MAASIN CITY, Southern Leyte – Farming communities in Southern Leyte have stopped using expensive fuel in cooking after the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) introduced the community-managed potable water and sanitation hygiene (CPWASH) project.
The project will directly benefit the residents of three remote villages in the City of Maasin and the towns of Hinunangan and Tomas Opus. No one in these villages ever thought that the wastes of their pigs can be transformed into an alternative fuel.
Virginia Dueñas, one of the recipients of the project in Barangay Hantag, Maasin City, said they no longer use firewood or LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) in cooking after the project was introduced to them by DAR.
“We no longer buy LPG. Now that we have our own cooking gas, we save around ₱700 a month,” said Dueñas.
Their income likewise has increased as they now raise more pigs to have sufficient organic wastes that would be turned into fuel.
DAR project coordinator Julius Monge said the CPWASH project is made up of a rainwater collector, an iron removal filter, bio-sand filters and one biogas digester.
“This a new approach to delivering water, energy, health, and sanitation in the countryside by using available resources in the community. We trained the members of the three communities how to construct and maintain the bio-sand filters and iron removal filters to make water from deep wells potable,” Monge said.
According to Monge, part and parcel of the project is the biogas digester, a sanitation facility that is capable of converting animal and human waste into cooking gas similar to the liquefied petroleum gas (LPG)—an end-product that is viewed as a come-on for villagers to put up their own toilets with the digester serving as septic tank.
“The animal wastes are fed and collected in the biogas digester that in turn, produce methane gas through anaerobic digestion,” explains Monge.
The CPWASH was conceptualized by DAR to install low-cost water supply technology and sanitation systems for safe, clean and potable water supply for farmers and their families in the community.
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