The Department of Agrarian Reform Davao del Norte (DAR) recently turned-over to Coconut Cacao Banana Association of Farmers (COCABAF), two (2) Iron Removal Filter (IRF) Projects in Barangay Upper Licanan, Panabo City, Davao del Norte. This project assures more than 100 Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries (ARB) households and other residents in the area their access to safe and potable drinking water.
The Community-Managed Potable Water Supply and Sanitation and Hygiene (CPWASH) project installed in two strategic locations in Prk. 7 of Barangay Upper Licanan, would provide the community with a safe and potable drinking water from the existing spring box which used to be the source of water for cleaning, washing and even for cooking. The IRF is a facility where iron content in the water is removed, thus protecting plumbing materials and eliminate ugly staining and unpleasant water taste and odor.
Brgy. Upper Licanan is one of 40 barangays in Panabo City which mainly produces coconut, cacao, corn, rice and different variety of bananas. It is 15 kilometers away from the city proper or a 1 hour and 30 minute-drive. There is no public transportation regularly plying the route. Habal-Habal/Sky Lab or single motorcycles are the common alternatives.
The road going to the location of the project is a narrow opening between mountains and cliffs. Dusty during the dry season while the rainy season practically renders it slippery and inaccessible.
Because of the road condition, basic necessities such as potable drinking water are not always available to the community and they have been using the unsafe water source since it was erected by the barangay in 1992.
“Nung dumating yung nagtatrabaho sa project na ’yan, doon lamang namin nalaman na may mga bad bacteria pala na nakahalo doon sa tubig na iniinom namin. Dahil siguro sa tagal ng panahon na ginagamit namin yan kaya medyo naka-adjust na yung katawan namin sa dumi ng tubig at salamat sa Diyos, di naman kami nagkakasakit. Pero meron ding mga bata dito na nagkakasakit sa tiyan o merong Amoebiasis dahil sa tubig na galing sa source", says Lorna Balaba, a resident near the water source, and Vice-Chairperson of COCABAF.
Upper Licanan Barangay Captain Orlando Bocal, Sr, also delivered his mesage and stressed, “Malaki ang pasasalamat ko sa DAR dahil ginawang safe na ang inuming tubig dito sa parte ng aming barangay. Matagal-tagal din ang aming paghihintay na ito'y magawan ng paraan para maging ligtas ang inumin dito simula nung naitayo itong Spring Box halos 3 dekada na ang nakakaraan. Ngayon, hindi na magkaroon ng alinlangan ang mga residente dito dahil hindi lang pampaligo, para sa paglalaba ng damit at para sa pagkaing lutuin ang tubig dito kundi ligtas na naiinom na din lalo na yung mga bata. Kaya’t ingatan po natin itong ibinigay ng DAR. Ang tubig po ay buhay kaya pagka-ingatan natin ito,”
The CPWASH project was made possible through the initiative of the DAR and the combined efforts of the people in Upper Licanan. Prior to the turn-over, the recipient ARBO and some residents living near the IRF, were given multiple capacity development trainings and seminars such as Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation, IRF Operation and Maintenance, Operation and Management and the Policy Formulation, to ensure the sustainability of the project.
During the turn-over program, COCABAF Chairperson Elimelech Gulay and DARPO Davao del Norte CARPO for PBDD Engr. Nazario Monarca who represented PARPO Crisostomo Bernaldez, signed the Certificate of Turn-Over and Acceptance. The activity was also witnessed by Barangay Captain Bocal and Engr. Beatriz Alconera, MARPO of Panabo City. (PIO Dindo C. Tabudlong, DAR Davao del Norte)
#DARforFarmers #CRFPSP #waterislife