As per our usual practice of the Foundation, prior to the actual day of a mission, an advance team member is sent to the villages where the health care mission is to be done to scout the area, announce the up coming health care mission, and determine what equipment and supplies other than those that had to do with direct health care are needed, and check the availability of water and power. After which, he sends a report
For the planned October 7-8, 2016 mission in Dumarao, Capiz, the report was heart breaking. The villagers have no source of clean water! They simply rely on a brook that runs by the village.
It was no surprise that water maybe tough to get in the mountainous area of the Ati people, but to actually find out that they do not have a source of potable water at all is just too much to bear.
“The water from nearby brook fed by water from the mountains was our main source of water for cooking, drinking and laundry”, stated Nima Salveo, our liaison from the collective villages at Mount Tag-ao”. “But we cannot even use that now. It is polluted from storm run-offs”, she added.
The villagers have to travel more than 6 kilometers to buy water to and from the nearest town for their use. That is cumbersome and tiring, to say the least as they have to lug that water using a hired motor scooters from the town to the end of the road at the base of the mountain and then lug it up to their village on their shoulders for at least a kilometer. But that is the only way to get clean water. Those who don’t have financial resources have to go higher up the mountain and look for spring water, something that is not easy to do particularly during summer.
With that, Dentistry For Every Village Foundation decided to do something to help lessen the water burden.
Two weeks before the health care mission was to be done, Dr. Ed de la Vega provided the resources to purchase an artesian well pump and all the necessary metal pipes to construct the well. The men from the villages got together and provided the labor to construct the well.
When we finally got to the village last October 7th, the well was flowing and clean water is now available for the villagers.
“This well will provide clean water to at least three villages”, Nima Salveo gladly emphasized to us. “Now our men need not go to town just to buy water”.