Assessment Trip - Fall 2015
Philippines Project Overview
Back in 2014, the EWB-UD chapter was made aware of a potential project in Ubujan, Inabanga, Philippines. After careful deliberation and an organization-wide vote, we decided to choose this project based on many factors such as health, safety, need of the community, strength of the connection with the community, and sustainability of the project. Our connection to the community is very strong through a current member of the organization, and her grandmother, Concepcion Muneses. Concepcion Muneses is originally from the Philippines, lived in the United States for many years and is now living full-time in the Philippines again. She came to us with the community’s need for safe, potable drinking water. The typhoon seasons, from November to April and June to September, leave the region especially vulnerable. The significant number of large storms causes damage to property and floods the public water sources with salt water. In addition, all water sources in Ubujan are contaminated with fecal coliform bacteria. Water quality concerns and seasonal susceptibility are the main motivations for this program.
There are approximately 1,200 people in the community who would benefit from the assistance of EWB-UD. Their main sources of income are farming and trading. The average monthly income in the community is around $116/family.
Since learning of this need in Ubujan, we have put a great deal of time and effort into fostering a relationship with the community, and learning more about the island of Bohol it resides on. In addition, the Philippines program has gathered a strong Technical Advisory Board including a design engineer, construction lead, international development lead, sustainability adviser, and hydrology & geological sciences expert to aid use through the design process. The organization took its first trip to Ubujan in August 2015 to begin learning about the community and its specific concerns. EWB-UD again travelled in January 2016 for a second assessment to further assess water quality and begin educational programs for the community.
On the basis of these assessments, the project team has have designed a multi-phase implementation. The first includes a water chlorination and distribution system with 3 initial tapstands, but the total when we are done will be 9. We took a team of three on an assessment trip in January 2018, to choose tapstand locations, perform a yield test, and meet with contractors. For implementation we will be partnering with Green Empowerment, an organization that helps struggling communities internationally. We are waiting for implementation, because we want to ensure the borehole can support the system we have designed and are working with the Water Resource Center in Cebu, to conduct a pumping test, in which we’re hoping to have results from by December. After the well is known to be sufficient, we’re looking forward to implementing either this winter or next summer. We’re excited to be able to supply the Ubujan community with clean water.