GOING up and down the streams and springs to fetch some water is an ordeal the people in the mountains of Benguet used to face everyday until the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) provided a community-managed potable water supply, sanitation and hygiene (Cpwash), a low-cost technology that guarantees continuous flow of clean water in rural communities.
Kapangan, Benguet municipal agrarian reform officer Jane D. Toribio said the Cpwash has made fetching of water a lot easier as it allows the most basic commodity to flow into the rural communities through water tanks where it undergoes various stages of processing and sanitation to ensure that it is safe for drinking.
“The technology works via gravitational force, with water being drawn by a spring box at the source of water, usually from elevated streams and springs, and channeled through pipes and into concrete jar-shaped water tank that is equipped with iron removal and bio sand filters,” Toribio told visiting journalists during the “Lakbay ARCs (agrarian reform communities)” organized recently by the DAR-Public Affairs Staff.
For upland areas, Toribio said, motor pump are installed to draw water from underground sources.
Toribio said the introduction of close to P1-million Cpwash project in Barangay Tabaao, Kapangan town brought some relief to local residents who are pleased to see water now flowing through a faucet, which was alien to them before, just a few steps from their homes. There are at least five regular-sized water tanks installed in the barangay, each servicing five households.
Kapangan Mayor Roberto Canuto said he is impressed by the technology so that he ordered its replication in other barangays within his municipality, especially those experiencing shortage of water.
Mayor Canuto readily provided P600,000; the office of Rep. Ronald Cosalan, P250,000 as their shares for the project cost; and the DAR shouldered the rest. The funds were used for the purchase of materials, professional service fee and the conduct of social preparation and capacity building activities of the community-based organizations.
Canuto said he believes that the technology would have great impacts to the lives of the rural people in his municipality since water is vital to our existence.
“The fact that they do not have to go up and down the streams and springs to fetch water is in itself a big relief to our people,” the town mayor said.
Before, Toribio said, local people, especially the old ones, were used to simply clean themselves with wet handtowels to save water for their drinking needs because of the hardship of fetching some water, especially during the hot summer months when waters on the streams and springs were almost dry.
“Today, local residents are no longer worried of being afflicted with water-borne