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Completed water project benefits tri-people communities in Maguindanao

INDIGENOUS PEOPLES NEWS • 17:00 PM Fri Jul 2, 2021
1
By: 
BDA,Inc.
Local officials try the water project and IP dance was performed for the guests. (BDA photos)

COTABATO CITY - During dry season, locals in Barangay Looy, South Upi, Maguindanao has to fetch water from a dug well located in the lower part of the mountainous village, the only source left for the community to avail water safe water for daily consumption.

“We really need better water system that provides clean and safe water for our families. At present, we rely on few available sources in our village, which is difficult, especially during drought”, said Danilo Rosarial, 48, president of Ke’minanam Luwey Wayeg Association, a community-based organization formed for the project.

Other families who can afford would avail clean water by buying from town center with water refilling business.

“But not all have enough money to buy clean water. It is expensive, so some opted to access from the water source in the community, which is difficult,” Danilo stated.

Similar situation is also true for Brgy. Rifao in North Upi, Maguindanao, a hard-to-reach area inhabited mostly by indigenous people specifically, the Tedurays.

Now, through the water system project implemented for the said villages, the locals rejoice for easy access of clean and safe water for their families.

This water system is completed through the project “Improving Capacities for Employment Intensive Community-based Water System Construction and Management in Maguindanao” implemented with the Ministry of Labor and Employment (MOLE-BARMM), the Bangsamoro Development Agency (BDA Inc.) in partnership with the United Nations- International Labour Organization (UN-ILO) and with fund support from Embassy of Japan.

It was recently turned over on June 21, 2021 for Brgy. Looy and June 22 at Brgy. Rifao. The ceremonial turnover was graced by key officials from BARMM MOLE, Ministry of Indigenous People’s Affairs (MIPA), Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources and Energy (MENRE), the municipal and barangay local government units, the UN-ILO Cotabato, BDA Inc.

Meanwhile, messages from Masahiro Nakata, Government of Japan and Khalid Hassan of UN-ILO Philippines reached partners and stakeholders through a recorded video played during the turnover. 

The event also highlighted the rituals performed, a tribal dance and with the colorful cultural attire of the Teduray men and women.

A tree- planting activity was also conducted during the occasion as part of the environmental safeguards of the project that shall promote cleanliness, protection and prevention e.g., soil erosion.

Same water system project is also expected to be completed very soon for Brgy. Renti, North Upi, Maguindanao.

Other information:  

  • As of the 2015 PSA Census the population of these barangays are:
    • SOUTH UPI –
      • Brgy. Looy: 3,937
    • NORTH UPI
      • Renti - 1,197
      • Rifao – 1,114
  • 4 schools (3 elementary and 1 secondary schools) with 1,904 students will also benefit in water system.
  • For many years, the Indigenous Peoples get water from unprotected wells and dugs, and would walk long distances to wash clothes, bathe and fetch water for household other needs.
  • For those who are able to pay, they need to set aside at least 50 pesos a day for a gallon of clean water for drinking or 150 pesos to fill up a drum. 
  • These IP communities are mostly difficult to reach due to its geographical location and poor road condition. Thus, water is an expensive resource because they have to pay for someone to bring water directly to households

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