FLORIDABLANCA -- Lita Abke, 58, would navigate down a narrow pathway leading to a nearby spring to fetch whatever amount of water her frail body could carry on two small buckets before hiking back to her home in Sitio Camachile in Barangay Nabuclod in Floridablanca town.
For most of the 251 families (roughly 1,000 individuals), mostly Aetas, access to sustainable and clean sources of water had been difficult for many years. While they are used to living with minimum necessities in their mountainous community, access to clean water during the summer and rainy seasons has been very difficult.
The community’s need was addressed by a simple technological solution through a collaborative project between the Don Honorio Ventura State University (DHVSU) based in Bacolor, Pampanga and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) in Central Luzon, in cooperation with the local government of Floridablanca.
A hydraulic ram pump was recently installed in the community. The Hydram, as the pump is called, is an automatic device that utilizes the energy from flowing water such as a spring, stream or river to pump water to a height above its source.
It uses a self-sustaining mechanism that pushes an average water discharge of 22 liters per minute and a multi-media filtration system that uses activated carbon, pebbles, coarse sand, and fine sand.
It was developed through a research project conducted by Engineer Inla Diana Salonga of the DHVSU research, development and extension office.
As an offshoot of the project, the local government unit of Floridablanca through the office of Mayor of Darwin Manalansan is now working with DOST-Central Luzon through its Pampanga provincial office to study the possibility of having the water pumped directly into the residents’ houses.
During the turnover rites, Dr. Julius Caesar V. Sica, of DOST-Central Luzon directed Michelle Quiambao, DOST-Pampanga provincial director to finalize plans to provide gardening tools for the establishment of backyard vegetable gardens in the community.
“Now that you have a readily available source of water, you can now grow vegetables to supplement your diet and also as a source of additional income,” Sicat added.
Lito Apang, the IP Kagawad coordinator for the project said, “Malaking tulong po ito sa aming komunidad at makaka-asa po kayong iingatan po namin ito.”
The project was implemented under the DOST expanded Community Empowerment through Science and Technology program.