Kids of the beneficiaries getting a taste of clean, potable water for the first time!
The collective efforts of SUBICWATER, Xylem Watermark, and Planet Water Foundation has made life brighter for nine indigenous families in the far-flung village of Mampueng in Old Cabalan.
The ‘Aqua Home’ is a solar kit composed of solar panels that capture energy from the sun, a battery pack to store the electricity, LED lights, and a household water purification system that makes the available water in the village safe for drinking.
Actual installation of the Aqua Homes took three days in total— three households each day— with about 20 volunteers which came from as far as Laguna ensuring that the solar kit is installed correctly and on time.
Bringing in all the manpower and equipment to Sitio Mampueng was no easy feat. Vehicles needed to traverse three crossings along the Sta. Rita River, and teams climbed steep hills to reach the target beneficiaries. Thankfully, the Mampueng people did not hesitate to help out and carried some of the supplies themselves up to their community.
As the volunteers and supplies reached Sitio Mampueng, the beneficiaries were briefed about the project, as well as about the benefits of having lights and clean water in their households. They were then taught proper sanitation practices so as to prevent them from acquiring diseases such as typhoid fever, dysentery, and cholera, among others.
Following the Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) lecture with the Mampueng families, the volunteers were divided into two teams— the water team, and the electrical team. The water team was tasked to install the water pumps and filters for the homes, while the electrical team was in charge of setting up the solar panels, power supply box, and lighting fixtures.
Two units of 50-watt solar panels, enough to power five units of five-watt LED lights and the water filtration equipment, were installed per household. The panels were installed right beside the homes, mounted on top of 10-foot poles to maximize the available sunlight.
Meanwhile, 12-volt water filters and pumps were installed in the kitchen areas of the families’ homes. Each pump was attached by hose to a fifty liter plastic drum, which contained raw water from spring sources. From the drum, water was pumped to the filter, and then directed to a smaller container which dispensed the potable water for the household.
The project’s beneficiaries were truly delighted with the results.
“Ang ibinahagi po sa aming biyaya ay talagang nagbigay-liwanag, hindi lamang sa aming tahanan, kundi pati na rin sa aming kinabukasan,” said Jonathan, whose surname, surprisingly, is ‘Liwanag’ or light.
Seeing the warm reception of the community towards the Aqua Home project, more solar kits are being planned to be provided this 2019.
The volunteers of the project (From SUBICWATER, Planet Water and Xylem Watermark)
The volunteers assembling the solar panels for one of the homes
The volunteers installing a solar panel for one of the nine families
The volunteers with one of the beneficiary families, after completing the installation of the solar panel and water pump