With more than 60,000 inhabitants in a 53-hectare land area, the Baseco compound is one of the largest and densest slums in Manila. This congested community suffers from poor sanitation and access to safe and affordable drinking water. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to strike on businesses and other livelihood sources, families in Baseco need immediate help in alleviating their worsening condition.
Through the Grundfos Foundation’s Community Grant of P7.1 million, the community in Baseco will receive two water treatment systems to bring clean water, sustain education on proper sanitation and livelihood opportunities to this community. Grundfos Philippines together with non-profit organization, Asia Society for Social Improvement & Sustainable Transformation (ASSIST) will install these Grundfos systems, which are solar powered water-filtration units in Baseco. These two Grundfos systems can help provide up to 4,000 liters of clean water per hour and has a total production capacity of 96,000 liters per day; enabling more than 4,000 locals per day to receive safe water for drinking and hand washing.
This initiative will also open opportunities for social enterprises through a community cooperative of water business and health-related livelihood such as soap-making led by the Kabalikat sa Pag-unlad ng Baseco People’s Organization. Net proceeds from these activities will also sustain information campaigns such as regular WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) trainings and distribution of informative materials within the community. Grundfos and ASSIST employees will also be engaged in the trainings and events as community volunteers.
“Critical life sources such as clean water and sanitation facilities have always been imperative. It is needed now more than ever as lack of access to these basic needs may bring greater health risks to communities and make them highly susceptible to the spread of diseases such as COVID-19. Discovering the water and sanitation requirements of Baseco has been an eye-opener for us. Our support through this grant will help us pursue our commitment to provide safe water for one of the world’s poorest and improve their living and health standards,” said Kim Nøhr Skibsted, Executive Director, Grundfos Foundation.
“To be able to put sustainability, our company core value, into action and create a positive impact for the people is a duty we are honored to fulfill,” said Jonathan Breton, General Manager, Grundfos Philippines. “Moreover, these water systems are not only sustainable with respect to the environment but will also ensure financial stability of its operations through the social enterprises being built around it. This will in the long-run support its operations and provide livelihood opportunities for the residents of Baseco,” Breton added.
“We are grateful for the grant from Grundfos Foundation and the partnership of Grundfos Philippines that has enabled us to help setup a sustainable clean drinking water ecosystem in Baseco. It’s a self-sustaining program which will help the community become more resilient. We hope this will bring development not just in the quality of water in the community, but also in their quality of life,” said Sreenivas Narayanan, Managing Director, ASSIST Asia.
A ceremony to kick-start this initiative was held on October 29 at Baseco and was attended by representatives from the community, Grundfos Philippines and ASSIST. Both Grundfos Philippines and ASSIST are also working on scaling up this initiative, by installing few more water purification systems in Baseco along with other partners.
Aside from the Baseco project, Grundfos Philippines and ASSIST are also partners in an ongoing project named Solutions which supports the farming communities on solar irrigation systems.