THE University of the Cordilleras (UC) through its community arm, Project HELEN, with the assistance of Elder and Sister McClure of the Latter-Day Saints Charities-Philippines (LDSC) with the Department of Education (DepEd) – Baguio have signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to provide communities with clean water sources, improved sanitation facilities, and proper hygiene training of school children through the giving of a “Day One Response Water Filtration Bag”.
UC is set to give the filtration bags to 26 schools for both in elementary and secondary identified by DepEd Baguio on February 14.
Dr. Leonarda Aguinalde of UC Project HELEN said the filtration bags will help communities have a potable and safe drinking water.
The filtration bag is capable of purifying contaminated into safe for drinking water in 30 minutes. The 10-liter water backpack uses a water treatment packet that contains ferric sulfate and calcium hypochlorite which are known to be an effective coagulant and disinfectant, respectively.
The technology is able to eliminate turbidity, chlorine-resistant parasites, viruses, bacteria, and pollutants.
In a trial, UC took the initiative to test the water filtration bags by subjecting water samples from the Bued River to laboratory testing which yielded positive for total and fecal coliforms. Using the same water samples that have gone through the filtration bag, results showed the bags were effective in eliminating contaminants testing negative to the same coliforms.
“Surely the bags will go to the beneficiaries. Surely we will have a lot of children who will benefit since water is a need where not everybody can afford potable water,” DepEd Baguio Superintendent Atty. Agustin Laban III said.
The LDSC have provided 392 units of the Day One Response Water Filtration Bag and 136 boxes of P&G water treatment packets totaling to an estimated value of $20,320.
The World Health Organization (WHO) reports an estimated 502,000 diarrheal deaths each year. This number attributed to the ingestion of contaminated drinking water that continues to affect various parts of the world due to poor access to potable water.