ARMM-funded water facilities boost regional health thrusts

Health • Sun Jan 15, 2017 06:53 PM  •  376   0
By John Unson
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The newly-accomplished water supply project in Maluso, Basilan of the executive department of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.  (JOHN UNSON)
The newly-accomplished water supply project in Maluso, Basilan of the executive department of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. (JOHN UNSON)
COTABATO CITY  – The government’s campaign against water-borne diseases is now easier to pursue in many Moro areas with newly-built facilities now supplying clean drinking water to thousands of houses.

Physician Kadil Sinolinding, Jr, regional health secretary of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), said on Sunday among these facilities are the new reservoir in Maluso, Basilan and the now functional Sagay-Sagay water supply system in Sulu.

“It is easier now for us and the local government units there to lower cases of water-borne diseases that are so common in areas where people do not have sources of clean water,” Sinolinding said.

The P40 million worth water supply expansion project in Maluso, comprised of a containment structure and costly provisions needed to connect the facility to existing reservoirs of a local water service  utility, was turned over on January 6 by ARMM Gov. Mujiv Hataman to municipal officials.

Maluso Mayor Hanie Bud told via mobile on Sunday he is grateful to the Hataman administration for having bankrolled the project, implemented by ARMM’s Department of Public Works and Highways and the Basilan District Engineering Office (DEO).

“Health problems caused by unsafe drinking water have also been hounding the local government of Maluso,” Bud said.

Bud and Sinolinding separately said they are also thankful to Engineer Soler Undug of the Basilan DEO and his superior, Engineer Don Loong, secretary of the Department of Public Works and Highways-ARMM, for implementing the Maluso water supply project honestly.

“Done according to specifications, completed on time,” Bud said.

Bud said no fewer than 20,000 residents in the municipality stand to benefit from the facility. In the island province of Sulu, thousands of ethnic Tausug villagers have also been benefiting since November 2016 from the Sagay-Sagay water supply facility the ARMM government built for them.

“We are now studying the impact of this facility `health-wise’ to the lives of people in beneficiary-villages,” Sinolinding said.

There were more than a dozen Cholera outbreaks in many parts of ARMM in the past 20 years owing to lack of sources of clean water, something past regional governors failed to address squarely.

The ARMM covers Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur, which are both in mainland Mindanao, and the island provinces of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.

The Sagay-Sagay water supply facility is now providing clean drinking water to agricultural areas in Sulu’s neighboring Talipao, Estino and Panamao towns.
Officials of DPWH-ARMM tested in November 2016 the roadside taps, fashioned from typical hydrants along roads straddling through the villages now supplied with potable water from the P170 million Sagay-Sagay water facility.

Loong, also a civil engineer by profession, said potable water now flow downstream through conduits to agricultural enclaves via gravitational gush from a reservoir near a highland spring in Buntod area in Talipao town.
The Sagay-Sagay water system project spans through 40 kilometers of conduit networks connected to a catchment structure located on a hilly spot 163 meters above sea level, distributing water to villagers via 31 large roadside taps.

Loong and his subordinate-engineers found out that the pressure of the water flowing from the reservoir to the roadside taps was way too forceful than their initial calculations.

“Pressure is high and so good,” Loong said.

The project was also funded by the office of Hataman using allocations from the yearly infrastructure subsidy of the regional government.
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