11 million Filipino families have no access to clean water — NWRB
MANILA, Philippines — Some 11 million Filipino families have no access to clean water and are forced to use unsafe water, an official of the National Water Resources Board (NWRB) said on Monday.
NWRB executive director Dr. Sevillo David Jr. said these families rely on “unprotected” deep wells, springs, rivers, lakes, and rainwater.
“Sa ngayon, halos mga 11 million pamilya pa ang wala pang tinatawag nating access sa malinis na tubig,” he said in a public briefing.
(We have almost 11 million families with no access to clean water.)
“Halos mga unsafe ang mga tubig na kinukuhanan ng mga 11 million na pamilya. Ito ay galing sa mga deep wells, mga spring, mga bukal na hindi protected iyong mga iyan, at mga ilog at mga lawa, kasama na rin iyong mga tubig-ulan,” David added.
(They all use unsafe water from deep wells, springs, rivers, and lakes, including rainwater.)
Another issue with clean water access is that many families are forced to defecate in the open, which carries risks of contamination and diseases, David said.
He said the problem of lack of access to clean water and supply is exacerbated during the dry season.
David said the Philippines has enough supply for now; however, he cited a looming El Niño, according to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa).
“May sapat naman tayong supply. Pero ang sabi kasi ng Pagasa ay mayroon pong nagbabadyang El Niño,” he said.
“Kailangan nating paghandaan ito at baka ito ay makaapekto sa mga water supply natin partikular sa mga sakahan natin,” David added.
(We must prepare for this as it could affect our water supply, particularly in our farms.)
The El Niño phenomenon is characterized by extreme temperature rise with little rainfall, causing droughts.
The NWRB’s remarks came before World Water Day, celebrated every March 22 to raise awareness of the water and sanitation crisis.