Last March, the Pasali staff and I went up to Barangay Kidupong in Palimbang, Sultan Kudarat to meet the Datu/leader of the Manobo tribe. The community has a need for water pump as the People have to go down from the mountain and walk 20-30 minutes for water.
It was my first time to visit an IP village and I saw the traditional, unsanitary kind of toilet they have, commonly known as “Antipolo type.” As I enter a shanty where the comfort room is located, I smell the foul odor of decaying feces inside an open hole. I can see the hole isn’t very deep. I can hear the buzzing of the busy big flies savoring the decay. I remembered the cholera outbreak in Biao, also an IP Village in Palimbang that killed 23 people, mainly children and elderly.
The lack of proper sewage system in most of the IP village puts a community at risk of Cholera since they only have one toilet for all.
Cholera bacteria in people
According to Mayo Clinic.com,”When humans ingest cholera bacteria, they may not become sick themselves, but they still excrete the bacteria in their stool and can pass cholera disease to others through the fecal-oral route. This mainly occurs when human feces contaminate food or water supplies, both of which can serve as ideal breeding grounds for the cholera bacteria. Cholera bacteria can lie dormant in water for long periods, and contaminated public wells are frequent sources of large-scale cholera outbreaks.”
The toilet the IP’s have means more than what the”Yucky” word is. It speaks of the quality of life they have which isn’t very high.That means, we who have the education needs to reach out to them so that we can lead them to the next level as a qoute by John Maxwell says ” Leadership lifts people from the life they have to the life that they can have”.
On our way back to the office in Kanipaan, SMS representative Shane shared something that made me all the more wanted to be part of Pasali because it is my vision in life to be a channel of blessing specially to those who cannot even help themselves. She said, she doesn’t want those groups to be seen as “kawawa” (shown with pity) because if we, the lowlanders will show them their weak position in life, the IP’s will never see their strength, resilience and beauty.
A thought came in, if we could install thousands pesos worth of water pumps then maybe we can help them have comfort rooms that are truly a comfort.