TAGBILARAN CITY – To stay afloat amid the coronavirus health crisis, Bohol province has put premium on people’s protection against infection and food security.
Governor Arthur Yap on Thursday said the action plan on protecting Boholanos from coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) is left to the medical experts, the Provincial Emergency Management Administration (PEMA) and the people in the implementation of well-coordinated preventive measures.
On the other hand, food security in the province is dependent on the productivity of the local farmers and the support of the provincial government.
Based on his assessment on the Bohol situation, Yap said the more than a decade-old problem on water supply is seen as a big challenge in the farmers’ productivity.
Noting Bohol’s several sources of ground water, Yap proposed a government-led introduction of a technology in tapping these sources to maximize irrigation support to farmlands and potable water to household families.
In line with this, the governor announced that the provincial government will be procuring drilling rig for the agricultural communities in the second and third districts.
“If there’s water, we don’t have problem with sanitation. We can practice hygiene in the barangay as protection against Covid-19. But most importantly, if we have water, we have good agriculture, we have food in the future,” Yap said in Cebuano.
Earlier, he also announced that the provincial government would be procuring “geo-resistivity equipment” for ground water exploration to efficiently address the lack of water sources in 69 percent of the 1,109 barangays in Bohol.
So far, 18 municipalities had submitted 349 level-one water sources to the Bohol Environment Management Office (BEMO), and the Provincial Planning and Development Office (PPDO) was furnished a copy of the list.
The records at the BEMO and PPDO also show that there are 243 waterless barangays located in 24 towns. This means 22 percent of the 1,109 barangays in Bohol have no water.
With the massive water project, the provincial government is to construct reservoirs in strategic areas.
The governor eyed the municipal governments as the one to provide for the piping so that water could be supplied straight to the households and farmlands.
For immediate water projects, the provincial government has designed a 4,000-liter water cistern for each barangay.
As add-on, a barangay that could complete the project would qualify for a 2,000-square-meter vegetable garden to be supported by the provincial government. (PNA)