Lanao del SUR invests P100 M for solar powered water system
Being the the first municipality to enrol in the Mindanao Water Supply (MinDAWater) Program of the Mindanao Development Authority, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), The town of Taraka has been set to invest P100 million to build a solar powered water system.
According to MinDA chief, Manny Pipol, this project aims to provide safe drinking water for its growing population and irrigate an estimated 2,000-hectares of fertile rice lands. The town has been sourcing all of their water needs from a small river that winds through the town proper which is no longer safe for the town’s growing population.
“There was a time when the water from the river was so clean that we used it for drinking, bathing and washing of clothes,” said Mayor Nashida G. Sumagayan, a former university professor who took over the town from her husband, lawyer Amenodin Sumagayan who is now the vice mayor
With the town’s population growing, the river’s water has become polluted and families have to boil the water for drinking.
The more affluent families have established deep wells powered by Diesel engines for their water supply.
On Dec. 6, 2019, during the launching of the MinDAWater Program in Davao City, Mayor Sumagayan expressed interest in availing of a long-term loan from DBP to construct solar-powered water systems in her town.
One of the solar-powered water systems will provide safe drinking water for the town through a modern filtration process while at least four more units will serve the irrigation water needs of the rice farms estimated at 2,000 hectares.
While the town is situated near the 39,000-hectare Lake Lanao with the Taraka River running through it, rice farmers could only plant once a year because of the absence of an irrigation system.
It is estimated that the town’s rice farmers could earn an additional P200-M every year if they could plant twice a year.
“We are willing to invest to change the lives of our people,” Mayor Sumagayan said during the Livelihood Orientation Program conducted by MinDA in Taraka on Tuesday.
On Monday, Mayor Sumagayan and at least 100 other leaders and farmers from her town will inspect a Solar-Powered Irrigation System in Palma Perez, M’lang, North Cotabato, one of over 200 units constructed by the Department of Agriculture in 2019.
On Wednesday, the Mayor and her fellow officials will meet with the MinDA technical staff and officials of DILG and DBP in Davao City to start working on the financing program for Lanao del Sur’s first Solar Powered Water Supply and Irrigation Project.