sim and I were able to go around the community and check the proposed location of the project. The community is surrounded by 2 rivers. It was a very small and old town with lots of people. The main livelihood is farming. The water supply of the community was greatly bad. They only rely on the river supply of water for domestic use which is brownish in color (as shown in the photo). There are some private own jetmatic pump and deep well – but only limited – who sell water for 5-10 pesos per container. For those who cannot afford, they opt to sterilize the water from the river. According to Fr. Sim, there were already cases of water contamination in the community and they could not ignore it. Yearly, they also experience water shortage especially in summer time. By that time, they could not pump the water from the deep well and river water is the only resort. I can really see the need of the water system in the community. It would be a great help for the people in the place.
Another concern that we’ve discussed during the visit was the construction of the water station in the community. In our last meeting, the construction of the water station was scrutinized. The main concern of the board was “to where the income would go” when its operation starts. So, the board recommended that the community/ parish should create a team or tap an organization from the community to lead the operation of the water station. However, it was corrected by Fr. Sim that the parish never intends to make a business out of the water system project. The project aims to help the people mitigate their water supply problem. And since they had history of water contamination, they are proposing filter machine to avoid health related concerns in the future. In addition, the parish needs to collect certain minimal amount from the people (according to their consumption) for the maintenance of the project. He would also create a team who will do the regular inspection and monitoring of the water system – as recommendation by the board.
The community is really hopeful about the positive outcome of the project. They are really praying for the opportunity to have safe and potable water in their community.