Impact Assessment of Brgy. Naba
Naba is a coastal barangay in Culasi, Province of Antique in Panay Island. Culasi is just over an hour’s drive to Caticlan, the jump-off point to the world-famous Boracay Island, but it is almost 200 kilometers (more than four hours aboard private transport) from Iloilo City, the economic hub of Panay.
Naba is derived from the name of the banaba trees which were abundant in the area. Banaba (lagerstroemia) is a species of crepe myrtle tree that is native to the Philippines and Southeast Asia. Its leaves have been used for anti-diabetic purposes.
Situated along the national highway, Naba is about six kilometres north of Culasi town proper. It has a population of 1,592 composed of 370 households (as of December 2015 census).
The barangay is composed of two sitios and four puroks (communities), namely Purok 1 (Barangay Proper), Purok 2 (bounded by river south of proper), Purok 3 (Tapikan) and Purok 4 (relocation site one kilometer north of the barangay proper). Only the four puroks are served by the ram pumps, as the two sitios are two far from the source.
How ram pumps found their way to Antique?
Antique’s ram pump story began in 2001 when Boy Lorenzo, a young retired ship captain from Culasi who shifted to agri ventures, sought a way to bring water from a spring to his citrus orchard across a hill. A
friend from Negros referred him to AIDFI and this led to the installation of the first ram pump, privately financed, in Brgy. Camancijan, Culasi, Antique.
(When the impact assessment was conducted in April 2016, a visit to Lorenzo’s site revealed that his ram pump is still functioning after 15 years.)
On the other hand, Naba has an existing water system operated by a government funded electric water pump which draws water from Moro-boro Spring, a source so abundant that it feeds the dam which irrigates the rice fields of Naba. Despite the drought which hit the country in the first half of 2016, the water at the Moro-boro dam was still higher than knee level when the study was conducted in April 2016.The spring’s water has a unique taste and quality, compelling residents to favor it over other drinking water sources. They say the water’s clarity does not change even after a year of being kept in a glass bottle. Farmers also pointed out that their farms are free from the golden kuhol (snail) pest because of the presence of lime in the Moro-boro spring water which irrigates their rice fields.
Moro-boro might have an abundant supply but the water pump’s capacity is not enough for the residents’ needs.
Sometime in 2012, Brgy. Naba Chairman Carlos Belarmino sought the assistance of Lorenzo to solve the water supply shortage in his barangay. Lorenzo facilitated Belarmino’s communication with AIDFI. Construction of the Naba project with Moro-boro as source commenced on the second half of 2013. The installation was almost completed when Typhoon Yolanda struck in November 2013. Water was first delivered to the community a month or two later.
a. Thirty-eight percent (38%) of the 170 respondents are males while females comprise 62%. Average age of respondents is 48.25 years old.
b. More than half have either gone to or finished secondary studies, about one-third have reached or finished elementary studies and 13% have gone to or completed tertiary education..
c. Most respondents (42%) work in the private sector, 32% are self-employed, 10% engage in farming while 14% are non-income earners.
d. The 170 households have 799 members, with three more males (401) than females (398). Each household has an average of 4.7 members.
e. Forty-one percent (41%) of the 799 beneficiaries are aged 20 to 50 years old, children account for 28%, teens comprise 17% while beneficiaries aged more than 50 years old account for 14%.
f. Average daily water needs per household is 128 liters while total daily water needs for the 170 households is about 21,192 liters. Average distance to the water source (river and wells for household needs while river, well and town for drinking needs) is 30 meters (excluding 7 kms distance to town where 35% of respondents used to buy drinking water) while average distance to the tap stands is only 11 meters.
g. Seventy-six percent (76%) of the households fetch water for their needs; 421 members of these households fetch water. Forty seven percent (47%) or 197 water fetchers are males while 53% are females (224).
h. Adults make up the bulk (46%) of people who engage in this laborious chore, followed by teens who make up 23%, children account for 18% while the elderly (more than 50 years old) comprise 13%.
i. Beneficiaries used to spend an average of 68 minutes to fetch water; they now spend an average of 34 minutes to get water. They spend the extra 34 minutes for play (36%), studies (68%), household chores (95%) and income-generating endeavors (55%).
j. Each family spends an average of P670.00 per month for their water needs; now they pay only P30.00 (communal tap stand) or P50.00 (private connection) monthly. This translates to hypothetical savings of more than P600.00 every month which they spend on food (96%), education (77%), shelter (98%) and medicine.
k. Thirty-one families (19% of respondents) reported having suffered from water-borne diseases, mostly diarrhea, during the period prior to project completion. After project completion, no occurrence of any water-borne disease was reported.
l. Almost all (97% to 98%) of the respondents are satisfied that the project has addressed all their household and drinking water needs, that the project positively impacted the health and education of their families, and that the project improved their financial situation, as evidenced by the respondents’ replies on where they
spent the savings from the former high cost of water access.
m. As for payment of the monthly contribution, 81% are confident that they can do so while 14% claim otherwise. Collectors aver that at least 75% pay their obligations on time while the delinquent payors catch up on their payments later.
n. The respondents are unanimous that their community benefitted from the project and 98% wish that other communities can also benefit from the same project.
o. Ninety-nine percent (99%) said that the involvement of the community’s involvement is very important in the successful implementation of the project, that their families participated in the planning and implementation of the project and that the association helped address other needs of the community.
p. Ninety-six percent (96%) believe that their water consumers association helped strengthen the unity and cooperation in the community.
q. Ninety eight percent (98%) profess that the association is operating smoothly and efficiently while all of them said that their families participates actively in the association’s affairs.
r. No leadership training was conducted, as there was already an existing association when the project was introduced.
s. Ninety-six percent (96%) stated that the livelihood training helped their families earn additional income but only three persons have continued making recycled products from plastic wastes.
t. Only 2% of respondents claimed that the project damaged / destroyed the environment but they did not provide any proof; 98% said it did not. Ninety-two percent (92%) said that their families contribute to the protection of the watershed and 98% average that their community works together to protect the water shed area.
u. Ninety-eight percent stated that they practice solid waste management. About two-thirds of the respondents said that they practice organic farming and they are producing and using organic fertilizer. Only 10% of the respondents are engaged in farming and there was a drought when the assessment was conducted.
v. Ninety-nine percent (99%) of respondents believe that the installation is working properly and that the water lines are neatly lined up, that the entire structure can survive earthquakes and floods and that it can function normally for more than five years.
w. Almost all of them (99%) agree that the technician (Kagawad Ronnie Belarmino) is well-trained and well-equipped to solve the operation and maintenance problems of the project.
x. Ninety-two (92%) claimed that the community is willing to help protect and sustain the installation.
y. Sixty percent (60%) mentioned supply (volume and frequency of water delivery) as the most common problem they encounter with the project. Twenty four percent (24%) worry about the volume and continuity of water supply, particularly with the increasing population at the relocation site.
z. Twenty percent (20%) fear that the system might encounter breakdowns and malfunctions. When this happens, they suggest that the barangay and association officials should be informed immediately, that the technician should act promptly on the trouble and, if it is beyond the capacity of the technician, AIDFI should immediately be contacted for assistance.
Based on the foregoing, several conclusions can be drawn:
- The project has tremendously helped the beneficiaries by providing them with readily accessible and clean source of water, particularly for drinking. Most benefitted are approximately 100 households at the relocation site who used to buy drinking water from the town proper 7 kilometers away.
- The convenience and proximity of the water source gave more time for children to study and play, for mothers to perform household chores and for heads of family to engage in income-generating endeavors.
- Residents generate hypothetical savings of at least Php 600.00/month which they spend on food, education, shelter and medicine of their families.
- The project, thru the water filters, has eradicated water-borne diseases.
- The project boosted educational opportunities for the children, giving them more time to study and a little more financial resources to support their studies.
- The beneficiaries are confident about the quality, durability and sustainability of the installation and they are willing to help ensure its continued operation.
- The association needs to address members' concerns on lack of supply, particularly in the relocation site.
- While the participation of the barangay officials in the affairs of the association helps expedite the resolution of the problems, it is ideal that the water association should remain independent of any political affiliation.
The project has made tremendous impact on the socio-economic, health, educational, environmental, communal and institutional aspects of the lives of the beneficiaries, particularly those in the relocation site. It has improved the lives of the more vulnerable sectors of society, particularly the women, the elderly, the teens and the children. Notwithstanding their complaints about the lack of water supply, the residents are truly thankful that they were blessed with the Agos project.