Cagmanaba Elementary School - Eastern Samar

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Cholera outbreaks and e-coli are daily risks

“I have been a teacher for 15 years in Cagmanaba Elementary School. Ever since, clean and safe water is very important for me and my co-teachers. Most of the time my students ask for drinking water. Unfortunately, I cannot provide them with purified water so they drink from the open water. This practice causes problems with their health -like cholera, diarrhea and e-coli.”- Salvador, Grade 4 teacher

If poverty were a crop, then the people of Cagmanaba would be rich. Instead, people in this remote village in eastern Samar suffer from extreme poverty, household income is less than 50 pesos ($1 USD) per day garnered from selling fish or planting coconuts or abaca. Living conditions are very difficult because most homes in the village are makeshift - composed mostly from scrap wood. Unpaved roads make travel and commerce extremely difficult. People drink water from open ponds or streams, making them susceptible to waterborne diseases.

Over a decade ago, Cagmanaba Village, Jipapad, in Eastern Samar suffered from a cholera outbreak caused by contaminated drinking water as a result of flooding. Left without any drinking water in the community, nearly everyone in the village suffered from a severe cholera outbreak that claimed seven lives.

Fear of another cholera outbreak remains in the hearts of the people. And although the government took corrective action, the problem has not been resolved completely due to lack of funding. There are still reports of cholera and other waterborne diseases - especially among very young children. Even now, the search for potable water sources remains the top priority in the community.

“In my 5 years in Cagmanaba Elementary School, we have never received any help from any organization. I have always been hoping for assistance withour water, health,and sanitation. Our water has a bad odor and the color is not clear. It can only mean that our source in not safe for drinking.”

– Emmalyn G. Canales

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