Friday, May 6, 2011

A$21.584 Asian development bank finance project on Phl water and sanitation extended-Angara

SENATE OFFICE, Manila, May 7, 2011-Senator Edgardo J. Angara, Chair of the Congressional Commission on Science Technology and Engineering (COMSTE) revealed that Australia has extended a grant worth A$ 21.584 through the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to finance trust funds for the country’s water infrastructure and clean energy initiatives which will be used to help finance projects that will bring water sanitation and clean energy to areas in Asia and the Pacific.

Angara said that to improve the country’s water and sanitation infrastructure, the ADB is actively supporting many projects in the country and it will be opened to help finance similar projects.

“I urged the government once again to improve the country’s water and sanitation to avoid crisis,” Angara said who recently held a conference called Water W.A.T.C.H. (Wise Adaptation of Technologies for Clean H2O) to promote the deployment of the latest in new technologies and best practices for water resource management in light of numerous studies that show that there could be a worldwide water crisis due to climate change.

The Senator said that there is a need to dispel the prevailing notion that have adequate water supply to last for generations, revealing that some areas have an abundance of clean water while some areas are arid.

To properly distribute and manage our water resources, Angara said that innovative water management is essential and the best way to do this is by utilizing science and technology, explaining that Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) plays a vital factor here.

“Since the government can only move so fast, a swift and sure solution would be for LGU’s to reach out to private funding institutions to develop the necessary infrastructure in water and sanitation and lessen our yearly losses,” Angara said, adding that the water crisis is a silent crisis in the Philippines, because issues concerning water have long been neglected. And yet, it encompasses a myriad of problems that affect our bid towards sustainable development.

“The water is a health issue,” Angara said, explaining that more than one third of diseases in the Philippines are water-borne. “It is also a food security issue,” Angara furthered, saying that rice is our staple food and is heavily dependent on water.

Angara added that approximately 3,000 liters of water is needed to grow one kilogram of rice and more than a third of our labor force depend on agriculture, water also affects rural livelihood, and development in the countryside.

“Our failure to recognize issues concerning water has affected the quality of life of most Filipinos. The UN has ranked the Philippines as 84th out of 177 countries in the Human Development Report, and one of the main reasons for there is the poor distribution of water and sanitation in the country,” Angara said.

Angara said that there is a need to start taking action against the water crisis as the Asian Development Bank, river and groundwater systems in the Philippines will fail by 2025. “We have to start cleaning up now to prevent crisis,” Angara said.

“Science and innovative technology can provide us solutions to the water crisis. What we need is a sound strategy in the use of technologies in ensuring adequate water supply that is clean and healthful,” Angara said, citing the rain harvesting systems in India and Japan that have existed for hundreds of years. (Jason de Asis)


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