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Local group bringing clean water to Philippines villagers

Green Empowerment wins big contract

Portland’s Green Empowerment won a $1.4 million contract from the U.S. Agency for International Development to help 15,000 Filipino villagers get clean water.

The local nonprofit will lead a three-year project focusing on remote mountain communities in the southern war-torn islands of Mindanao.

“Currently, these families haul buckets long distances from exposed and contaminated water sources,” says Anna Garwood, executive director of Green Empowerment.

The federal grant will pay for installation of ram pumps, latrines, rainwater harvesting devices and other locally sourced technologies.

Ram pumps are manufactured by the Alternative Indigenous Development Foundation, which is partnering with Green Empowerment in the Philippines project.

Low-cost ram pumps have only two moving parts and require no fuel. With the pumps, water pushes itself uphill, where it is stored in tanks and piped to homes as far as 4 kilometers from the water source.

To see a ram pump in action: youtube.com/watch?v=X8v8YvdinD.