Lalin “Yayang” Autida, 26-year-old housewife and a mother of five children is a resident of Purok 4, Barangay Cabulohan, a rural community in the Municipality of Cabanglasan, Bukidnon Province, Northern Mindanao.
Yayang is one of the household beneficiaries of Catholic Relief Services (CRS) – Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) project in their community. Before the project has been implemented, this young mother who was pregnant with her second child then expressed that it was very difficult for her to travel and fetch water from a river which is a kilometer away from her house. Yayang along with her child goes to the river to wash clothes, take a bath and collect drinking water.
In 2013, the Catholic Relief Services closely worked with the local government of Brgy. Cabulohan, Cabanglasan, Bukidnon in establishing a Level II water system to benefit six puroks. The project aimed to support small farming households not only by providing easy access to water to support agricultural livelihood but also to address basic household water needs.
CRS Davao Office initiated the project to address the pressing needs of the community to have access to adequate and safe/potable water through the installation if a reservoir, water impounding and piping system leading to communal stand faucets. Though water is abundant in a landlocked province like Bukidnon, the management of these natural resources left most of the vulnerable groups such as pregnant, young children, persons with disability and elderly more water insecure and had difficulty practicing hygiene behaviors.
Thus, CRS, designed a Community-based Water Resource Management project for a multiple use water services (CBWRM-MUS) targeting 200 poor farming households wherein the community were empowered to take on the ownership of managing the available water resources and facilitate project implementation and sustainability thru the reorganization and institutionalization of the local water association.
The project also includes training and organizational development components to help the beneficiary community manage and sustain a rural water supply system such as Management, Operations and Maintenance Training, Training on Agroforestry to support advocacy on Natural Resource Management supported by the City Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO), Skills Training on Masonry and Plumbing supported by TESDA, Training of Barangay Health Workers on Hygiene Promotion and CLTS and WASH Governance Training.
The community is also a beneficiary of the United States Department of Agriculture – CRS funded Farmer Alliance Strengthening and Marketing (FARM) project implemented in Bukidnon through local NGO partner, Kaanib Foundation, Inc. (KFI). Social mobilization was led by KFI while also providing support to CRS/WASH-led project implementation. The BLGU of Cabulohan led the community organizing all throughout the project cycle.
Photos by Barangay Captain Arnold P. Caluna for CRS.