“So abundantly blessed with marine resources, yet a paradise thirsty of the rain”.
Barangay Molocaboc is one of the 25 barangays of Sagay City, Negros Occidental, It is an island barangay 7.5 kilometres away from the mainland and 30-minute ride on a motorized pump boat. This barangay is composed of three islets namely Molocaboc Dako’, Diot and Matabas. It has 980 households and a total population of 4,693 based on the latest Records of Barangay Inhabitants (RBI).
The major problem of this barangay is the absence of potable water since all water extraction in the past produced brackish water. For so long, residents are very dependent on rain waters which they use both for drinking and other household uses. What makes this island barangay unique is the presence of giant jars made of cement in almost all houses as rain water collectors. At present, a total of 401houses has these jars, a total of 936 jars in the island and 114 water tanks also used as rain water collectors. Although there are potable water as well as bottled mineral and distilled water coming from the mainland, yet most households could not afford it and still use rain water.
Residents also collect rain water from the water spouts fixed in the barangay covered court, one of the biggest infrastructures in the island.
Scarcity of water has been a significant issue as a consequence of global warming, which eventually leads to the advocacy of saving water as it saves life. Brgy. Molocaboc has proven it. The people in the island survive with rainwater, for every drop of it means life to them.
When I happen to read DILG Memo Circular No. 2012-02 dated January 3, 2012, “Promoting the Construction of Rainwater Collectors in All Barangays in the Philippines to Mitigate the Adverse Impacts of Climate Change”, I suddenly remember the beautiful island of Molocaboc. I immediately browse my laptop for some pictures taken during our orientation with the barangay officials. One realization abruptly triggers my mind,” do we need to wait for a certain policy before we start to act?” Impacts of climate change is already there rummaging billion of properties and leaving thousands of people dead. With our government’s advocacy on Rain Water Collection System (RWCS), I hope that our local government units especially the barangays must start to act now before we drain everything and leave nothing for our children. We don’t need to be like an island of Molocaboc to realize the importance of every drop of water. If people in this small island barangay can innovate rain water collectors in order to survive, we can also do even something better before it’s too late.
In the communities where water is still abundant and in other rural and urban areas where people can still afford to pay their monthly water bills, they could not yet feel the importance of saving water. We don’t need to wait for the time where water becomes a high-priced commodity. Water is a manna from heaven, a gift that people have wasted and taken for granted for so long. So we better face the challenge now, save water for water is life. (LGOO VI Maria Nove Abao-Mejica, Sagay City, Negros Occidental)