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No water? Go to the fountains!


On several occasions, I heard over the radio people from several affected barangays complaining about our Water District for its failure to provide sufficient supply of potable water. This problem of lack of water has been experienced by the people of Zamboanga City for decades already and yet our local officials have remained unresponsive to this basic need. Like the problem of peace and order it has become the day-to-day complain of the residents but our concerned officials, not even those who claim to be multi-awarded and most decorated seems to be genuinely paying any attention. And so the problem of lack of water keeps on hounding many barangays.

Instead of giving priority to the improvement of our water system especially expanding and upgrading our storage and distribution facilities to meet the daily water demand of our rapidly growing population, millions and millions of taxpayers’ money are spent on projects that do not address the basic needs of our communities clearly giving us the impression that these projects have not been really planned based on the needs of the residents but largely on the desire of the people in power. We even doubt if any of these distinguished public servants has thought of determining the daily water supply of the residents within the 7-kilometer radius where the commercial, industrial, educational, scientific, and technological activities are concentrated.

Go around the City to disprove what I am going to say. There are two over passes within the city proper that had been constructed but are seldom used by the commuters and pedestrians. Some have even told me that these over passes have been used as comfort rooms and garbage dumping places. But of course they serve as permanent advertisement streamers of public officials.

Go to Pasonanca Park, and you will find commercial stalls without occupants. How many millions of taxpayers’ wealth had been appropriated and wasted in that kind of non-priority infrastructure? Then take a quick glance at the new public work costing huge amount of public money for candle vendors to rent at the Fort Pilar premises with very low occupancy rate. It would have been much, much better if they were given just enough space where they could build their vending stalls at their own expense under the technical supervision of the City Engineer. There are many more infrastructures that are outrageously expensive but do not serve the basic need of the inhabitants. It won’t take you long to discover where they are for they are blindingly visible to the naked eye.

Now, there is this fad of constructing fountains while many residents are screaming for water. Well, the only logical, but of course, always unsolicited advice, I could offer is: For those who do not have water supply coming from our City Water District, you can just go to any of these fountains and fill whatever containers you have with water for free. These make the fountains doubly useful to the community. So if every barangay will have a fountain costing several millions, it will not only be a tourist attraction but also solve the problem of water supply. If you want to also enjoy the splendor and the beauty of their dancing multi-colored lights, just make sure to fetch your water supply from the fountains at night.

This is definitely another potentially award-winning Latin idea!

By Clem M. Bascar

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