DUMAGUETE CITY, Negros Oriental, Jan. 21 — Sitio Casayan is a mountainous community in Barangay Calango in the Municipality of Zamboanguita, Negros Oriental. The community’s residents can now enjoy potable water through a solar-powered water network. The initiative is a perfect example of partnership between the academe and the national government agency.
The Department of Science and Technology Negros Oriental (DOST NegOr) and Negros Oriental State University (NORSU) came together to successfully execute the project. DOST VII generously funded the initiative through the Community Empowerment Through Science and Technology (CEST) Project. NORSU particularly its College of Engineering and Architecture demonstrated its technical expertise in the identification of water sources and in the design of the solar-powered water system. NORSU’s Extension Office spearheaded the implementation of the project.
DOST Negros Oriental implemented strict monitoring and coordination of the CEST Project to make sure that the timeline is followed and that funds are spent as agreed in the approved line-item budget.
The installation of the solar-powered water network has brought an abundance of benefits to the lives of the beneficiary farmer residents. Through this initiative, the farmers are not only saving precious money by not having to buy water per container but also savings in the form of labor costs and time.
One of the indirect benefits of the initiative will be the utilization of the farmlands which were not productive due to lack of access of water. Prior to the project, these farmlands were mostly used to grew sugarcane only. Residents will be able to cultivate vegetables for consumption and for sale.
In 18 January 2023, the said project was formally turned over the community. The simple turnover ceremony was held at the Calango Covered Court in Zamboanguita, Negros Oriental.
DOST VII Regional Director Engr. Jesus F. Zamora, Jr. personally attended the turnover ceremony as the guest speaker. Also present in the activity are Zamboanguita Mayor Jonah Pat Aviles, DOST Negros Oriental Provincial S&T Director Atty. Gilbert R. Arbon, NORSU Extension Office Director Dr. Guilbert Nicanor Atillo, NORSU Vice President for Administration Dr. Noel Yasi and NORSU Vice President for Research, Extension and International Linkages Dr. Merivic G. Catada.
Also in attendance were NORSU Extension staff, DOST Negros Oriental staff, members of the Calango Barangay Council, and representatives from DENR Negros Oriental, DILG and DCCCO.
The municipal mayor of Zamboanguita expressed his gratitude to all stakeholders involved in the project, particularly DOST.
“Dako ang akong pasalamat aning DOST CEST-funded Solar-Powered Water Network Project. Matud pa nila, tubig mao oy kinabuhi. Daghang salamat sa tanang mga ahensya sa gobyerno nga nagtimbayayong aron kining proyekto magmalampuson, magmalamboon ug magmalahutayon sa iyang tumong”, said Mayor Aviles.
RD Zamora thanked the NORSU team for extending its expertise so the project will become a reality.
“We tapped the expertise of NORSU in the design and installation of the solar-powered water network project…So together with NORSU and DOST, gibuhat namo ni. So pasalamat ta sa taga NORSU nga willing sila to go the extra mile. Kasagaran sa ubang extension work, puro ra training then wala na. Kini, naa gyud oy nakitan’g tubig. Dako kaayo ni sya ug tabang because water is life”, stressed Engr. Zamora.
Atty. Arbon echoed the same sentiment.
“Magpasalamat mi ug dako sa cooperation nga gihatag sa LGU Zamboanguita and Calango Barangay Council kay without their cooperation and without their support maglisud ug implement sa project…. And of course, magpasalamat gyud mi sa NORSU nga nipursiger gyud sila ani nga project nga niduyog sila namo aning among programa nga Community Empowerment Through Science and Technology (CEST)” said Atty. Arbon.
Speaking in behalf of the beneficiary community, Hiniusang Pundok sa Sitio Casayan, Mr. Cham Sedillo expressed his gratitude to the whole team.
“Dako kaayo ang akong pasalamat sa DOST ug sa NORSU para sa gihatag nga tubig para sa among mga lumolupyo sa Sitio Casayan ug Sitio Capastor. Daghan kaayong salamat,” said Mr. Sedillo.
CEST is a package of S&T interventions which aims to build progressive, empowered and resilient rural communities. The program is targeting to empower the poorest and most depressed communities in the country, via S&T interventions in health and nutrition, water and sanitation, basic education and literacy, livelihood/economic enterprise development, and disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation. (by Engr. Reinhold Jek Y. Abing, Science Research Specialist II/Information Officer-designate of DOST Negros Oriental). (edited 1.27.2023)