By Nappy R. Manegdeg
At least 800 households of Brgy. General Luna, Carranglan municipality in northern Nueva Ecija are now benefiting from a new water system installed in the area.
Nestled at the foot of the Sierra Madre mountain range, Brgy. General Luna, considered an upland barangay, is surrounded by mountains. Its rice fields are irrigated by a number of communal irrigation systems, whose source are the watersheds around it. Privately-owned artesian wells and a few communal pitcher pumps are the main sources of potable water for the residents of General Luna. However, water for domestic use is difficult during the summer months.
Partnership for water
PRRM, in partnership with the Coca-Cola Foundation Philippines, Inc. (CCFI), installed the Level 2 water system composed of an intake dam, a 2.5 x 2.5 x 2.5 cubic meter distribution tank, a three-kilometer pipeline from the intake dam to the distribution tank, and five kilometers of distribution pipeline from the distribution tank to the household clusters. This was turned over to the community residents through the General Luna Water Spring Association [GLUWASA] on 28 November 2014 in simple handover rites.
In the turnover ceremonies, PRRM President, Gani Serrano, emphasized that access to water, as a basic right, should be enjoyed by rural communities. Ms. Cecile Alcantara, CCFI President, explained that supporting the project was a way to “safely return to nature and to communities an amount of water equal to what is used in Coca Cola beverages and their production”.
Officials of the municipal and barangay local government units were present in the turnover program. They expressed that they will continue to support the project by helping GLUWASA in the maintenance of the water system.
Benefits to women and children
Margarita Gabriel, a longtime resident of General Luna, said that households like hers can do more today than in the past because of the water project. Mothers and grandmothers like her can do their laundry in shorter time, making more time for other livelihood or recreational activities. Also, their children and grandchildren do not have to walk far to fetch water as water tap stands are strategically located within household clusters.