Tell it to SunStar: Closer look at athletes’ struggles amidst water scarcity

Tell it to SunStar.
Tell it to SunStar.SunStar file photo

By Rosie A. Mendoza

Faculty member, University of the Visayas, Cebu City

One morning, I noticed some young men next to my boarding house with disappointed looks on their faces. Their request for a basic necessity, a restroom, had been denied by a store owner, leaving them in a state of distress. As they reluctantly made their way to the barangay office, I could not help but feel a sense of empathy towards their plight. After asking further questions, I learned that they were athletes who will compete in the games for the Central Visayas Regional Athletic Association, a venue where talented individuals show off their abilities and represent their different schools divisions. These young men, driven by their passion for sports, found themselves facing an unexpected challenge—the lack of access to even the most fundamental amenities.

As I thought about their situation, I could not help but feel helpless. The caretaker of the boarding house was not there, so even if I wanted to help them, I was limited in my ability to give them the help they sorely needed.

Nevertheless, despite the difficulties, there is still hope for the government to act more pro-actively. Water shortage is an urgent problem that needs to be addressed, particularly in areas where there is a lack of access to sanitary facilities and clean water. The provision of basic services is a requirement for local authorities, especially in locations that are frequented by sportsmen and visitors.

The government’s response to this problem should extend beyond mere words to concrete action. Initiatives such as the construction of public restrooms, the installation of water filtration systems, and the implementation of awareness campaign on water conservation can play a pivotal role in addressing the needs of both residents and visitors alike.

Moreover, collaborations with private companies and nonprofit groups can help put sustainable solutions into action, guaranteeing that everyone, regardless of background or situation, has the fundamental right to receive basic services.

Looking back on what had happened that morning, all I could do was wish for a day when no athlete, no person, would have to suffer the humiliation of being denied access to something as simple as a bathroom. I firmly believe that by working together, we can overcome the difficulties caused by the lack of water and build a society that is more inclusive and equitable for future generations.


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