Water transforms lives of BoholanosCebu Daily News
Water is an indispensable commodity. Without water, life would really be unbearable.
In his mid-forties – being the barangay captain of Panghagban, the most mountainous and farthest barangay of Buenavista, Bohol – Samuel Aparise had experienced how it is to live without water and how it has shattered the lives of the people in their community.
“It was very hard not having our own water supply. We had to walk 1.5 kilometers to fetch water for our daily needs,” Aparise said. He related how he reprimanded his kids when they wasted even just a drop.
“Not having water had made almost everyone in the community impatient and hot-tempered.” He described that those living near their barangay’s basketball court would hide their water containers so that those playing basketball cannot ask for a drink. Selfishness prevailed in the community.
Then, Kalahi-CIDSS came.
“The Kalahi-CIDSS brought great change in our barangay, not only due to the water system project, but also and, most importantly, through the barangay assemblies that have empowered even the poorest of the poor in our community,” Aparise shared.
The Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan – Comprehensive Integrated Delivery of Social Service (Kalahi-CIDSS) was implemented in Buenavista, Bohol, in 2004, and ended in December 2008.
Barangay Panghagban has benefited from the P1.9 million worth of water system project covering 70 households.
“We can get water now any time of the day.” Gone are the days when children can only take a bath once or twice a week.
“Our kids now take a bath daily,” said Aparise. “Our water system is now abundant, and we are even sharing with sitio Bunga and our neighbor barangay,” he added.
Through the water supply, Panghagban’s revenue has increased as many families had engaged in income-generating projects, such as backyard gardening and piggery.
Aparise said they have formed a water association to manage the water project. “We hold monthly meetings to discuss financial aspects and other sustainability concerns. We cannot afford to lose our water supply, so we are doing our best to maintain it.”
A 48-year-old volunteer Merlin Sepulveda said she conquered shyness after being assigned with a lot of responsibilities. “I have learned how to make project proposals and process documents—the things I did not learn in school. Because of Kalahi-CIDSS, I am able to boost my self-confidence,” she said.
“Kalahi-CIDSS is not just water,” said another volunteer. Kalahi-CIDSS has brought cool change that definitely made the people of barangay Panghagban bask under the sun with sheer delight. /Simeon Remata III