Philippines – finalist in BBC World Challenge 2010 PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 05 November 2010 16:08

Good news! Philippines is one of the 12 finalists of UK’s BBC World Challenge 2010. The hydraulic ram water pump project of the Alternative Indigenous Development Foundation Inc.(AIDFI) in Negros Occidental has been chosen from the thousands of entry from many countries.  It brings clean water up to mountains with natural energy. Now in its sixth year, it is sponsored by BBC World News and Newsweek, in association with Shell and is about championing and rewarding projects and businesses which really make a difference. The competition is aimed at finding projects or small businesses from around the world that have shown enterprise and innovation at a grass roots level.

The winner of the World Challenge 2010 will receive a grant of US$20,000. The second and third Finalist will each receive a grant US$10,000. The grants are awarded to projects/small businesses for their own use and furtherance of their enterprise only. In the event of a tie for first place, the top two Finalists will receive a grant of US$15,000 each and the third Finalist will receive a grant of US$10,000.

Each grant will be awarded to the relevant project/small business and one person will be nominated by each project/small business to accept the grant on its behalf ('Representatives'). BBC World News accepts no obligation to any other people linked to the project/small business. The Representatives will be invited to attend a ceremony at a venue in the Netherlands to receive the grants. The grants will be awarded by BBC World News and the ceremony will be filmed and shown as the last programme in the World Challenge series on the BBC World News channel.

The award winning hydraulic ram pump, designed and developed  by AIDFI, is capable of pumping water up to 200 meters high and bringing clean water to people living in high mountains who previously had to undertake often difficult and dangerous journeys just in order to collect clean water. With these unique pumps, the people now have ample water supply for washing, sanitation and irrigating crops.

By developing an improved ram pump design and involving communities in installation and maintenance, AIDFI has avoided the pitfalls other ram pump projects encountered which made them ultimately unsustainable. With the support of the community, AIDFI pumps can last at least twenty years. The success of the scheme has also changed the mindset of local people who now see renewable energy as the best option for them.

Using the power of a river's flow to literally push water uphill without any other energy input, it's proving to be a boon for poor villagers living in mountainous regions. The ram pump can save both hours of back-breaking work carrying water and cash where expensive water pumps are replaced. AIDFI has introduced the ram pump to over 170 upland villages, and has plans to spread the benefits far and wide among poor communities.

Since the founding of AIDFI in the 90s by union worker Leonidas Baterna, it has been developing and pushing for appropriate technologies in support of agricultural production and the basic needs of the people especially water, sanitation and energy. In fact it has already developed and promoted 15 technologies.  Baterna shared ideas and dreams of an integral and liberating development with Dutch development worker Auke Idzenga.

AIDFI believes that the poverty and hunger that stalk especially our rural folk can be solved through land redistribution, agricultural production support and renewable and cheap technologies. AIDFI technologies are designed to suit the needs for village level capacity in the operation and maintenance of technologies; locally available spare parts and other peripherals; and the resource/fund capacity of the local folk to support, maintain and develop the technologies.  It also stands that technologies alone will not make a program or project sustainable. Thus, it trains community development workers who can assist villages in organizing themselves, raising their social, political and entrepreneurial consciousness, developing self-reliance, and in managing projects.

Let's Power VOTE for the Philippines! Watch and share the BBC film on the work of the only Philippine finalist in the World Challenge. And vote online: Deadline is November 12, 2010.

Last Updated on Friday, 05 November 2010 16:35