(February 10, 2021) In the remote area of Brgy. Palao sa Buto in Datu Paglas, Maguindanao (CAMP RAJAMUDA) people have to buy safe water from the town center (8 kilometers).
Zarima Ulangkaya, a mother of nine shared their struggle in the community for clean water for their families.
The family of Zarima rely on farming as source of income like many of other families in the village.
“We have deep well as source of water for our daily life. But it is not safe for drinking. We have to buy from the town center”, Zarima said.
She added that the water from the deep well can only be used for washing dishes and clothes, and for bathing.
“Sometimes, some water source cannot provide usable liquid because of the high salt content, that does not work for soap or detergents” Zarima told.
For the community, fetching water from the deep well is difficult, but what is harder is the access to safe water.
“One-gallon of clean water costs P15.00, that is good for three days for drinking only. For our family, we can buy three gallons but for others who can only buy one gallon, it is difficult because the transportation cost (P100.00) is more expensive than the water fee”, Zarima explained.
On February 9, 2021, Zarina and the whole community of Brgy. Palao sa Buto may start telling better stories of their access to safe water. The barangay has officially received a solar-powered water system project through the Mindanao Trust Fund- Reconstruction and Development Project Phase II (MTF-RDP/2).
The turnover ceremony was held on the said day that marked the official acceptance of the People’ Organization in the barangay on the responsibility over the management and operation of the project.
Women involvement in camps development project is highly regarded as the MTF-RDP/2 employs community-driven development (CDD), where participation of all sectors in the community is encouraged for consultative and inclusive project approach that is helpful in promoting ownership, transparency, accountability and sustainability.
In 2019, 52% of the over 50, 000 total number of beneficiaries across the six major camps are women.
The Bangsamoro Development Agency (BDA Inc.) as project implementing unit of the MTF-RDP/2 reported that quality, safety and compliance of the project implementation of water system are considered taking into account the agreed standards and policies of the World Bank- the fund administrator of the Mindanao Trust Fund (MTF).
Selection of the project was decided based on the series of consultations and meetings with the various stakeholders and the Task Forces on Camps Transformation (TFCT- MILF), who are combatants selected to undergo capacity building to transition their mindset from conflict to development.
MTF-RDP/2 was agreed in 2018, with the common aspiration to sustain the momentum of the peace process between the GPH-MILF, this time focus on the six previously acknowledged major camps of the MILF as informed by the Normalization Annex of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB).
The project was building on the 10 years of experience of community- driven development (CDD), the Phase I of the MTFRDP (2006-2017).
It now covers selected villages in the six major camps of the MILF (Abubakar, Badre, Bilal, Bushra, Omar and Rajamuda).
In its development plan launched recently, BARMM reported that in 2018, 55% of households in ARMM have access to safe drinking w