PDRF, partners install new water system in Marawi

The Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation (PDRF), in partnership with the US-Philippines Society, Metrobank, Metro Pacific Water, PLDT, and United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN Habitat), began installing 109 rainwater catchments in Hadiya Village, Marawi City last October 19, providing clean water to the community.

A resident of Hadiya village trying the new rainwater catchment system
(L-R) Bebot Barahan (Cagayan de Oro Bulk Water Consultant), Anna Katrina Aspuria (PDRF), and Robert Cabiles (Cagayan de Oro Bulk Water COO) demonstrate the use of the rainwater catchment system

The installation and ceremonial turnover took place on the fourth anniversary of the liberation of Marawi City after the five-month siege in 2017. This project aims to support communities and areas currently not connected to piped systems due to challenging geographic locations by providing them with tools for rainwater harvesting. The installation will be completed by the end of the month.

Metro Pacific Water (MPW) joined the group in Marawi to check water sources in two sites: Hadiya Village and Darussalam Village. MPW will recommend strategies on how to improve water systems in UN-funded permanent shelter sites.

Rainwater harvesting involves collecting and storing rainfall for human consumption, as a supplement to existing water systems. According to the Stockholm Environment Institute report for the United Nations Environment Programme, “rainwater harvesting can serve as an opportunity to enhance ecosystem productivity, thereby improving livelihoods, human well-being and economies.” 

This system provides an independent water supply where clean water is difficult to access. It can help reduce flooding and soil erosion, mitigating some of the adverse effects of climate change. The water collected can be suitable for irrigation and human consumption and help reduce groundwater demand. Rainwater harvesting is also low-cost, easy to maintain, and sustainable.

“PDRF’s donation of Rainwater Catchment for Hadiya Village is an essential part of our Meranaw  brothers and sisters, as water plays a vital role in the practice of their religion,” said Felix J. Castro, Jr., Field Manager and Assistant Secretary of Task Force Bangon Marawi.

“UN-Habitat advocates for Climate Change Resilience.  The donations of PDRF together with its partners will surely enhance the maximization of rainwater for domestic use of the individual family. Financially, it will reduce the monthly contribution per household on electric consumption and they can divert their funds as savings or for other payables,” said Warren C. Ubongen, Project Manager of UN-Habitat. 

The rainwater harvesting system is an important lifeline for communities like Hadiya Village, who have limited access to clean water. This helps reduce their vulnerability from water shortages and thus improve their livelihoods and wellbeing, demonstrating how prosperity and peace can go hand in hand.

“This project symbolizes the numerous things we can achieve if we work together for the welfare of the many.  We hope that this will help address the community’s needs by providing adequate and clean water daily,” said Anna Katrina Aspuria, Head of Development Programs and Innovation at PDRF.

“Nais ko pong magpasalamat sa proyektong ito mula sa ating mga partners na pinangungunahan ng PDRF na hanggang ngayon hindi kami iniiwan at binibitawan…

At sa ating mga residente dito sa Hadiya Village, salamat sa inyong kooperasyon, pang-unawa at patuloy na pagtitiwala sa ating mga partners, sa lokal na pamahalaan at sa national government.

Nawa’y ipagpatuloy natin ang ating magagandang nasimulan at pagtutulungan upang sabay-sabay nating maibangon ang Marawi sa lalong madaling panahon, Insha Allah,” said Hon. Atty Majul U. Gandamra the Mayor of the Islamic City of Marawi.

[“I would like to express our gratitude to all the partners, led by PDRF who have continued to support us even until now/have not never wavered in their support for us even until now. And to the residents here at Hadiya Village, thank you for your cooperation, understanding, and continued trust in our partners and in the local and national government. May we continue the good work we have started and our close collaboration so that together we can help Marawi recover as soon as possible, God willing.]

This project is part of PDRF’s continuous commitment to helping the people of Marawi recover and become more resilient after the crisis.

UN Habitat has recently published the Blue Drop Series on Water Harvesting and Utilization, a collection of guides on rainwater harvesting for policy makers, beneficiaries and capacity and implementing agencies.