By BCBP CdO Communications Ministry
“If one of your kindred is in need in any community in the land which the Lord, your God, is giving you, you shall not harden your heart nor close your hand against your kin who is in need.” — Deuteronomy 15: 7
Clean drinking water is one of man’s most basic needs. Yet in this era of modern technology and almost “unli” everything, there are places in the country that still lack access to clean water. An example of this is Sitio Magayad in Barangay Tignapoloan, Cagayan de Oro City where more than 400 Lumads or indigenous people live.
This remote sitio will now have a source of clean drinking water, thanks to the efforts of the BCBP Cagayan de Oro East in cooperation with the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart from Australia.
A groundbreaking ceremony officially marked the start of the Clean Water Project last October 11, 2018. Members of the BCBP CdO East trooped to the sitio to witness the event, which will eventually give access to clean water for 78 Lumad households residing in the area.
For the past three years, the BCBP CdO East has been visiting Sitio Magayad for medical missions and giving of Christmas gifts to its residents. During such visits, one of the things the BCBP members noticed was the lack of safe and clean water source in the area.
Residents of Sitio Magayad would simply fetch water from different open springs, a difficult task as they have to walk for long distances back and forth every day. The springs are exposed to the elements, thus residents are vulnerable to health issues from water-borne diseases.
The opportunity to help the residents came about when BCBP CdO Mission Director Jensen Jimenez was able to get in touch with Australia-based Missionaries of the Sacred Heart. The missionaries agreed to provide P350,000 to construct two holding tanks. The holding tanks, one from the source and another at the center of the sitio, would use gravity to be able to bring water to the sitio.
BCBP CdO East provided a counterpart of P114,000 for the purchase of pipes and other expenses. The residents themselves were hired to provide the labour needed.
Now underway, the project is being supervised by by BCBP CdO East’s Programs and Services Director Tonyboy Fernandez with Alvin Benedicto as Project Manager. Representing the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart are Fr. Richie Gomez, MSH and Fr. Joel Bonza, MSH. It is expected to be completed by next month.
Trusting God’s gentle nudge has led the BCBP CdO East to this worthwhile endeavor. The chapter discovered Sitio Magayad in March 2016, when the Lumads helped rescue a BCBP CdO East member who fell into a 20-foot ravine during an ATV misadventure in the mountains in between Dansolihon and Tignapoloan.
To show gratitude to his rescuers, BCBP CdO East Chapter Head Bobby Cabrera organized a Christmas gift-giving activity that year, and the chapter has from then on returned to the sitio for regular projects. The Clean Water Project is BCBP CDO East chapter’s undertaking to help the Lumads in a more viable and sustainable way.
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