The Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation (PDRF) in partnership with Pepsi-Cola Products Philippines Inc. (PCPPI) culminated their “Water for Peace in Marawi” project through a groundbreaking ceremony last 22 March.
The culmination coincided with the celebration of the United Nations’ World Water Day and addressed the needs of the people of Marawi for a clean, safe and usable water following the infamous “Marawi Siege.”
“The ‘Water for Peace in Marawi’ project aims to address the Maranao’s need for clean, safe and usable water after the Marawi siege that made it difficult for them to access this important, basic necessity,” said Monique Castro, PCPPI Corporate Affairs and Communications senior manager.
“When PDRF presented us with the opportunity to help Marawi, our president Samudra Bhattacharya and our board immediately said, yes. Marawi has always been a loyal Pepsi community and they’ve strongly supported us in challenging times,” she added.
The project turned over seven 20, 000-liter tanks to a total of six transitional shelters, five of which got a tank each, and one village with two tanks. It also benefitted 10 underserved schools which were given a 3,200-liter water tank each. One hundred forty thousand Maranaos have already benefited from the project and with the final tank on its way, it is set to benefit more.
A 50,000-liter water tank is set to be turned over to the new, larger transitional village being developed in Barangay. Rorogagus which is intended to house at least 1,000 families and 40,000 internally displaced people (IDP). Priority lodging will be given to 600 IDP who are currently residing in the city’s capitol and will also benefit 400 more families from different camps to ensure transitional villages are not congested.
“We are very thankful because we already have Lake Lanao as a great source of water and we needed help in sharing the resource with our marginalized sector — (evacuees) who have little access to water in their homes,” said Lanao del Sur. Board member and SK president Jamil Faisal Adiong. “As we move forward in rehabilitating Marawi, through the rising of this new transitory (village) in Rorogagus, hopefully many will benefit from our water.”
The project also includes community training on water management and hygiene with the PDRF team carrying on these trainings to instill the value of water and how to use it properly and sustainably.
“We know we won’t be able to solve this water crisis alone and all of us need to be in this together to find solutions that will help us use the water delivered to us sustainably.
Through these pockets of education, more and more young Maranaos will learn to conserve water without neglecting their health and sanitation,” said Castro.
“As we always say, there are two types of Maranaos: those by birth and those by (action).
For me and for many of us, we consider you (from Pepsi) Maranao brothers because of your heart to help us. You may not have been born of blood but out of all the provinces, you chose to engage with us, and partner with us, and help us. We are truly grateful,” concluded Adiong.