The community at the MSC Centre for the Poor, located in Butuan, in the Philippines, continues in its ongoing ministry to help survivors of Typhoon Odette, which struck in December of last year and left hundreds of thousands of people displaced from their homes.
As well as working towards the repair and construction of new houses for families whose homes were left badly damaged or destroyed by the typhoon, MSCs in the Philippines are also working on the provision of a rainwater filtration system for affected communities, to ensure a safe supply of water for drinking. “The Centre for the Poor Cooperative designed a water filtration machine that processes or treats rainwater for safe consumption,” reports Fr Richie Gomez MSC, community leader at the MSC Centre for the Poor.
“The Potable Water System Programme was established as one of the most important components to consider in our developing farms,” continues Fr Richie. “After the onslaught of Super Typhoon Odette, which devastated Surigao City and caused further damage in Butuan City, people were distressed because there was no food or water. The Centre for the Poor in Butuan were able to supply potable water because of its water filtration facility and MSC-CEPAGCO (MSC Centre for the Poor Agricultural Cooperative) was able to supply food because of its farm.”
“As we continue to reflect on the ordeal of the most vulnerable people, the Centre for the Poor has established the Potable Rainwater Filtration System Programme,” Fr Richie says. “We plan to set up water filtration centres in strategic places to ensure a clean water source for communities in need through rainwater collection.”
One water filtration unit costs 100,000 Philippine pesos – just over €1,800 – and will provide an invaluable supply of clean, safe drinking water for people who have found themselves in extraordinarily difficult circumstances. In addition, each unit provides an ongoing, renewable supply, as it takes rainwater at the source and renders it safe for consumption.
As relief efforts continue in the rebuilding of communities and society in the wake of Typhoon Odette, Fr Richie and his team persevere in their endeavours to help those most in need, in keeping with the ethos of the MSC-CEPAGCO and thus “bound by the spirit of generosity and resilience [as we work] towards a healthy, sustainable, and empowered society.”