BANGUED, ABRA- Grappling from the challenges of solid waste management, a community was united to reclaim the beauty and cleanliness of their environment.
Despite the presence of Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) in various zones in Bangued, Abra, improper collection and waste disposal often led to the substantial volume of garbage in the streets, drainage systems and creeks and during heavy rainfall and onslaught of typhoons, a surplus of waste were accumulated causing blocked drainage in the town.
Bangued, the central town of Abra province is a distinguished first-class municipality that serves as the focal point for education, trade, and commerce in the province. Comprising of several zones, it functions as a central hub for daily commercial activities. This economic growth has given rise to an equally escalating issue concerning solid waste management, particularly within the diverse zones of the town. One of its zones, Zone 4, finds itself grappling with this predicament, struggling to effectively manage and appropriately dispose of their waste, thus presenting a looming public health threat to its residents.
Through the Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services Kapangyarihan at Kaunlaran sa Barangay Cash-for-Work (KALAHI-CIDSS KKB-CFW) Program of DSWD, Zone 4 has made a commendable progress in addressing these concerns proposing the sub-project titled: “Desilting of the Creek, Road Clearing, and Rehabilitation of MRF”.
Jovy M. Reyes, a resident of Zone 4, found herself living next to the creek, which had become a source of inconvenience for her family. Such a problem faced by herself and her neighbors was not unusual; the entire barangay grappled with improper waste disposal, leading to silted creeks, garbage-laden roads, and a dysfunctional MRF.
The community members, including Daisy G. Pemado, recognized the urgency of the situation and the need to address it. They understood the dangers of living in a place with poor sanitation and waste management. Under the program, 30 community volunteers teamed up to restore their barangay to its former state.
Equipped with shovels, bolo, and gloves for 25 days, the volunteers toiled tirelessly despite the scorching sun and occasional afternoon rains. They enthusiastically took on the arduous tasks of desilting the creeks, cleaning the roads, and reviving their MRF.
The volunteers were happy for the changes in their village sharing they were not just cleaning their environment but they were reclaiming the previous state of their community. “Nadlaw mi nga sipud idi inrugi mi daytoy Cash-for-Work Program iti KALAHI-CIDSS ket idi mangrugi nga dumalos iti aglawlaw, immaliwalas payen iti angin nga ang-angsen mi. Dagiti kaarruba mi ket idi makita da nga inaldaw nga agdaladalos dagiti community volunteers en ket isuda pay mismo ti mangdalos iti arubayan dan.Dagiti mangbuybuya kadakami nga tricycle drivers ket naayat payen nga tumulong nu tiempo iti panagdalos. Isu nga dakkel a tulong talaga daytoy programa iti KALAHI-CIDSS ditoy Barangay mi. Haan mi pay nga madmadlaw iti bannog mi ta naragsak iti bonding mi nga community volunteers nu tiempo iti panagdalos. (We noticed that since we started this Cash-for-Work Program of KALAHI-CIDSS it started to clean up our environment, gain fresh air. Our neighbors saw that the community volunteers were cleaning every day and they were cleaning their neighborhood themselves. The tricycle drivers who watched us were even willing to help when it was time for cleaning. So this program is really a big help to KALAHI-CIDSS here in the Barangay. We did not even notice the tiredness from the work because we were also happy with the bond with community volunteers.), she said.
In a chorus of shared aspiration, community volunteers chimed in, “Naragsak kami nga nakatulong iti pannaka dalos ken pannakapa pintas iti Barangay mi. Sa pay kuma ta agserbi kami a inspirasyon iti dadduma a barangay. Idi rugrugi mi iti ag implement iti daytoy programa, nakita mi nu kasatno karugit iti aglawlaw aglalo jay waig, kasla pay ketdi imposible nga madalusan paylaeng daytoy. Ngem kunami iti bagbagi mi, nu awan ti mangi daulo nga mangi rugi, kaanon to? Isu nga inin-inot mi nga trinabaho ket asi ni Apo nailippas metlaeng. Nalaglag-an laengen iti trabaho min nga mang mantenar iti pannaka dalos iti creek ken iti kalkalsada ta haanen nga kasdiay ka karo iti rugit na.” (We are happy to have helped in the cleaning and beautification of the barangay. We hope to serve as inspiration to other Barangays. When we started the implementation of this program, we saw how dirty the environment was especially the river, It seems that it was impossible to make it clean again but we told ourselves, if we will not start now, when will it happen? So we worked slowly and thank God it was completed. It is also easier on our part to maintain the cleanliness of the creek and the roads because it is not dirty anymore.)
Manang Daisy further shared her hopes of seeing the children to freely play and walk in their clean neighborhood. Barangay Captain Correa Seares also remain bullish for the community to appreciate the cleanliness of our surroundings and be encouraged to be responsible for their wastes by following proper disposal methods. She also commended the volunteers for braving the filthy creeks and the unmaintained MRF. She pointed out that the sub-project has somehow, given the volunteers a temporary source of income.
“Nakitak ti ragsak dagiti volunteers. Isu nga maappreciate mi ti daytoy a programa iti DSWD ta dakkel a tulong ti CFW kada kuwada uray nu nabiit laeng diay implementasyon iti sub-project,” (I saw the joy of the volunteers. So we appreciate this program in the DSWD because CFW is a big help to them even though the implementation of the sub-project is recent), Seares continued.
Barangay Secretary Dian Flores added, “Agyamyaman kami iti tulong iti DSWD KALAHI-CIDSS ditoy Barangay mi. Mayat iti purpose iti KALAHI ta naisubli iti bayanihan ditoy Barangay mi. Uray nga haan nga workers ket naayat da payen nga tumultulong iti panag dalos iti aglaw-law. Isuda payen mismo iti mang mentenar dagiti kinadalos iti mabatugan da a kalsadan.” (We are grateful to the DSWD KALAHI-CIDSS for their assistance. It is good for the purpose of KALAHI because it has been restored to the heroism here in our Barangay. Even non-workers are lovingly helping with the cleaning of the environment. They even maintain the cleanliness of the roads.)
The success of the implementation of the KALAHI-CIDSS KKB-CFW Program in Barangay Zone 4, Bangued Abra, serves as a good example of what a determined community can achieve when they come together to tackle pressing issues, participate, and do something such as supporting the implementation of sub-projects relevant to the immediate needs of the community. Beyond cleaner streets and healthier creeks, it has instilled a sense of unity, responsibility and accountability to the residents, leaving a step further towards positive change. Zone 4 is proof that when a community stands shoulder to shoulder, it is possible to overcome any challenge and create a cleaner and healthier environment for all. # DSWD FIELD OFFICE CAR, Rose D. Dagupen, ACT-Bangued Community Empowerment Facilitator and Lauren A. Alimondo, Social Marketing Officer