by Lucille Isnani/CRS Staff.
Catholic Relief Services’ Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Program officially launched the WASH Governance in Mindanao Project in the municipality of Datu Montawal, Maguindanao Province last October 11, 2016. The project is in partnership with local NGO, Integrated Mindanaons Association of the Natives (IMAN) Inc. who has been a long-standing partner of CRS in their Peacebuilding and Governance Program in Mindanao.
Honorable Mayor Vicman Montawal and Vice-Mayor Ohto Montawal graciously welcomed the one hundred fifteen guests and visitors in their town hall. The event was well represented by municipal and barangay local government officials. Key WASH actors and supporters from various line agencies like Provincial Planning and Development, Department of Education District, Department of Public Works and Highways ARMM and A Single Drop for Safe Water were also present.
Highlights of the project launch is the expression of support and appreciation of CRS and IMAN’s projects in Montawal over the years. Strong partnership messages were imparted by representatives of the barangay, IMAN Director Mike Alon and CRS PGTM Program Manager Dolly Corro.
Mr. Jasmerudin Mangadad, the ABC president of Datu Montawal said “I was uncertain about CRS-IMAN Project in our barangay but I realized the positive impact of the project in our community as we are now empowered and developed.” He affirmed his and his constituents’ commitment to support the project as long as it is also supported by the municipal local government.
Hadja Delia Daniel, the DepEd District Supervisor said that WASH services is a basic and essential need for school children’s learning and development, which until now is an unresolved gap. She hopes that the WASH Governance Project will help them respond to some of these schools issues and it will be fully supported by the department.
Ms. Dolly Corro of CRS emphasized that the success of any project is the direct involvement of all stakeholders at the onset of the implementation. According to her “everyone must be on board for community ownership and sustainability.”
CRS presence in Datu Montawal dates back from 2010 when the Peace Building Program facilitated and capacitated the local government in developing their barangay development plans. It is through this initiative that issues and gaps on water, sanitation and hygiene emerges. Hence, the WASH Governance program was designed to focus on identifying capacity needs of the local government units, Barangay Water Associations (BAWASAs) and schools to commit to and implement effective WASH services.
WASH Governance in Mindanao is to be implemented in Datu Montawal, Maguindanao. The project aims to contribute to the development of improved WASH-related outcomes in targeted conflict-affected and disaster prone communities through sustainable WASH interventions. The project also seeks to effectively integrate WASH service improvements and provision into the governance functions of the municipal and barangay local government units including community-based institutions such as the BAWASAs.
As a finale, Hon. Mayor Vicman Montawal for the LGU, Ms. Lucille Isnani, CRS WASH Program Manager and Mr. Mike Alon for the IMAN representative signed the Memorandum of Understanding. The MOU signifies the acceptance and partnership of the MLGU, CRS and IMAN to deliver WASH Governance in Datu Montawal.
A parallel expression by other stakeholders were also imprinted in the Pledge of Commitment whereby each line agencies, organizations and barangays expressed their counterparts or commitments for the realization of the said project.