Emergency Water Supply:

-Cutting Through the Red Tape

06 January 2016:

This morning, still no water in the taps -none since New Years Eve. All our reserve buckets were getting empty -so the situation was getting pretty desperate.

Today (Wednesday) is market day -but also the mayor's walk-in "surgery" in the morning. We also needed to go to the Municipal Hall to pay our Property Tax and (ironically) our water bill....

So, first Fatima wrote a letter of complaint (to whom it may concern) -made several copies -and we set off.

The first person we met was the Mayor's assistant -who sent us off to the water works to get the full story. The usual broken pumps/pipes story -plus the news that it would take 2 weeks to get the system working again. So we left them a letter and rushed off to see the mayor.

He was on the phone when we arrived and at the point of rushing off to a meeting -but we managed to collar him.... After a bit of an exchange, we managed to convince him that the situation was urgent.

However, we were also in a bit of a bind -because most of the people here are rather poor and somewhat downtrodden, we were the only ones who had complained. There are also not so many people connected to the same main water pipe as our house -so most others in the area do have a limited supply, mostly around midnight -when they can fill up their buckets. We are not so lucky.

The mayor was rightly concerned that we should not get special treatment. So we agreed to go home, tell our neighbours -then take containers to the road and text him when we were ready. He would then send a firetruck with water to fill up the containers.

None of our direct neighbours were as desperate as we were -so we collected our containers and texted.

A while later the (yellow) fire truck came -and six people jumped out, ready and eager to work. However, they had brought the wrong hose and had to return for the right one.

While we were waiting, we were able to inform other neighbours who were passing by on the road (which runs parallel to our water supply).

Eventually, the truck returned -but without the hose -which they had left somewhere.... Luckily, we had buckets and funnels and were still able to fill everything. Everybody had a great time -and after filling us up they were able to drive down the hill and fill up the other guys now waiting for them.

Then we only had the problem of getting the heavy containers along the path to our garden and up the stairs to our house..... but at least we now have water and can cook and wash.....

On one hand, an amazingly quick and efficient response -despite all the multiple  inefficiencies on another level..... and surely much more fun than simply turning on a tap.....


No Tap Water this year!

Images of water taps with no water

Images of empty water tap and

......and very little rain too

Images of rainwater reservoir and
        garden taps

Waiting, Arriving and Leaving to get forgotten hose

Images of containers and water truck

Returning and Filling up

Images of water containers being

Images of water containers being

Job well done!

Images of small fire truck and

.......and now for the hard part

Images of woman struggling with bucket
        of water

still more to go....

Images of water containers ready top
          be carried up stairs to house

But now Ready to go again!

Images of filled water containers


Baclayon Municipal Office
Poblacion, Baclayon 6301
Bohol, Philippines

January 6, 2016


To whom it may concern,

I am a resident of San Roque, Baclayon, near E. Alas Street in an area known as Calle M.

The New Year 2016 began with intermittent water flowing through our pipes. Now for the past 3 days we have been TOTALLY WITHOUT RUNNING WATER AT ALL. According to our neighbours, there is a SMALL AMOUNT of water flowing through the pipes from 11:00PM to midnight.

We live in an agricultural location. We have some animals (pigs, chickens and ducks) that need water as much as human do. It is EXTREMELY DIFFICULT with the state of service that the Municipal Waterworks provides.

This same problem of very bad water service has been with us for nearly 5 years now. Is there any hope of improvement? Please address this concern in the soonest possible time.

Thank you.

Best wishes,



Rain Water Run-off and Retention
Water harvesting and soil moisture retention


Garden Diary

Project Home Farm
Project Land

Trevor Batten
 <trevor at tebatt dot net>
 Baclayon 2016