OFFICIALS from the Consulate General of Japan in Davao, led by Consul General Yoshihisa Ishikawa and Vice Consul Rie Mitsuhashi, as well as Third Secretary Yumi Yamada from the Embassy of Japan, attended the handover ceremony of the “Draft construction of a level II water supply system”. -Supply System in Barangay Kablon, Municipality of Tupi, Province of South Cotabato” on July 20, with local executives honoring the event.
Approved in 2018, the project is part of Japan’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) through the Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP) Assistance Grant, and is also linked to the efforts of the embassy and consul general to support peace and development. in Mindanao as part of the Japan-Bangsamoro Initiatives for Reconstruction and Development, or J-BIRD program.
Due to budgetary constraints, the installation of water supply systems in South Cotabato has yet to materialize in many areas where residents do not have access to safe drinking water. Tupi had one of the lowest drinking water access rates in the province.
The Embassy shared that in several sites in Barangay Kablon it takes up to 2 hours to fetch water on foot and the water, that the time it takes to walk makes the water unsuitable for consumption. As a result, around 10 percent of the inhabitants suffer from illnesses such as diarrhea and skin diseases each year, which can generally be attributed to the consumption of unsanitary water.
To solve the problem, the Japanese Embassy provided a grant of $75,149, or about 4 million pesos, to the provincial government of South Cotabato. The grant covered the construction of a Tier II water system in three Site (s at Kablon.
Ishikawa hopes residents are now freed from the worries of contracting waterborne diseases, as well as the physical burden and time spent fetching water from a distance. It anticipates future community development in the areas, as residents can now devote their time to more productive pursuits.
As the largest ODA donor to the Philippines, the Japanese government launched the GGP program in 1989 to alleviate poverty and help diverse communities engage in basic activities. Currently, 553 grassroots projects have been implemented within this framework. Japan is confident that these projects will strengthen its friendship and help maintain strategic partnerships with the Philippines.
Image credits: Embassy of Japan