Saturday, May 25, 2019

Proximity to water not an assurance

A BUCKET. Siana Abacajan, 64, of Barangay Maghaway Talisay City, goes home with a bucket of water, her reward for lining up to get water from barrels filled by a fire truck. Abacajan has to do this several times a day as water supply in her area is dwindling. (SunStar photo / Alex Badayos)

FOR some residents who live in an area where a water supply facility is situated, it is ironic to suffer from a water crisis.

This is the case for Michelle Gibao, 28, and for the other residents of Barangay Maghaway, Talisay City, who bear with the daily misery of a water shortage in their place.

“Budget-budget nalang sa tubig. Ang amoang ilaba, amo nalang sab tigumon aron magamit sa CR. Ang iligo sawron aron magamit pa sa lain,” she said. (We budget our use of the water. What we use for laundry, we reuse for the toilet. Shower trimmings, we use for something else.)

It has been almost six months since they started experiencing scarcity of water in their barangay.

“September last year, hinay na. The following months, muagas na siya og kaadlawon, mga alas dos. Ang ending pirmi mi mga walay tulog. Niya karon (March) wala najud hinooy agas, maypa to sa-una kay naa pay kaadlawon,” she said. (Supply was low in September last year. The next months, there would be water, but at about 2 a.m. The result is we would lack sleep. This March, no more water. Not having enough sleep was better than not having water at all.)

Because of this, Maghaway residents have to fetch water, which could cost them up to P100 to P130 per barrel, a few meters away from their house.

“We buy water, we pay for someone to fetch or carry it for us. It’s a struggle,” she said in Cebuano.

Barangay Maghaway is one of the 22 villages in Talisay City, bounded by barangays Tapul and Jaclupan on the North. Barangay Jaclupan is in the city’s watershed area.

It contains the Metropolitan Cebu Water District’s (MCWD) weir dam.

Josefina Bucao, 71, a resident of Barangay Maghaway for almost 17 years, believes this inconvenience is partly due to the mismanagement on the part of Maghaway Water and Sanitation Service Cooperative (Magwassco).

The Magwassco is a water service cooperative that caters to around 400 member-households from barangays Maghaway, Tapol, and Antipolo in Talisay City.

Brad Gerry Abacahan, 52, one of the board of directors, said it started operating last 2001 when the MCWD signed an agreement with the cooperative, granting the latter the rights to operate one of its weirs.

The cooperative is serving too many residents, we can no longer prioritize, Abacahan said.

Gibao said that with the current situation, it is better for the cooperative to turn over water supply operations back to the MCWD.

Abacahan, despite not knowing until when the water crisis will last, said the cooperative is working on providing residents with water tankers soon.

“The water level went down because of the heat. We ask for a little understanding. We are coordinating with the Talisay City Council. I don’t think anyone is happy with the situation,” he said in Cebuano.


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