• P50M sought to address Cagraray Island water shortage

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    LEGAZPI CITY: Albay Governor Joey Salceda is asking for P50 million from the Department of Interior and Local Government to solve the water shortage on Cagraray Island in Bacacay town.

    Residents of Cagraray Island, specifically those from Cabasan village, hardly get safe drinking water after spring, wells and even rivers dried up due to erratic climate.

    Salceda said the amount he is requesting from DILG, through the Regional Development Council, will be used to develop the existing water source in Barangay Tanagan that can supply potable water to the communities.

    “We are proposing for DILG funding a P50 million worth Level 3 water system to Barangay Tanagan and this can supply all the barangays on Cagraray Island,” Salceda said.

    The Manila Times reported this week the situation on the island, where vast tracks of ricefields have turned barren due to the absence of rain.

    Because of the prolonged dry spell, residents are also worried of water borne diseases which resulted to fatalities in the island a few years back.

    “There has been a perennial water supply problem in Cagraray Island and this problem is being worsened by the worse than projected dry spell experienced by the whole region. These result to longer queuing time to residents,” said Salceda.

    Cagraray Island, which has 26 villages, was declared as an eco-tourism destination during the time of President Fidel V. Ramos. Currently, it is an emerging tourism site where the Misibis Bay Resort and Casino is located.

    In a report to Salceda, provincial health officer Dr. Nathaniel Rempillo said most villages have level 2 water systems which ensure clean and safe water.

    “The water purification machine cannot function in the Cagraray ecosystem because there are no large volumes of water source that can supply the logistical needs of the machine and we cannot distribute safe water because of the geographical location of these barangays,” Rempillo said.

    When Rempillo visited six out of 26 villages on Cagraray Island, he found that Napao’s 407 households have only one functional spring during dry season, Cabasan’s 445 households have Level 2 water sources but some springs have dried up, Pongco’s 253 households have only one developed spring, San Pablo’s 288 households have a water table source is too deep and needs drilling of water source, Busdac’s 262 households have Level 1 and 2 water system and Namanday’s 275 households have one shallow well.

    Rempillo said 1,030 of 6,434 households on the island are directly affected by water shortage.

    Cabasan village chief Roger Barrameda claimed the dry spell is affecting the whole island.

    He cited Tanagan, Cagraray and Cagbulacao villages as possible sources of water but to develop these sources, Barrameda said the government needs P100 million to provide safe drinking water to 35,000 residents.

    Meanwhile, Salceda directed the public health office here to conduct training and information campaign on water sanitation and hygiene to all barangays on the island.

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