Beyond2020 returns to Southeast Asia following key sustainable engagements in Indonesia and Cambodia, with a deployment that is uplifting the lives of 18,000 people in The Philippines by enhancing water access and reducing water costs by 85%. Four hydraulic ram pumps and 13 kiosks will be used to impact 3,000 residents in the village of Cabagnaan in the Province of Negros Occidental and 15,000 people in 14 villages across Altavista in the Province of Leyte.

The innovative technology is an enhancement of a system created more than 240 years ago that brings water uphill without the use of electricity or fuel and the emission of harmful gasses.

Launched by the Zayed Sustainability Prize in partnership with several leading organisations, the Beyond2020 initiative exemplifies the humanitarian legacy of the UAE’s founding father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan by donating sustainable technologies and solutions to vulnerable communities worldwide. The Philippines marks the tenth deployment of Beyond2020, which effectively addresses some of the world’s most pressing sustainable development challenges, providing quality healthcare, nutritious food, essential energy, and access to safe water for drinking and sanitation.

H.E Mohammed Obaid Al Zaabi, UAE Ambassador to the Philippines, said: “As a wide-reaching humanitarian initiative spearheaded by the UAE government and its wise leadership to drive sustainable economic growth globally, Beyond2020 offers crucial and life-transforming solutions to beneficiaries worldwide. The initiative’s deployment in the Philippines offers communities innovative water technology solutions that aim to improve the health and wellbeing of rural residents through long-term impact, paving the way for an easier, safer and more sustainable lifestyle.”

 H.E Al Zaabi added, “The UAE and the Philippines share a common vision towards building a more prosperous and sustainable future for their people, in accordance with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Moreover, the collaboration complements our historically close bilateral relations across multiple avenues. By tackling water scarcity, the drive to further optimise a vital resource for the benefit of communities in the Philippines, also coincides with the recent launch of UAE’s ‘Principles of the 50’ that seek to stimulate socio-economic growth through humanitarian aid. They are important guiding principles inspired by the enduring legacy of the UAE’s founding father, the late Sheikh Zayed, based on his core values of sustainability, humanitarianism and global cooperation.”

The communities of Cabagnaan and Altavista, that are located on different islands, share the same challenges, whereby water is not available and has to be fetched from a source located further downhill from the community. The deployment utilises a holistic ram pump water system by the Alternative Indigenous Development Foundation, Inc. (AIDFI), a 2020 Zayed Sustainability Prize finalist under the ‘Water’ category.

The Philippines Ambassador to the UAE H.E Hjayceelyn M. Quintana added, “We are pleased to see the introduction of these essential, environmentally-friendly and life-changing solutions by the Beyond2020 initiative. The notable reach and impact of the technology supports the Philippine government’s drive to improve public services and the health of our citizens, with water being a key priority for social welfare and sustainable development.”

“We are confident that the mobilsation of international action that empowers and supports our communities’ ability to access and manage water resources will promote widespread benefits to the daily lives of impacted beneficiaries. We therefore extend our gratitude to the initiative and its partners whose involvement has been central to the realisation of the project on the ground today.”

H.E. Ólafur Grímsson, Chair of the Zayed Sustainability Prize Jury and former President of the Republic of Iceland, said “Beyond2020’s latest project in the Philippines demonstrates the power of leveraging an innovative solution by our global community of winners and finalists and exploring its long-term capacity for beneficiaries. The initiative also demonstrates the power of collaboration as the Prize and its partners have impacted communities in 10 countries to-date, with further deployments scheduled for 2022.”

In addition to providing clean water for drinking and sanitation, the carbon-neutral technology offers residents the opportunity to improve or pursue water-related livelihoods such as vegetable gardens, aquaculture, and livestock breeding, while facilitating a more conducive environment to avoid several waterborne diseases stemming from dirty water. Furthermore, access to improved hygiene grows in prominence given the importance of handwashing in preventing the spread of COVID-19, a pressing concern for vulnerable communities worldwide.

Ten deployments have been rolled out to date under the umbrella of Beyond2020, with another nine in progress. Completed deployments include vital energy, health, water and food-related solutions in Nepal, Tanzania, Uganda, Jordan, Egypt, Cambodia, Madagascar, Indonesia, Bangladesh, and The Philippines.

Beyond2020 brings together a leading number of partners which include Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, Mubadala Petroleum and Masdar.