The original goal was to enrich the lives of Filipinos and make better communities through the provision of safe, clean, and potable water. However, the mission grew to an even bigger environmental project that promotes sustainability and awareness within the communities it serves.
As part of its info campaign and corporate social responsibility agenda, Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) gathers several government agencies, private partners, non-government organizations (NGOs), local government units (LGUs), and different Water Districts nationwide to implement Buhay KYUT (Kalusugang Yaman Ugnay sa Tubig) that aims to teach and share social-awareness to the community of the importance of water conservation and the virtue of drinking clean water.
Buhay KYUT goes to school
Children can be quite a handful to manage especially when they are in their most active mood. They explore every nook and turn of their surroundings and it becomes a little difficult to keep them clean and free from illnesses all the time.
According to the World Health Organization, nearly a thousand children die everyday due to diarrheal diseases that are linked to poor hygiene. Which is why LWUA partnering with educational institutions in teaching kids the proper hygiene routine is a truly valuable helping hand in keeping these children healthy and free from sickness.
Also, by sharing the ways of different beneficial livelihood activities that will sustain awareness in the community, LWUA embarks on a journey to teach women and children of water conservation and taking care of the surroundings.
At the end of 2018, almost 200 students of Pascual O. Cruz Memorial Elementary School were taught of proper hand-washing. This is part of the Bisita Eskwela of Calumpit Water District (CWD). In partnership with Rotary Club- Calumpit, the CWD donated a hand washing facility for the school as an initiative to promote a healthy habit of proper hygiene and drinking safe and potable water.
In the last semester of 2018, more than 1,500 school children, parents, teachers, and community representatives from several municipalities have benefitted and received education about proper water conservation and environmental protection.
Through instructional, education, and communication materials prepared by LWUA to enhance the learning experience of students, they are rewarded with health kits to encourage them on the essentials of health care while the school receives educational materials to serve as aid in imparting the mission of Buhay KYUT.
LWUA goes to school and broaden their scope with several reach-out programs laid all throughout the archipelago in places such as Bataan, Davao Oriental, General Santos City, Negros Occidental, and Bulacan among others.
Together with the Water Districts, Department of Health (DOH), Department of Education (DepEd), Dept. of Environment & Natural Resources (DENR), the LGUs and other partner advocates are promoting health and hygiene, proper uses of water, care for the environment, waste recycling, and even the importance of bamboo planting and production and livelihood program to schools and communities nationwide.
Saving watersheds one bamboo tree at a time
Importance of bamboo trees in the conservation of the ecosystem is often overlooked. The truth is bamboo forests have massive impacts to our environment such as controlling soil erosion, producing oxygen, conserving biodiversity, and regulating water level in watersheds.
During the celebration of World Environment Day back in 2017, LWUA Chief Jeci A. Lapus expressed his commitment and full support to the country’s bamboo planting and propagation efforts.
As part of the country’s National Greening Program (NGP), LWUA has once again enjoined water districts all around the country into a project that includes bamboo in the list of preferred species for planting and propagation.
Recently, LWUA held a planting activity in Murcia, Negros Occidental with the theme, “Safe Water is Our Legacy, Protect Our Watersheds” last November 2018 with the aim of involving the youth in protecting and conserving the environment to ease climate change.
At the break of dawn, more than 300 students from the Philippine Central Adventist School (PCAS), together with Murcia Water District (MWD), representatives from the Region 6 WDs, DENR- PENRO, Dept. of Trade & Industry (DTI), farmers group and people’s organizations have gathered to plant a goal of 1,000 bamboo trees. Lectures were also given to the students on how to plant bamboos as well as its uses and benefits to protecting water resources.
This isn’t the first project LWUA has launched that is focused on the propagation of bamboo trees. In 2016, LWUA together with Palayan City Water District (PCWD) launched “Kawayan Para sa Palayan” at Aulo Dam, Brgy. Mapaet, Palayan City.
The goal is to impart knowledge to the community of the opportunities of making it a livelihood of planting, maintaining, harvesting and processing of bamboos- a complete victory for both the environment and the community.
Humble efforts, big smiles
Even in the darkest of times that challenged the resilience of Filipinos, Buhay KYUT continued to strive in uplifting spirits by serving the people. In 2014 when Super typhoon Yolanda struck the Philippines, millions were devastated by the unprecedented fury.
LWUA provided relief goods to school children that have fallen victim to nature’s outrage. The act may be small compared to the magnitude of damage the typhoon has inflicted on them, the effort has made a massive effect that manifested in the smiles of the people that has fallen victim to the devastation of our mother nature.