SOME 40 houses in an interior sitio of Guisao barangay are now enjoying for the first time potable water from faucets in their homes with the completion of the water system project provided by the Zamboanga Coalition of Development NGOs (ZAMCODE).
The project was inaugurated on July 7 by Zamcode officials headed by its president, Fr. Angel Calvo, and the water system project president, Rev. Pablo Palis. It is located in Sitio Sta. Catalina, which is about one kilometer away from the Maria Clara Lobregat Highway. The system was financed by a fund assistance program of the Peace and Equity Foundation (PEF), which in turn is managed by the Zamboanga City Program Access Center (ZCPAC) through the Western Mindanao State University’s Center for Peace and Development (WMSU-CPD) under Vice-President for Research, Extension and Development Dr. Grace Rebollos.
In his message during the ceremony, Fr. Calvo said the project is the fruit of the cooperation among convenors and members of the Inter-Religious Solidarity Movement for Peace (IRMSP), in which Palis has been an active member and former convenor for the evangelical community of the city. Fr. Calvo said IRMSP in its peace-building mission has targeted the implementation of community development projects in some local barrios, particularly those that have been deprived of basic services for many years. He said that the Guisao project is highly symbolic for this solidarity movement in that water is basic to life.
Dr. Rebollos said the project was technically designed by her WMSU staff and is her center’s concrete demonstration of its peace advocacy. Community development is reaching for peace step by step through the gift of life of water, she told the guests and residents.
Fr. Calvo also pledged to provide resources for the construction of a mosque in the sitio, whose residents consists of evangelicals, Muslims and Catholics.
Palis said some 120 households will eventually be connected to the water system, funded through a loan from PEF in the amount of P887,000.
Water is tapped from a spring by an electric pump and stored in a reservoir, to which the houses’ pipes are connected.
Several WMSU officials, IRMSP members including those of Peace Advocates Zamboanga (PAZ), which is the movement’s secretariat, witnessed the occasion, too.