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HomeProvincial NewsWater strategy: USAID partners with NegOcc vs water scarcity, climate change

Water strategy: USAID partners with NegOcc vs water scarcity, climate change

Water water everywhere but not a drop to drink.

With tiempo suerte coming earlier as certain mills start operations, and more human activity expected in the coming months LGUs all over are now on a search for more sources of potable water.

Earlier, Negros Occidental Provincial Administrator Rayfrando Diaz II told DNX that tapping surface sources such as rivers and streams for potable bulk water supply was one of the plans he discussed with international development agency USAID.

Diaz also said groundwater sources are becoming more difficult to tap and saltwater intrusion into freshwater sources is also becoming a problem.

The problem of water has long been a problem especially in countries where rainfall is scarce with vast tracts of land practically inhospitable, as well as water sources quickly drying up no thanks to a publishingly arid climate.

The USAID, in their website, acknowledges that such conditions have led to the lack of access to water whether for drinking or for other needs like washing and bathing.

The USAID added that US foreign policy has recognized how “water security, sanitation and hygiene” have now become urgent concerns especially now that the world is recovering from a pandemic that drove it to its knees.

USAID also recognized the need to respond to the issue of global warming and climate change as well as “confront growing threats to equality, peace, and security”.

Efforts to mitigate problem of water scarcity was done through the signing of the Water for the World Act of 2014 which requires the Department of State and USAID deliver Global Water Strategies within three years on the first implementation of every five years after that.

A new version will be passed October this year.

The USAID’s recent efforts in the Philippines has Mission Director Ryan Washburn forging partnerships when he visited the province for “water and economic resilience”.

Wasburn celebrated World Water Day by joining National Economic and Development Authority Usec. Roderick Planta, Negros Occidental Gov. Eugenio Lacson, third district Cong. Francisco Benitez, Coca-Cola Foundation Philippines President Ma. Cecilia Alcantara, and local government officials for a ceremonial tree planting celebrating the first anniversary of the Partnership for Water and Economic Resilience (P4WatER), a press release from USAID revealed.

“P4WatER is a four-year watershed conservation project in partnership with Coca-Cola Foundation Philippines Inc. and the Multisectoral Alliance for Development-Negros that works to rehabilitate watershed areas and provide sustainable livelihood to rice and sugar farmers. USAID has also supported the Negros Occidental provincial government in developing its first water security plan,” the press release added.

Wasburn is quoted as saying that protection of forests, watersheds, and water resources also means protection of communities from climate risks, and more importantly, providing these communities a means to recover against the impact of climate change.

Hannah A. Papasin
Hannah A. Papasinhttp://facebook.com/hannah.mariveles
Writer. Critic. Professor. She started writing since primary school and now has two published textbooks on communication. A film buff, she's a Communication, Media Literacy and Journalism Professor of the University of St. La Salle-Bacolod, and has a Master's Degree in English.
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