Water in Ambalgan, Philippines
In 2007, Harmen van der Laan, Msc. Student Civil Engineering, specialization Sanitary Engineering, is for 3 months on an internship in the Philippines. His target is to do research on the drinking water problem and to find a solution for the problem. The drinking water system is about 30 years old and does not have enough capacity. 70% of the people do not have enough drinking water during the day. People can maintain themselves, but can’t invest in their future to increase their wealth. In November 2007, Harmen and 2 other students start to get the funding for a drinking water project and start to complete the plan for a project that must solve the drinking water problem.
Ownership & Capacity building
There is enough water in the environment for the people who need it. The problem is the management-system and the lack of maintenance on the current system. The differences in power and wealth make that changing the system is impossible for the ‘man of the street’. The drinking water project can only be a success if the project is done by and not for the people. It is very important that this is the ideology from scratch. Capacity building is also very important. Only solid organisations are able to resolve problems themselves. This can be achieved by training individual people who fit well into their culture.
The groundwater must be drawn from 90 meters below ground level. This water is clean and of good quality. To ensure reliable drinking water, chlorine disinfection must be done. To avoid pressure losses, a water tower of about 12 to 15 meters high will be build. This tower contains a volume of 25 cubic meters and compensate for the pressure losses. By a 4.5 kilometre long network of PE pipes, the drinking water flows to the people. The capacity of the network is enough for the lifetime of the pipes.