RESIDENTS of Little Margos village in Tungawan town, Zamboanga Sibugay province will no longer have to walk for two hours to fetch water for drinking.

Their dreams of having potable water right at their doorsteps was realized through the help of the Peace and Equity Foundation (PEF), a non-government organization (NGO) that supports the work of civil society in eradicating poverty and marginalization.

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Ferdinand Enriquez, PEF regional project coordinator for Zamboanga Peninsula, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi (Zambasulta), said the residents of Little Margos villages now have potable water right at their doorsteps.

Enriquez said they have turned over and inaugurated last Thursday a P700,000 water system project for the residents of Little Margos village.

The project was realized through the effort of PEF, which funded the water system project, with the support of the Tungawan town government headed by Mayor Randy Climaco.

Enriquez said the water system project has seven clustered tapstands that are shared by about seventy households or some 420 individuals.

Enriquez said each tapstand is being managed and maintained by the tapstand cluster officers through the supervision of Little Margos Water and Sanitation Association (Limawasa).

The Limawasa was organized to oversee and managed the operations of the water system.

Limawasa president Joel Mission rallied for support among his village-mates to help maintain the project "so it would sustain to serve the community best."

Mission urged the village residents to treat the water system as a "baby".

"As a baby, we have to assure that the project will survive," Mission said, adding proper maintenance and sustainability of the project will require cooperation among them so the project could last until the future generation.

He said they have crafted policies for the water use citing a P20 monthly due will be collected from each of the households for the maintenance of the project.

The water system project in Little Margos is only one of the many projects of PEF aimed at alleviating the living conditions of the people especially the poorest of the poor, Enriquez said.

He said another water system project will be inaugurated next month in Labason, Zamboanga del Norte.

By September, he added, similar water system structure will be turned-over in Maimbung and Indanan towns in the province of Sulu. (Bong Garcia)