Tuesday Aug, 09 2022 10:02:39 AM

Tawi-Tawi folks enjoy safe drinking water via BARMM’s desalination machines

BANGSAMORO NEWS UPDATES • 20:45 PM Wed Jun 15, 2022
Locals haul safe drinking water from desalination machines provided by BARMM for Tawi-Tawi folks. (FC)

Tawi-Tawi folks enjoy safe drinking water via BARMM’s desalination machines Ferdinandh Cabrera BONGAO, Tawi-Tawi – What was impossible then is now possible in this province as far as potable drinking water is concerned.

Various island communities in this province and in Sulu inhabited by Tausug and Sama-Bajau people, respectively are now enjoying safe drinking water through the Bangsamoro region’s efforts.

Thanks to the desalination project of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) through a machine that converts sea water into safe drinking water.

Minister Naguib Sinarimbo of the Ministry of the Interior and Local Government (MILG) said at least 14 desalination machines have been put up in the two island provinces.

Costing about PHP20 million each, the desalination machines have an output capacity of 22,000 liters of water per day and can operate for 8-10 hours.

“Digging for wells in those areas was not an option since municipalities are surrounded by sea,” Sinarimbo said during its launching last year.

Locals were overly elated by this project.

Harma Laguib Madong of Hadji Panglima Tahil town in Sulu, said she used to spend huge amount to travel by boat to nearby town to buy drinking water.

“I spent more than P50 per day for bottled distilled water,” she said. “Now that we have this machine, our drinking water is safe and free, a relief for me who is only a seaweed farmer,” Madong added in the vernacular.

In South Ubian, Tawi-Tawi, residents rely mainly on rains for drinking water. A burden for locals who need to travel to nearby municipalities to secure drinking water.

“The cost and the time make like difficult for us,” said a resident of South Ubian. “For those who owned motorboats they can have unlimited drinking water, for us with no fixed income, securing safe water is not easy,” he added.

Some were forced to take sea water as drinking water. Not anymore with the desalination machines in their midst thanks to Bangsamoro government.

“If it rains, people here are happy until the rain is over,” said Mayor Hadzri Matba of South Ubian.

“Actually, when Minister Siarimbo visited us last year, he boosted our morale, at least we have a regional government that we can rely on,” he said.

Over the weekend, BARMM officials, led by Minister Sinarimbo, conducted ground breaking ceremonies for various development projects in island municipalities as it prepare for the expected influx of local and foreign tourists with the opening of PAL Cotabato-Tawi-Tawi direct flights twice weekly.

“The people of Tawi-Tawi now have high hopes their needs are attended to by the regional government,” Sinarimbo said.

“We are taking extra steps to accommodate all their requests that legitimately coming from them, that’s their need and we cannot refuse that because BARMM exists for the Bangsamoro,” Sinarimbo said in the vernacular.

All in all, BARMM was able to put up 14 desalination centers across the island provinces of Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.

Sinarimbo said BARMM eyes to provide safe drinking water to Tawi-Tawi’s 440,276 inhabitants and Sulu’s 1,000,108 people. (Ferdinandh Cabrera)

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