Tacloban resettlement areas still struggle with access to clean water

Tacloban resettlement areas still struggle with access to clean water

Despite efforts to improve water supply in Tacloban's resettlement areas, some residents continue to face challenges with access to clean water. Photo: Raffy A./Facebook

TACLOBAN CITY – Residents in Guadalupe Phase 3, Tacloban, continue to face significant challenges due to the persistent lack of water supply in their homes, even years after settling there. One resident we spoke to, who goes by the name "Orlando," revealed that they have been living in the area since 2018 and have had to depend on nearby wells with jetmatic pumps as their primary water source.

Regrettably, these wells sometimes dry up, leaving them with no choice but to travel to the neighboring Guadalupe Phase 2 to fetch water. However, he stopped doing so after officials from a Homeowners Association began imposing fees for water collection.

As a result, Orlando and other residents have been enduring the inconvenience and unpleasant odors of using alternative wells.

Orlando shed light on the hardships of life in the resettlement area, primarily due to its considerable distance from the city center. Transportation alone takes a toll on their daily expenses, with tricycle rides costing ten pesos and mini-bus fares requiring thirty pesos.

Orlando also shared that to ensure access to safe drinking water, they regularly purchase one-gallon bottles of mineral water, costing around 25 pesos for each refill. Their expenses for drinkable water alone can amount to more than 300 pesos in a month.

While the government has taken measures to address the water supply issue, such as sending water in tanks, more is needed to meet the residents' needs. Major water concessionaires like PrimeWater have yet to extend their services to this area, leaving the residents anticipating updates on when these companies will provide water services.

In 2017, Former President Rodrigo Duterte assigned the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) the task of establishing a permanent and suitable resettlement area for the victims of Typhoon Yolanda. In response, the DPWH installed water tanks and jetmatic pumps in various resettlement sites, including Tacloban's North Resettlement Site.

Despite these efforts, the problem of water shortage persists in Guadalupe Phase 3 and other resettlement areas. The ongoing struggle in these resettlement areas demands further attention and comprehensive solutions to ensure a steady and sufficient water supply for all residents.

This situation reflects a global issue highlighted by UNICEF. The international organization reports that a staggering 844 million people worldwide still lack access to safe drinking water, while an alarming 2.3 billion people are without basic sanitation facilities like latrines.

UNICEF further emphasizes the devastating consequences of contaminated water and inadequate sanitation, with children under five being the most vulnerable. Regrettably, these circumstances remain among the leading causes of death for young children worldwide.

While efforts have been made by the government to install water tanks and jetmatic pumps in Tacloban's resettlement areas, the statistics provided by UNICEF serve as a reminder that the global water crisis persists, impacting millions of lives and underscoring the importance of sustained efforts to address this issue. —iTacloban

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