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Access to Water Supply and Disaster Preparedness in Benguet Province

Water scarcity and soil erosions are a major problem in key mining regions around the world. This is the case for the mountainous region on the island of Luzon in northern Philippines. In most mining operations, water is sought from groundwater. This can reduce the levels of ground water, deplete surface water and cause pollution to local rivers. These operations have resulted in water shortages for the communities in the region, especially in Manakayan district of the province of Benguet. Mining operations also lead to increased risk of landslides when typhoons occur. 

Between November 2018 and November 2019, Malteser International and Philippine Association of the Order of Malta worked to sustainably improve drinking water supply for the people in the three villages: Balili, Tabio and Poblacion. We also implemented measures to improve the sanitary and hygiene situation as well as disaster preparedness for the communities.

The district of Mankayan is located at an altitude of 1,025 meters and is home to a number of mining industries. The mining of raw materials in the area has led to a decrease in the water level, thus affecting the availability of water. In the dry season, people in Tabio, Poblacion and Balili villages, especially those living in the uphill areas parts, often face extreme water shortages, not having enough to cover their basic needs of drinking, domestic use and hygiene. As a result, there have been increased reports of diarrhea and skin diseases. Furthermore, one third of the population does not have a suitabe toilet of their own. Schools in the villages lack adequate saniutary facilities.

Mankayan is also vulnerable to recurring typhoons. The mining operations have been responsible for repeated landslides following heavy rainfall during the typhoon season. Many lives have been lost as a result.

The project aims at sustainably improving the water, sanitation and hygiene situation in the communities and schools in Tabio, Balili and Poblacion villages in Mankayan district, while also strengthening their capacities in disaster preparedness.

  • Design and construction of rainwater collection systems

  • Design and installation of biosand-water filters

  • Upgrading water supply systems in two schools

  • Establishment and training of water committees for the sustainable management of the central water supply systems

  • Construction of household latrines (double pit latrines)

  • Hygiene education measures in the communities and schools

  • Training of communities in disaster preparedness and WASH in disaster situations

Country info

Capital: Manila
Area: 300,000 km²
Population: approx. 101 million

Project data

Project duration: November 2018 - November 2019
Donors: Germany's Relief Coalition (Aktion Deutschland Hilft)
Partner: Philippine Association of the Order of Malta

Last udpdated: November 2019

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