Haduan Water - The Final Chapter

After an initial visit over 4 years ago, a generous donation by some unselfish Rotarians, overseas trips and a matching grant, some Aeta's (natives of the Philippines) now have year round drinking water.
This article is an email from PP Sonny, of the Rotary Club of Dau, the recipient club for the matching grant.

The Rotary Club of Dau is fortunate enough have a strong club relationship with the Rotary Club of Port Pirie.
The relationship started way back in RY 1992-1993, during the incumbency of PP William So, as club President.
As a charter member of RC Dau, I have witnessed all the contributions and tangible projects that were made jointly by both clubs. Several projects were accomplished that have benefited thousands of people in the community.

                                                                          Haduan village is located in the western part of Angeles City (Clarkfield).It is accessible only through a long hanging bridge during rainy days connected from both banks of the Sacobia river.  During the dry season it is also passable through the river-bed when the water is about a knee deep. It is inhabited by 130 families of approximately 780 individuals. The main source of income is farming root crops and bananas which they sell to market or at the Duty Free Shops at Clarkfield

For the tribal settlers of Haduan Village, water is like gold, for there is no available water on top of the mountain. To get the water one must be strong enough carry several containers of water from the stream that is more than 1 kilometer downhill, trekking the steep mountain slopes for their daily needs. The Aetas have to bathe themselves and do their laundry in the river (if they wanted to) as well. They have to dig a hole near the river in order to get their water for drinking which was found to be unsafe and unsanitary.  Children often suffer from diarrhea because of this system.

The Discovery. . . .
                               In one of the visits of PP Owen Crocker, PP Andy Hern, PP Bob Ward, PP Trevor Werfel and other Rotary members from Port Pirie, and other members of RC Dau, they found time in visiting several Barangays and other poor communities in the locality and other areas. After visitations and weighing the community needs they found out and confirmed that Haduan village is the most neglected community in the locality. Residents possess a very poor environment, having no single toilet, no water system, no safe water to drink, and children suffer from malnutrition.  Since then, constant contact with PP Andy and PP Owen through emails was made to provide or assist the residents in Haduan village.

This issue became a big concern for Rotary Club of Dau and Rotary Club of Port Pirie. Poor quality water has an adverse effect on the mental and physical development of human beings, especially among children. We should introduce better standards of drinking water to communities where people are drinking poor water. Millions of people around the world die from water related illness, and as Rotarians we can do our share for others to survive.

At the time of another visit to Haduan Village we had a chance to talk with, and interviewed their chieftain Fernando Mallari. We discussed the mater with him regarding their priority needs in the village and he said in a strong voice . . . 

"We asked God to bring the spring up in our village for more than a decade and our Dream was not answered - maybe you were sent by God to fulfill it.  We hope you can share this DREAM for us."

Touched by his words, we Rotarians told him that we will do our best to "MAKE THAT DREAMS REAL". Once home I immediately send an email to PP Andy and informed the progress of our visit and he promised that he will come and  revisit Haduan village  together with an engineer to personally assess the project site.

Since then, constant communications were made between both clubs, and in March PP Andy and PP Bryant Chivell and spouse Gerry have arrived for several good reasons, to tighten up binding of both clubs, to observe the vocational sewing machine project, and see for themselves the real score of the project.

THE REVISITATION . .. . . . . .
                                                    This time, PP's Andy and Bryant, Pres. Bobot, Sonny, Benny, Mario, Rommel, Engineer Mike, and other members of RC Dau, trekked the steep slopes of the mountain heading to the indigenous village of Haduan. We were met by their chieftain, Fernando Mallari and other members of his tribe. Fernando is in his early 70's, and has a black and white curly hair. He can walk faster than anybody of us, and he can jump like a kangaroo. The group took a 45 minutes rest up in Haduan village to catch up with our breath after a tiring walk, then took another walk downhill to climb up another mountain heading to the main spring. The tribe people seem never to get tired at all, while we gasp for our breath while climbing up the slopes.

Anyway, our trip was very rewarding, we were able to identify the exact location of the spring, the elevation, type of terrain, rate of water supply of the spring, the distance between the spring and the village, and the testing and treatment requirements for the water preparations.

That night, a meeting between both clubs took place. Engineer Mike Gumabon presented to the body the plan of the project, the cost and timetable it will take. Engineer Mike mentioned that the plan was base on Philippine standard. After exchange of ideas, the committee approved of the plan, was told by PP Sonny to prepare for the Contract Agreement.

In May 2008, RC Dau received the communication from Rotary International that Matching Grant no. 67452 for Water Project, the grant was further matched by District 9500 South Australia with a total amount of AUD 10,450.00.

THE WATER DRIPS ON . . . . . . . .
                                                       RC Dau, finally received the amount in late September and immediately started the project. Mike Gumabon took charge of the project including purchase of materials needed, and cost of labor. Members of RC Dau, headed by PP Sonny PP Benny, Pres. Ronald, and other club members monitored the construction of the project. During the monitoring, materials like cement, round bars, hollow blocks, gravel, sand, flexible hoses, etc. have to be carried manually by the workers, up in the village and to the spring or source of water. The job was not easy, but we were able to accomplish it without any problems or delay. The project was finally accomplished in the later part of November 2008

Worried about the maintenance of the water system, PP Benny and I approached the local water district and asked the General Manager, Francis Dimaliwat to take over supervision and maintenance of the water system. They agreed to offer their services for free.

The turnover ceremonies on December 4th to the Mabalacat Water District were witnessed by Rotarian John Ward of RC Port Pirie, and took place in Haduan village. The RC Dau hosted lechon (roasted pig) and other foods during the celebration. It was a great day for all of us. Fernando Mallari said "It was the greatest gift ever, that we have longed for years.

Finally, ‘DREAMS WAS MADE REAL ' thanks to ROTARY, for it has given us hope . . . . .."