Southeast Asia Newsletter - February 2018
Water.org Partners with NWSS and ASA Philippines to Launch the Narra Water Project
Water.org recently conducted a pilot project in the Municipality of Narra, located in the province of Palawan, Philippines. The project was the result of a three-way partnership between Water.org, the LGU (local government unit) which runs the Narra Water Supply System (NWSS), and ASA Philippines (Water.org MFI partner). The purpose of the project was to connect rural households to the municipal water grid run by NWSS.
The Narra Water Project officially began in September 2017 following approval by the municipal authorities. Water.org supported project by setting up an office and deploying staff in the municipality. A team leader was assigned to the project together with two locally hired staff who provided technical and marketing support to NWSS. The financing component was provided by ASA Philippines and other Water.org MFI partners, while NWSS provided the water services.
The Narra Water Project has already had many achievements since its launch September:
- 787 new applications for water connections were generated in a span of 4 months.
- Of these, 107 households were financed through loans mostly from ASA Philippines and other MFIs.
- Repayment of the loans was at 100%
- 1,919 households have undergone hygiene education through the efforts of Water.org, NWSS and ASA Philippines.
- Through the project, 20 local plumbers were sponsored for skills training and accreditation by TESDA (a government body that specializes in technical or vocational skills training).
With these encouraging results, the three parties decided to continue to work together and extend the partnership through the end of 2018. Water.org hopes to continue to help NWSS provide access to safe and clean water to the residents of Narra, while helping create a financially viable LGU-run water service provider to serve as the model in Palawan and across the country. There are also plans to the start a Palawan Water Project, which will serve other water utilities within Palawan.
Unpredictable Weather Leads Gemma to Take Out a Water Connection Loan
Gemma Magada is the mother of seven and lives in a relocation area in Narra, Philippines. Water that is safe and accessible is very important to Gemma and her family because her small “carinderia” (local eatery) uses water as an essential part of her business.
The relocation site where Gemma lives does not have a reliable water system. Their only water source is from a natural spring, which they use for their daily activities like bathing and washing. Although it is free to use, the water it produces is not safe to drink.
The relocation site is also prone to flooding due to its low elevation. During rainy season, the soil residue from the floods makes the water unusable. During the summer, the well does not produce enough water and often dries up. To get water for drinking purposes, Gemma must go to the market daily, taking precious hours from her day away from her family and her business.
Gemma is an ASA client which is how she learned about the Narra Water Project and found out how she could take out a loan to connect to the local water supply.
Today, Gemma is enjoying the extra hours she has gained back by not having to travel to the market every day for clean water. She uses this extra time to experiment with other recipes for her carinderia. She is relieved knowing that she no longer has to think about whether the water is safe enough for her family to use and feels confident that she that will have a reliable water source for many years to come.
Marites Enjoys More Time with Her Family After Receiving a Loan Made Possible by the Narra Water Project
Marites Baesa is one of the many mothers in her community that wants her family have access to safe water. She and her family of 6 currently reside in a resettlement area in Narra, Philippines where access to water is one of the main problems facing the community. The primary source of water for the community is a water pump (POSO) but due to the proximity of the community to the seashore, the water is not safe to drink and turns her children’s school uniforms yellow. To get water that is suitable for drinking, washing and cooking, Marites and her family must travel to the center of the town, which is 3 kilometers away from their home.
Everything changed when Marites connected to the Narra Water Supply System (NWSS). After attending an informational session hosted by the Narra Water Project about the benefits of hygiene and safe water, Marites decided to apply for a connection loan through Water.org MFI partner, ASA Philippines.
Today, Marites and her family are enjoying their new water source. They have more time to spend with each other and Marites is proud to see that all her children’s uniforms are as white as new.
After getting connected through the Narra Water Project she added, “Our life became easier, my children can drink anytime they want and they don’t have to carry a pail of water, they just have to turn the faucet on and the water comes out. This is a blessing for us and I am proud to say that I had benefited from this project. I don’t have any regrets and thankful for what has just happened to us.”