Albay village struggles with water lack | Inquirer News

Albay village struggles with water lack

MALINAO, Philippines—Since tropical storm “Juaning” struck on Tuesday, residents in Barangay (village) Balza here have to bear with the scant water supply for drinking, cooking and cleaning.

With damaged pipelines that cut off their water supply, residents have to rely on a spring in a neighboring village for their basic needs.

Disaster officials said Malinao town, around 32 kilometers north of Legazpi City, is one of the areas in Albay heavily devastated by Juaning. Evacuated at the height of the storm were 34,320 people.


A pedicab driver would fetch the villagers’ containers twice a day and charge them P5 for every gallon of water delivered.


Nelson Boton, 43, a village resident, said they need the water for drinking, cooking, cleaning their houses and washing their rain-soaked clothes and what remained of their home appliances.

“Our houses were submerged with water that almost reached the rooftops, and our things were swept away if not soaked wet by the flood,” Boton said. The floods carried tons of logs, uprooted trees, leaves, wood branches and mud from nearby Mt. Malinao and a river.

Boton said it would take him a while to finish cleaning because he needed to take a break every now and then “or else I would go insane.”

“Besides, the water we have now is only good for drinking and cooking. The cleaning (of the house) can wait,” he added.

Boton was sitting at the waiting shed alongside the national highway, his slippers covered in mud. Behind him were piles of debris carried by the flood.

Troy Aperin, 36, another resident, said a gallon of water was not enough to last the entire day. He said their drinking water now tastes like “boiled egg.” “And we are not even sure if it’s clean.”


“That’s why if there are groups who bring potable water, we are really thankful,” Aperin said.

On Thursday afternoon, the Naval Forces Southern Luzon (Navforsol), through the local government and the Regional Disaster Risk and Reduction Management Council, brought to the village a mobile water purifier.

They gathered water samples from another spring for testing by the Department of Health (DoH).

Lieutenant Darwin Nieva, spokesman of Navforsol’s public affairs office, said that once the DoH approves the water as fit for human consumption, they would go back and supply water to the residents using the purifier.

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He said their priority was to continue with relief operations and supply potable water to affected residents. “We are bringing water to them with help from nongovernment organizations.”

TAGS: Albay, Juaning, Pollution, Regions, storm, water supply

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