GENERAL SANTOS CITY – More indigenous people (IP) families in South Cotabato will soon have access to potable water through an innovative project supported by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).
Sammy Malawan, director of DOST-Region 12 (Soccsksargen), said Friday over 700 households are expected to directly benefit from the hydraulic ram pumps that will be put up in the coming days in two barangays in Lake Sebu and Tboli towns.
He said the target beneficiaries increased from the initial 150 households following a series of site visits and assessments.
The official said three sitios (zones) in Barangay Ned, Lake Sebu and two in Barangay Laconon, Tboli will receive the ram pumps.
Malawan said they approved the project’s implementation in a meeting early this week with representatives from the office of South Cotabato Second District Representative and Deputy Speaker Ferdinand Hernandez.
The congressional office and the Army’s 5th Special Forces Battalion pushed for its rollout in line with President Rodrigo Duterte’s Executive Order No. 70 or the “whole-of-nation” approach to end local communist armed conflict.
The official said the projects are part of their commitment to bring its science and technology services to the less privileged and “most in need” residents in the isolated areas.
“This is our humble response to their clamor of having potable water that is accessible to all,” Malawan said in a statement.
During the inspections, he said their teams identified the water sources in the five sitios that will be connected to the ram pumps.
He said these will provide sustainable potable water to over 700 residents of Sitio Blit, 150 in Lamdel, and around 100 more in Bago, Barangay Ned, Lake Sebu.
It will benefit 150 households in Sitio Desikit and an additional 300 in Lamleting, Barangay Laconon in T’boli, South Cotabato.
“The identified sitios have been struggling for potable water for several years based on our assessment,” Malawan said.
He said a hydraulic ram pump is a device invented many years back that can pump and filter water uphill with no other external source of power except for the water flowing into it.
The DOST developed its ram pump design through the Science Technology Aqua Ram Pump or STARP project. (PNA)