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