The townsfolk of Damulag, Bukidnon will soon have access to a safer water supply thanks to the Department of Science and Technology’s (DOST) implementation of Project AQWAH. 

The initiative, also known as ‘Advancement on the Quality of Water Available for Household use through establishment of Water Reservoir Tank built-in with Ceramic Water Filter’, will officially be rolled out early next year, according to DOST Secretary Fortunato de la Peña. 

The secretary notes that the project’s deployment will be handled by DOST-X and will benefit 2,500 residents from Barangay Sampagar, a remote and disadvantaged community. 

Under Project AQWAH, 160 ceramic water filters will be distributed to households in the said area and its neighboring sitios.

De la Peña said the project is of importance as the only water source in the barangay and neighboring communities has been deemed unsafe. 

“Currently, the only water source of Barangay Sampagar is a spring that have recently been found out to exceed the maximum allowable level of HPC (Heterotrophic Plate Count), phosphate concentration, TSS (Total Suspended Solids), total coliform, and E. coli as set by the Department of Health (DOH) in the Philippine National Standards for Drinking Water. Three species of bacteria in the study site were also found. This led to the conclusion that it has been causing the leading health concerns in the area,” De la Peña explained. 

According to the DOST Secretary, Project AQWAH is made possible by the agency’s Community Empowerment for Science and Technology (CEST) program.

“Through the CEST Program and the close partnership with LGU of Damulog and Old Damulog National High School, the Project AQWAH will be rolled out in the community in the early months of 2022,” de la Peña said.

“The project aims to achieve zero water-borne related diseases and promote proper hygiene and sanitation in the community of Sitio Langahan, Barangay Sampagar, Damulog, Bukidnon.”

The filters that will be distributed were developed by the DOST-Industrial Technology Development Institute, however, Mindanao State University – Iligan Institute of Technology (MSU-IIT) patented, produced, and adopted the ceramic filter for household use. 

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