RESIDENTS of Sitio Sawsawan in Barangay San Roque, Talisay City, Cebu will now enjoy affordable and potable water from Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD) after a water network was recently installed by E&V Tubig Pag-Asa Inc., a local social business created by the French non-governmental organization (NGO) Eau et Vie.

An inauguration ceremony was recently held to mark the operation of the water network.

Talisay City Mayor Gerald Anthony “Samsam” Gullas Jr. showed his support by attending the event together with the San Roque barangay officials. French Embassy representative Jean Jacques Forté also graced the ceremony.

The water supply project is part of the efforts of the Water Supply Cebu (WatSup) Cebu, a five-year pro-poor water supply project of MCWD and Vitens Evides International (VEI) that started in 2015. The project aims to provide 80,000 people access to water supply in areas that are unserved by MCWD.

Other partners of the project are Eau et Vie, through its Filipino social enterprise E&V Tubig Pag-Asa, the Netherlands Red Cross and Cebu City Government.

The project has P376 million funds, of which 55 percent or P208 million comes from the Netherlands Enterprise Agency, P112 million from MCWD, P38.5 million from VEI, P15 million from the Dutch Red Cross and more than P1 million from E&V Tubig Pag-Asa.

E&V Tubig Pag-Asa has built the water network in the area and connected it to MCWD’s pipeline to distribute the water to each house and provide all the associated services: meter reading, collection of payments, maintenance and network security.

The collection of the payments is done door to door, according to the consumption only and the beneficiaries from Sitio Sawsawan can pay the service connection fees on installment every day to E&V Tubig Pag-Asa.

Gullas hopes the residents will give importance to hygiene and sanitation now that water is already available in the area.

“If there is water, it is our responsibility to make our surroundings clean because if not, this will be the cause of diseases. We should be thankful we now have water,” he said.

E&V Tubig Pag-Asa’s counterpart Water and Life Philippines, a local NGO, is responsible for providing training on fire prevention and firefighting, hygiene awareness, sanitation, solid waste management and community reinforcement to beneficiaries of WatSup Cebu.