Residents of Barangay Talaguian, located at the border of Lanao del Sur's adjoining Poona-Bayabao and Masiu towns, in fact, got from World Bank not just a water system project, but a solar drier for the agricultural produce as well.
Hadja Leamen Laut, Provincial Social Welfare and Development Officer of the so-called Lanao Sur A, which groups all of the towns in the first district of the province, said there has been dramatic improvements in the lives of people in the once impoverished barangay as a result of the World Bank projects.
Both the World Bank and the Japan Bank on International Cooperation (JBIC) channels all of their assistance for poor areas in Southern Philippines through the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Social Fund Project (ASFP).
Health authorities in Lanao del Sur said there have been a sharp decline in cases of water-borne diseases, such as dysentery and gastro-enteritis, after the ASFP and local villagers have constructed, as a community venture, a water system Barangay Talaguian.
"People there now have access to clean, safe drinking water," Laut said.
The office of Laut, the local government unit which has jurisdiction over Barangay Talaguian, and various community organizations joined ranks and built the water system and the solar drier in their barangay.
About 80 percent of residents in the barangay rely on farming as a source of income and the solar drier, thus, improved their productivity.
People in the barangay had used portions of a concrete national highway traversing their villages as drier for the rice and corn grains, causing inconvenience to motorists.
"Now we have our solar drier we can use for drying our harvests. What is nice about the project is that it is community-constructed, community owned," Muntia Kasim, 34, said.