Haima Udja, a Kalibugan, with five children is among the thousands of hopeful Bangsamoro dreaming of a peaceful life for her family.
“My dream is freedom for the Bangsamoro and there will be no more war; to live peacefully, without fear anywhere we go”, says Haima whose grandparents are one of those who suffered and experienced conflict in 1970s.
She and her family live in Barangay Dalangin, Titay, Zamboanga Sibugay, one of the communities in the province where source of clean and safe water is a major challenge.
Many of the people in the community rely on farming for living. Many of them have rice fields.
The barangay is under the influenced areas of the 113th Base Command of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) which made it to the 50 identified communities under the Bangsamoro Assistance for Development and Community Empowerment (Bangsamoro ADVANCE) component of the Mindanao Trust Fund Reconstruction and Development Program (MFTRDP) implemented by the Bangsamoro Development Agency (BDA).
“We are very grateful to BDA and MTF because of its big help to us by responding to our needs through the construction of water system project”, Haima expressed.
She added that “once completed, we will no longer buy water from downtown which is far and costly. Soon, we will finally have our water source for drinking that is clean and accessible that we can call our own.”
Haima accounted related incidents in their community caused by unclean water like diarrhea. She pointed out that there were times when some families are opted to drink water from deep-well which is not good for health.
Haima works as teacher for Arabic Language and Islamic Values (ALIVE) in public school from Monday to Friday. She would describe their family economic status on an average level where there is enough income to sustain their daily needs, with her husband as farmer.
For them the one of the major problems is water which is very important because it is one of the basic needs of every family.
With the advent of the Program, the long-awaited water system project in Barangay Dalangin will be within the reach of the 147 households composed of Kalibugan, Bisaya, Maguindanaon and Tausug constituents as the construction of the said project has kicked off on October 9, 2016.
Bangsamoro ADVANCE is conceptualized in support to confidence building measures of the GPH- MILF as provided in the Comprehensive Agreement on Bangsamoro (CAB). This was also in respond to the clamour from the communities especially on the implementation of basic services including livelihood opportunities.
The program is supported by the MTF with various donors such as such as the European Union, the Swedish International Development Agency, the Australian Embassy Philippines, Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development of Canada, the United States Agency for International Development, the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and the World Bank which also serves as trust fund secretariat.
(BDA Communication Group, Zamboanga-Peninsula Region)