Clean Water and Conservation in the Philippines

by Green Empowerment

A group of four students from Northwestern University (Illinois), members of Engineers for a Sustainable World, have raised enough funds to pay for most of the cost of a new two-pump system for the village of Tres Hermanos, and to cover their travel costs to go participate in the installation. We will be there for 4 weeks until July 20. Stay tuned for a report and photos!

Demand, meet Supply.
Demand, meet Supply.

Bill Brower is a Field Program Officer with GlobalGiving who is visiting our partners’ projects throughout South and Southeast Asia. On March 11th he visited the site of a ram pump installation in Tinumpagan. His “Postcard” from the visit:

With a degree in Engineering for Sustainable Development and a particular interest in sustainable water systems, I was excited to visit this project of Green Empowerment’s implementing partner, AID Foundation. I had read about ram pumps, but had never seen one in operation. Frankly, they sound too good to be true—or at least too good to not be more widely spread. No electricity or fuel needed, and still able to pump water over great distances and to great heights. The AID Foundation design is better than others I’ve seen, featuring only two moving parts and made from simple, locally available materials. See Marvin of AID Foundation describe it in the video linked to below.

The pump we visited feeds four tap-stands 100 meters up the hill, serving 60 families. As the attached picture shows, the stands are being heavily used. While the pressure from the pump is insufficient to put a tap in each household, it was clear from the way the community jokingly reminisced about the 40-minute roundtrip walk to the river to fetch water that the AID system is greatly appreciated. Word has spread (what higher praise for an NGO’s work?) and AID Foundation has put in several other ram pumps in this area and is scheduled to put in more.

In fact, AID Foundation has no shortage of work. They are regularly approached with requests to put in ram pumps in a community. (They’ve had their share of people trying to copy their design as well—another obvious good sign.) Deals in the Philippines usually involve a bit of greasing the wheels, but since they are the only one offering a quality product, AID Foundation is able to refuse any project insisting on bribes, according to the founder, Auke. And rather than just throw up a system, AID aims to ensure long-term sustainability by establishing community water boards, which is in charge of collecting a nominal fee from each family to go toward maintenance. We met with the board in Tinumpagan and they expressed their appreciation for the installation and seemed genuinely engaged in the board.

All around this was a very strong project from an innovative organization. I’m proud to have it on GlobalGiving.

The face of a winner
The face of a winner


With the help of our generous donors and of a group of students from NorthWestern University, we are now planning the next system for the community of Tres Hermanos, in Murcia municipality. Tres Hermanos is formed of 45 households, i.e. 215 people including 84 children. They currently spend 30 minutes one-way down and up steep terrain to fetch limited water. This is a relatively complex system, with more than 1 mile of piping and two pumps. We plan to install the system in July 2010.

Thanks to the generosity of our Global Giving donors, we were able to complete the Herminal project with the necessary distribution system to tap stands (neighborhood faucets) by Septmeber 2009, instead of waiting for any funding from the local government, which never materialized.

We will now plan for the next village in need.

Allocating labor among the community
Allocating labor among the community

As of July 20, the main part of the system is implemented, i.e. water is being pumped to the tank in Herminal, were people can fetch water much more easily than down the mountain where the pump is.

See the pictures and details in the report posted below.

Unfortunately, the regional government hasn't been able to deliver any funding for the distribution network to the 5 tap stands distributed through the community.

Thanks to our donors for your contribution.

If we receive a few more donations, we hope to be able to complete the distribution piping. Could you or your friends help us?

Thanks again

Digging the trench for pipes
Digging the trench for pipes


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Organization Information

Green Empowerment

Location: Portland, Oregon - USA
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Michel Maupoux
Program Manager
Portland, OR United States

Funded Project!

Thanks to 249 donors like you, a total of $10,888 was raised for this project on GlobalGiving. Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.

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