The 27 generator sets, which are part of the P376-million pro-poor water supply project of Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD) and Vitens Evides International (VEI), were recently turned over by the supplier.
After the blessing of the more than P42-million equipment, a ceremonial lighting of a Christmas tree was then held using one of the generator sets.
In a speech, MCWD OIC general manager Jorge Gabriente, said that when typhoon Ruping hit Cebu in the 90s, there was no power supply for two weeks that also affected the supply of water.
Now, with the availability of generator sets, MCWD’s consumers will be assured of water supply even during disasters.
The generator sets will be distributed to the different production wells of MCWD within Metro Cebu.
Patrick Egan, VEI’s project manager, said he is thankful to MCWD for its cooperation for the realization of the project.
Rene Mercado, MCWD chairman board of director, said he was grateful to VEI and the Dutch Government for the grant because this will help MCWD carry out its mandate of providing potable and affordable water to the people of Metro Cebu.
VEI is the corporate social responsibility company formed from the four biggest water companies in the Netherlands.
The other partners of the project, which aims to deliver water to the poorest of the poor in Metro Cebu, are Eau et Vie (E&V), Tubig Pag-asa, the Netherlands Red Cross and the Cebu City Government.
The Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO), through its Sustainable Water Fund (FDW), is funding 55 percent (P208 million) of the $8 million (P376 million) five-year private-public partnership water supply project that will benefit the lives of 80,000 people in Metro Cebu.
Aside from the P208 million FDW grant, MCWD will contribute more than P112 million, while VEI will give P38.5 million as counterpart.
Tubig Pag-asa will contribute more than P1 million, while the Netherlands Red Cross’ contribution will be P15 million.
Through the project, MCWD will acquire 27 generator sets and will lay 16 kilometers of pipelines, 3.15 kilometers of interconnection lines, install 10,000 regular connections and E & V will install another 5,000 connections in extremely poor communities.
After the full implementation of the project, the target communities must have improved access to drinking water, sanitation facilities, healthcare, education and increased capacity to respond to future disasters.
Part of the project is a community health program that will provide support in water, sanitation and hygiene (Wash), health promotion and disaster resilience.
The Netherlands Red Cross will be working in close coordination with the local Red Cross. They are responsible for delivering the Wash program and improving water sustainability for the very poor people. Although the beneficiaries will still have to pay for the water they consume, Egan said water prices are reasonable at P26 per cubic meter, the same rate for MCWD’s customers.
Water fees will be collected daily to make it more affordable for the families, while the P4,900 connection fee will be payable in 18 months. The project is also expected to provide health gains through community programs that will increase the resilience of very poor communities. It is also expected to improve Metro Cebu’s preparedness for disasters as MCWD will have backup power for its most critical production sites. (PR)
Source: Sunstar Cebu