The AIDFI (Alternative Indigenous Development Foundation is is this year’s winner in The Water, Air and Food Awards, Water Category with 44% of the public voting. This was announced at a virtual ceremony earlier this month with special participation of Royal Highness Tengku Amir Shah Ibni Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah Al-Haj, Crown Prince of Selangor Malaysia, Ambassadors, Excellencies and friends of WAFA.
The AIDFI initiative fights against water issues in Province of Negros Occidental, Philippines. Reduced rainfall due to climate change, and lack of government help forces hill dwellers to manually fetch an average of 40 litres of water per day 1-2 km distances. Most of the villagers there are too poor to afford alternative water sources.
AIDFI Training local village technicians
As a solution the initiative has introduced Ram pumps and trained locals to install and maintain them. They aimed to supply water uphill for drinking, household use and boosting agricultural output in a way that triggers further community development and promotes environmental sustainability. Ram pumps need no external energy supply apart from the energy inherent in flowing water and they can push water fifty times higher for every metre drop/fall of water without emitting greenhouse gases.
AIDFI A tapstand in an indigenous community (photo taken by Coca-Cola Foundation Philippines, In
The initiative has directly impacted 290,000 people. AIDFI has installed about 1200 ram pump systems in 580 communities, increasing the amount of water available per person and decreasing the impact of waterborne illnesses, improving education, and enhancing agricultural output. Installed pumps deliver together over 11 million litres of water per day. The initiative has trained over 1100 local village technicians and employs 33 people with fulfilling, regular, green jobs and saves the environment 8000 tons of CO2 yearly.
Says WAFA Executive Chairperson & CEO Tina Lindgreen: “This year’s finalists all show ingenuity, tenacity, and social entrepreneurship. They are all silent heroes, bringing us hope and inspiration that all around the world communities secure their access to the basics of life in a sustainable way. And by giving them recognition they actualise their potential to scale and replicate their innovations.
Says Auke Idzenga (CEO) and Cherie Gomez (Operations Manager) at AIDFI: “Thank you to WAFA organisation for appreciating the silent heroes in our case the waterless communities. We hope that through this award we can save more communities.”
Since 2010 WAFA have received 599 award applications and celebrated 18 winners from countries all over the world.