Rainwater Harvester in Sitio Bulabog

Across Occidental Mindoro, many communities lack basic services, and access to safe water is the biggest challenge these communities face.

DOST-MIMAROPA worked with the Barangay Local Government Unit of Caguray (BLGU-Caguray) to build a Rainwater Harvester System for Sitio Bulabog, providing work opportunities and access to safe drinking water in the isolated barangay.

Sitio Bulabog is one of Occidental Mindoro’s most water-scarce communities, with access to this important resource made harder by its geographical location. The sitio, which is isolated from Caguray barangay proper, is only accessible via boat. With a 300-individual population, there is not available water source in the sitio. Most residents obtain their drinking water from a spring located in Ilin Island, San Jose, or buy purified water in neighboring municipalities which takes about 40 minutes to reach via rowboat or 15 minutes via motorized banca. With no regular public transportation going to and from the sitio, residents use their fishing boats to gather water 2-3 times a week, depending on the need. Since there are only few residents who own a motorized banca and most of them uses a rowboat, reaching the neighboring island to get water is harder for them.  Worst, these residents cannot fetch water in another island due to bad weather, instead, they make sure they have stored enough for consumption and use before a typhoon comes.

To improve access to potable water and ease the burden on residents, especially on women and children, who collect water, a 100m2 Rainwater Harvester was built in Sitio Bulabog. The technology has a capacity of 4000 liters and is equipped with an off-the-shelf rainwater filter and purifier to ensure that the rainwater collected is safe for use.

(left) The rainwater filter and purifier (right) residents collecting water from the rainwater harvester

Forty (40) households in the sitio benefit from the rainwater harvester and can continuously fetch water for drinking, food preparation, hygiene and sanitation, and domestic use. Water is abundant during the rainy season, however, becomes limited during the dry season.

The rainy season enables communities to collect water from the harvester in large quantities and store it for future use— instead of having to rely on outsourced purified water or potentially contaminated springs during the dry season.

Mr. Celso Tadeo, Sitio Bulabog’s Purok Leader, considers themselves fortunate as beneficiaries of the technology. With better access to potable water, their lives are now easier, and residents can save time and money which are now spent on more productive activities like fishing and domestic work.

The rainwater harvester was delivered through DOST’s program on Smart Community which aims to address community developmental challenges by implementing S&T interventions according but not limited to five entry points namely basic education and literacy, enterprise development, health and nutrition, water sanitation, and disaster risk reduction and climate adaptation. BLGU-Caguray, on the other hand, provided the land area where the rainwater harvester was installed and dedicated a personnel to monitor the operation of the technology.