995 People in the Philippines now have Access to Safe Water

 In Donor, Field Partner, Philippines, Water

At Surge, 2021 is the year of growth. In Uganda, we’ve started drilling wells and after 7 years working in the Philippines with Clean Water International, we are now providing entire communities, in addition to homes, with clean, safe water, through a localized source.

In the Philippines, many rural areas lack access to safe water, and Barangay Colonsavac is one of them. Colonsavac Elementary School in Matanao, Davao del Sur, Philippines has 187 students, eight teachers and 800 surrounding community members who relied on buying bottled water. While they do have access to spring water, it’s contaminated, causing waterborne disease to spread, and there have been reports of cholera in the community. Due to the scarcity of water, their only options were to either drink the contaminated water or purchase bottled water.

Colonsavac Elementary School

After a needs assessment was carried out and the community and local government officials attended a project orientation, work began to bring the students and surrounding households clean water. During construction, a concrete platform was built to hold the three tanks of the village biosand filter.

The Village Biosand Filter

The first tank in the system holds 1,000 liters of raw, unfiltered water. From there, the water moves into another 1,000 liter biosand tank that relies on the simple technology of sand filtration. These filters can filter particulate matter, turbidity, and pathogens in water sources – all without electricity! – making them ideal solutions for rural communities. Once filtered, the water travels into a 2,000 liter tank for the community to access.

Community members using the hand-washing station at the biosand filter

With this filter, not only will the students at Colonsavac Elementary School have access to clean, safe water, but so will 800 additional community members. School teachers will save approximately $100 annually by not having to buy bottled water, and residents will have less fear about becoming sick.

We would like to give special thanks to the MDRT Foundation, who sponsored our first village biosand filter and helped transform the lives of 995 people. Surge is excited to impact more communities in the Philippines through these filters!

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