MAASIN CITY, Southern Leyte: Community members of Southern Leyte have taken cooking to the next level with the utilization of fuel made from animal manure, which was realized under the Department of Agrarian Reform’s (DAR) Community-managed Potable Water And Sanitation Hygiene (CPWASH) project.
Residents from the three remote villages of Maasin and the towns of Hinunangan and Tomas Opus are benefiting from the project, according to DAR.
The CPWASH project has for its component the installation of equipment consisting of rainwater collector, an iron removal filter, bio-sand filters, and one biogas digester, according to DAR project coordinator Julius Monge.
“This a new approach to delivering water, energy, health, and sanitation in the countryside by using available resources in the community. We trained the members of the three communities on how to construct and maintain the bio-sand filters and iron removal filters to make water from deep wells potable,” he said.
Monge explained that part and parcel of the project is the biogas digester, a sanitation facility that is capable of converting animal and human waste into cooking gas similar to liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) — an end-product that prompts villagers to put up their own toilets with the digester serving as septic tank.
“The animal wastes are fed and collected in the biogas digester that in turn, produce methane gas through anaerobic digestion,” he added.
After the project was introduced, farming communities in Southern Leyte have stopped using expensive fuel for cooking.
“We no longer buy LPG. Now that we have our own cooking gas, we save around P700 a month,” said Virginia Dueñas, one of the recipients of the project in Barangay (village) Hantag, Maasin City.
Also, the income of the beneficiaries have increased as they are able to raise more pigs. The increased wastes from the pigs serve as organic wastes to produce fuel for cooking.
DAR said CPWASH was conceptualized to install low-cost water supply technology and sanitation systems for safe, clean, and potable water supply for farmers and their families in the community.