Access to clean potable water remains to be a challenge for some Indigenous Peoples in the far-flung areas in Davao City. For the Mapantow Community Center in Upper Kibalang Marilog District, Davao City, fetching potable water from the nearest existing source, which is about 500 meters away, is a backbreaking endeavor. They would use plastic containers and transport the filled containers using the tri-sikad.
In view of this concern, the Rotary Club of East Davao (RCED) led by its President, Rossano C. Luga, has initiated a project to extend the water distribution line from the reservoir all the way up to Mapantow Community Center. Thus, the challenge of having clean potable water would now be a thing of the past.
Datu Rodolfo “Rody” M. Mande, a tribal leader and a 2019 Datu Bago Awardee, runs the Mapantow Community Center that sends deserving IPs to schools.
Aside from the 20 wards (IP high school scholars), 10 nearby families are benefiting from this newly installed water distribution system.
The Rotary Club of East Davao has allocated a total of fifty thousand for this water system project, which is a joint project together with the Rotary Club of West Davao led by their president, Benard Benedicto, The Philippine Institute of Certified Public Accountants – Davao Chapter under president Jose Rao’ul Balisalisa and the INCOME Davao Cooperative.
“Ako nagpasalamat ug daku sa tubig nga among na angkon na sinati na namo nga wala na wala na kami nagka lisod kay inyo kaming gi supportaan.” said Datu Mande, as a response for choosing them to be a beneficiary of this project.
Last March 6, a formal turn over ceremony was conducted at Mapantow Community Center. Present during the turnover were the officers and members of the RCED.
“Nalipay gyud ako nga aduna nami tubig dinhi sa Mapantow. Mapasalamaton ako sa tanan nga nagtabang aron kini mahitabo” said Monera, one of the IP Scholars and former Hiyas ng Kadayawan contestant.
“We are grateful to the Mapantow Community Center for this opportunity to be of service. With potable water delivered right to their door step, the high school IP scholars will have more time for their studies. They will also be relieved of the daily grind of hauling water from the nearest source which is from a bit far from the center“, said Luga.
Today, 2.2 billion people still lack access to safely managed drinking water services and 4.2 billion people lack safely managed sanitation services according to the United Nations. [Source: https://www.unwater.org/water-facts/water-sanitation-and-hygiene/]