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Philippines

Murcia Municipality

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Conservation benefit:  Protection of 4,942 acres of forest

Community benefit: Hydraulic ram pump water system

Date Approved: 01.2008

Forest

This project protects forest, preventing the release of greenhouse gases and reducing erosion that damages coastal and ocean ecosystems.

In 1992, the Philippines government identified “biologically important public lands” that provide habitat for rare and endangered species. Unfortunately, during this process the government barely consulted communities, so there is scant grassroots support for some of the protected areas. One of the areas designated is Negros Island in the Western Visayas Region. The Municipality of Murcia is located within the North Negros Forest Reserve and Mt. Kanlaon Natural Park. Illegal logging, slash-and-burn farming, and indiscriminate hunting threaten the protected area.

Three barangays (villages) in the municipality – Barangays Canlandog, Santa Cruz, and Buenavista – are willing to  protect 4,942 acres of watershed forest adjacent to their villages for 30 years. In exchange, Seacology will fund the installation of a hydraulic ram pump water system. The Alternative Indigenous Development Foundation, Inc. will install the pumps, which will provide water for sanitation, hygiene, washing clothes, and drinking.

Project Updates

June 2010

Ferdie reports that the six ram pumps continue to operate, requiring only minimal maintenance. Water continued to flow despite the unusually dry season that just ended. Unfortunately, a few poaching incidents have been reported and the culprits were not caught. The forest guards tightened their patrol schedules beginning in March 2010 to address this concern, and so far this has been effective.

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July 2009

The project is now complete. A total of six ram pumps were placed in the four sites. The water systems include all components: impounding systems, diversion lines, catchments, ram pumps systems, delivery lines, reservoirs, distribution lines, and tap stands. In the four sites there are a total of 23 tap stands, which together deliver 50,000 liters per day. A total of 217 households receive an average of 230 liters per day, compared to the average of 20-40 liters per day before the project. Each site has two local technicians who have been extensively trained in the operation, repair, and maintenance of the ram pump. Each of the ram pump systems has a toolbox with all of the tools needed for repair and maintenance.

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June 2009

The ram pumps in Barangay Calandog continue to work very well. In Barangay Sta. Cruz, the ram pumps were completed in January 2009. The ram pump installation in Barangay Buenavista went into full gear on April 12. Including the tuning of the pumps, they estimate that the project will be finished by May 15, 2009.

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January 2009

As of September 2008, installation of the pumps at Canlandog was complete and a maintenance team was trained. Plans for the rest of 2008 through March 2009 include installation and trainings at the two remaining sites.

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May 2008

In February and March, the Alternative Indigenous Development Foundation (AIDFI) met with local government officers and held community meetings to discuss the details of the project. The Local Government and Provincial Environment and Management Office have both indicated their support for the project either in terms of additional funds or conservation support. Individuals in the communities were chosen for equipment repair and maintenance training, and the first set of materials was purchased and delivered for the Barangay Canlandog system. Construction at all sites is scheduled through March 2009. A Biodiversity Monitoring and Evaluation meeting is planned for May 2008 so that community members can continue discussions on the specifics of the forest reserve protection and conservation plan.

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