LEGAZPI CITY: About 2.5 million Filipinos don’t have access to safe drinking water. Of this number, 187,673 are residents of Masbate, Albay and Camarines Sur.
These alarming figures come from “Listahanan” or the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DWSD).
DSWD Regional Director Arnel Garcia said that 30 percent of more than 5 million Bicolanos, especially those in Masbate, get water from deep wells. He fears that this could lead to unsanitary practices and sickness.
“This is the problem of 187, 673 poor Bicolanos. Water is one of the most important substances on earth. It is a lifeline that bathes and feeds us. Having safe drinking water is essential to humans and other life forms,” Garcia said.
The Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS) is working hard to solve this problem. To date, it has served 260 barangays across the region by giving them potable water facilities.
The Kalahi-CIDSS is a poverty alleviation component of the DSWD that strongly advocates community involvement in the design and implementation of its projects.
The Philippines is not the only country that lacks clean water. The United NationsWorld Water Development Report 2014 said that many people worldwide still lack access to safe drinking water. This put them at risk for waterborne diseases like diarrhea.