(PAGASA 24-HOUR PUBLIC WEATHER FORECAST as of Wednesday, 24 April 2024) Easterlies affecting the country. Butuan City, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur will experience Partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers or thunderstorms due to Easterlies/Localized Thunderstorms. Possible flash floods or landslides during severe thunderstorms. 𝗙𝗒π—₯π—˜π—–π—”π—¦π—§ π—ͺπ—œπ—‘π—— 𝗔𝗑𝗗 π—–π—’π—”π—¦π—§π—”π—Ÿ π—ͺπ—”π—§π—˜π—₯ π—–π—’π—‘π——π—œπ—§π—œπ—’π—‘: Light to moderate winds coming from East to Southeast will prevail with slight to moderate seas (0.6 to 2.1 meters).

Wednesday, 21 February 2024

‘Water boys’ from Metro Manila to provide safe drinking water to flood survivors in Agusan Sur

By Renelle Escuadro

BUTUAN CITY (PIA) – A 30-man team from the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) arrived here over the weekend to oversee the installation of 60 water purification systems in flood-affected areas in Agusan del Sur to enable people to have access to safe drinking water.

The deployment of the composite team from different MMDA operating units came after President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. promised to immediately provide drinking water to residents affected by the massive flooding in Agusan del Sur.

The lack of potable later was reported by Agusan del Sur Gov. Santiago Cane Jr. to the President during the Feb. 16 situation briefing on the effects of the trough of the low pressure areas in the Caraga region.

Gov. Cane shared, “When I personally visited the flood-affected areas, it’s very ironic because I did not see any source of clean water in the place. Our mayors provided drinking water like bottled water and in jerry cans, and the provincial government did the augmentation.  But the problem is how to sustain the supply of potable water to the communities as flood waters are expected to subside in a month or two.”

The Office of Civil Defense (OCD) Caraga, together with 402nd ‘Stingers’ Brigade, helped in transporting the 60 water purification systems and the MMDA personnel to the province of Agusan del Sur. Photo courtesy of OCD-Caraga.

Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr. of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) recommended the delivery of water purification units available in Manila that can produce 180 gallons per hour.

“These units were also delivered to Davao Region, and we will try to see if we can look for other units and probably transfer unused ones from Davao to Agusan del Sur,” Sec. Abalos said.

The President commended the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) Caraga under Regional Director Lisa Mazo for its proactive effort as the first to deploy two small water purification units to the town of San Luis on February 15 that could produce 60 liters of clean water per hour.

The OCD further led the send-off of the MMDA personnel to the province of Agusan del Sur on February 18, with transportation assistance from the 402nd ‘Stingers’ Brigade, Philippine Army. 

During the Situation Briefing on the Effects of the Trough of the Low Pressure Areas in the Caraga Region in Agusan del Sur, Gov. Santiago Cane Jr. raised the concern of the absence of potable water in the flooded communities to President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and to the cabinet secretaries. Photo courtesy of PCO.

According to MMDA, the water purification system has the capacity to provide 180 gallons of water per hour. The team will conduct water filtration at the water sources in the areas affected by severe flooding to ensure the provision of safe drinking water. They will also stay in the respective locations while the water purification systems are still utilized by the communities. 

The President further instructed the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to work with the supplier of the water purification system and include this essential item in disaster response management.

The trough of Low Pressure Area brought flooding to 204 barangays in the province of Agusan del Sur, affecting 93,391 families and 392,947 individuals, with zero casualties and one missing person. It also resulted in a total damage cost of P297,815,284, including crops, livestock, farm machinery, high-value crop, and fisheries. (RLE/PIA-Caraga)