A recent success story of SIBAT's work on Community Based Renewable Energy Systems (CBRES) in partnership with Rotary International is exemplified in the solar powered water distribution project in the community of Pulili in Lubang Island, Mindoro Occidental, Philippines.
Sitio Pulili, as with many other villages on dry and arid Lubang Island, suffers from water shortage and supply problems throughout the year. In summer, several water sources dry up and make the already challenging daily task of collecting water more difficult. In fact, even during the wet-season, many residents spend a significant portion of their day collecting water for drinking, cooking and other domestic purposes.
Arnolfo ‘Arno’ Sigman, is a typical example. Arno and his son have to walk upwards of 1 km to manually collect water and carry it back to their house to provide for their family. This task can take up to 2 hours of their day.
SIBAT development workers and renewable energy engineers have been working with the Pulili community and several project partners since November 2011 to develop a solar powered water distribution system to provide level-2 water access for 13 housing clusters around the village.
Major project activities have included design and installation of a solar PV power source; the development of a deep dug well; and installation of a complete water distribution and storage system including submersible pump, water tower, transmission and distribution pipe lines and robust tap stand collection areas.
With the recent completion of the project in November 2012, a total of 13 tap stands provide clean water across the village, greatly reducing the time Arno and other villagers have to spend collecting water – one of the most basic of human needs.
The enthusiasm of the islanders for the water pumping project is indicated by Arno volunteering to be one of the first operators of the new water distribution system. His time saved collecting water can now be used to work on his farm and help operate the system - a task he will receive remuneration for from a community fund generated via water tariff collection. In the true spirit of community based systems, the community fund will also be used for any future maintenance and repair required, ensuring the long-term sustainability of the project. SIBAT will continue to work with the local community to develop the necessary local skills and policies required for project's sustainability and fair distribution for their household water supply.
Furthermore, SIBAT has a list of potential Community Based Renewable Energy and Water Distribution projects and we are currently seeking funds to realise these projects, one of which will be a similar project in Barangay Looc, also on Lubang Island.
We welcome any questions or comments you might have about the Pulili project or any of SIBAT’s work and would love to know what you think about the importance of water distribution and energy access to rural poor communities.
Maraming Salamat (Thank you very much)!
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