An advocacy group on Wednesday assured wider access to clean and safe drinking water for students in Davao City.
Liezel Salera-Manabat, the GiftingLife Philippines country manager, said her group is initially sourcing funds to set up water filtration and refilling centers in six schools in the city and one in Davao del Norte.
“In partnership with the Department of Education in Davao (DepEd-Davao), our group has made it our mission to establish water filtration centers in schools here where learners have difficulty accessing clean drinking water,” Manabat said.
DepEd-Davao has recommended the schools of Antonio Pichon Elementary School, Mudiang Elementary School, Gatungan Elementary School, Pablo Piatos Integrated School, Dr. S. Dakudao National High School, and Cabantian National High School for the “Water For All” project.
While they have completed the first filtration center for the initial batch of schools here, Manabat said another school—Tapayanon Elementary School in far-flung Barangay Gupitan, Davao del Norte—has been selected by their team as a priority beneficiary.
“Sitio Tapayanon is a small community in the highlands of Barangay Gupitan discovered by the military in one of their monitoring activities in the once rebel-infested area of this barangay,” she said.
Manabat said they also partnered with the Mindanao Development Authority, Mindanao Peace Council, JCI Duwaling, LifeStraw, and the Army’s 60th Infantry Battalion in bringing access to drinking water to the sitio.
On June 7, she said their group and partners hosted the turnover of 40 water filtration units to the 11 tribal leaders and 200 families of Tapayanon, an Ata Manobo community.
“Part of the community activity was equipping the 11 tribal leaders on using the water filters, educating them about its capacity to filter microorganisms, as well as hygienic practices to prevent water-borne diseases in the community,” Manabat said.
She said sitio residents will share the 40 filtration units until their group could complete the funding for the remaining 160 units.
“We see the urgent need to turn over the units to the community due to the reports we received about the death of children due to waterborne diseases,” she said. (PNA)