Almost 90% of gastro-intestinal related deaths globally are attributable to unsafe drinking water and poor sanitation. Children under the age of 5 are particularly vulnerable. Yet many rural communities in the Philippines still lack access to clean drinking water, improved sanitation facilities, or both. People in remote villages typically travel long distances to fetch water, often from contaminated sources. Meanwhile, climate change and environmental degradation are presenting additional challenges to maintaining consistent water supply and healthy watersheds. However, the adoption of simple, innovative, locally available technologies presents a cost-effective, sustainable means of confronting these pressing challenges.
Building Climate Resilience in Water Stressed Communities is a three and a half year program of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) implemented by an integrated team of NGOs specializing in sustainable water solutions: Green Empowerment, Alternative Indigenous Development Foundation, Inc. (AIDFI), and the Philippines Center for Water and Sanitation (PCWS). Working with Republic of the Philippines Local Government Units, the National Anti-Poverty Commission, other donors, and private sector partners, the program will bring potable water to 15,000 people in remote areas of Leyte and conflict-affected regions of Mindanao by 2016. CREST utilizes a community-based, participatory approach to deliver safe drinking water via hydraulic ram pump and other innovative water and sanitation technologies, ensuring long-term sustainability and resilience in the face of climate change.
History of Involvement
Green Empowerment first delivered assistance to the Philippines in 2001. Since then, our involvement has blossomed into productive relationships with three Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), SIBAT, YAMOG, and AIDFI, on three islands, serving many villages. Our projects in the Philippines include installation of hydraulic ram pumps, solar water pumps, micro-hydro turbines, and technical trainings in solar water pumps, sustainable agriculture and watershed restoration. Wide acclaim for AIDFI’s ram pump design, has also led us to take measures to promote the technology globally in Afghanistan, Columbia, and to all of our partners at an international training in Peru.
Many of Green Empowerment’s projects in the Philippines are linked to business enterprises, such as power for a lemongrass oil distiller, energy for a grain mill, and light that allows women to weave at night. These opportunities fit into our belief that renewable energy can provide increased, sustainable sources of income.