MBA students provide safe water for Typhoon-torn regions in the Philippines
MBA students from the National University of Singapore (NUS) are working to provide sustainable sources of clean, safe drinking water in areas destroyed by the deadliest Philippine typhoon on record.
A team from the NUS Social Impact Club is working with non-profit organisation SIBAT, and is supported by a grant from oil and gas company Total S.A. to fund and install a series of solar-powered water pumps across the region.
The first of these installations has now begun in the small town of Tolosa.
Typhoon Haiyan claimed over 6,000 lives and destroyed access to clean drinking water across the Philippines in November 2013.
Julian Ragragio is a member of the four-student team behind the ‘Tolosa Water Systems’ initiative. After hearing first-hand accounts from friends working in the area of widespread poverty, and desperate need for clean water that still existed almost two years after the disaster, he was inspired to take action.
With each water pump alone costing around $4,000 USD, and a complete system with a generator and piping costing almost $20,000 USD, it has been a struggle for the local government to fund and recover a clean water supply.
Having met on the MBA programme at NUS, the team say the course has given them the skills and opportunities to find a solution, and make their life-changing project a reality.
Ragragio says: “Local people have had to walk to open, shallow-dug wells that are highly contaminated and take back containers to their houses. This water is prone to germs and disease.
“It’s expensive, but fitting a pump deep into the ground provides much safer water. We hope that the pump in Tolosa is the first of many to be installed in the region.”