Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Mercury Drug, PBSP help waterless barangay

Mercury Drug, PBSP help waterless barangay
Manila Bulletin
July 19, 2010

Where a resident reportedly consumes only a little over a bucket (9 to 12 liters) of water per day because of limited access, a potable water system will be installed.

Barangay Lacag in the town of Daraga, Albay, is a remote, upland community where people haul water from a source that is two kilometers away.

A water catchment device and a distribution line that leads to common water stations in the area will be constructed. Residents will also be hired to do the construction so as to provide short-term employment.

Mercury Drug Corporation will fund the water project in the barangay through the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP), of which it is a member-company. PBSP will work closely with ASCODE, an Albay-based NGO.

For eight years, Mercury Drug has been partnering with PBSP in helping waterless communities throughout the country gain access to potable water. They have so far set up water systems in Muntinlupa, La Union, Cagayan, Bohol, Guimaras and Bicol.

The good turnout of the previous projects has encouraged Mercury and PBSP to work in more areas.

In the PBSP-assisted Tinig ng Nagkakaisa Homeowners’ Association in Muntinlupa, for example, the community is able to save much—P350 per household — from its water costs with the system in place.

The homeowners’ association uses the savings for maintenance and even for Christmas grocery packs for each household.

To replicate the success in Tinig and to sustain the project in Albay, PBSP and ASCODE will organize a Barangay Water Sanitation Association (BAWASA) under the Lacag Multipurpose Cooperative.

The barangay-led association will formulate its own payment scheme to cover water consumption and maintenance costs. A population of more than 2,000 will benefit from the project.

The potable water project in Albay is part of PBSP’s newly launched poverty reduction program in the Bicol region.