Albay coco farmers get solar-powered water distribution system

Published December 12, 2021, 7:00 PM

by James A. Loyola

Chemrez Technologies Inc., a subsidiary of D&L Industries Inc., together with the Lao Foundation and global essential oil firm doTerra International have put up a solar-powered potable water facility and livelihood projects for coconut farmers in Camalig, Albay.

The multi-million-peso sustainable water distribution project, which took two years of planning and conceptualization thru the initiative of Chemrez and a substantial financial grant from doTERRA, has 12 tap stands operated by a solar-powered pump.

Chemrez Technologies, Lao Foundation and doTerra inaugurates solar-powered potable water distribution system for coconut farmers in Camalig, Albay

The Lao Foundation and the Bantonan Community Development Cooperative played key roles in the selection of the community, as well as the mapping of sustainable projects for the residents.

Six kilometers within the permanent danger zone at the foot of the scenic but deadly Mount Mayon, people from around 300 households from Barangay Quirangay in the municipality of Camalig used to endure up to four hours lining up to fetch potable water from the town’s single water source.

Most are school-age kids of coconut farmers, mainly tasked at home to fill up four 20-gallon containers, and they are often late for school.

With the success of the pilot project, plans are now underway to replicate it in other areas where coconut farming communities stand to benefit.

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The steady livelihood and well-being of coconut farmers and their families have always been one of the main thrusts of Chemrez Techonologies, Inc.

The firm runs the country’s first continuous coco biodiesel plant and is also the leading manufacturer of sustainable integrated coco oleo chemical-based specialty ingredients, powder coatings and resins.

Coinciding with the solar water launch, the Lao Foundation offered scholarships for deserving students, in partnership with Technical Vocational schools in the area.

The foundation currently has 139 tech-voc graduates from Don Bosco Legaspi, Don Bosco Naga, and DualTech Canlubang immersing as In-Plant-Trainees(IPTs).

They are then given employment opportunities in the different manufacturing facilities under the D&L Group.

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The Lao Foundation is the CSR Partner of D&L Industries, one of the country’s largest specialty foods ingredients, plastics, and oleochemicals firms.

The solar-powered water source project serves as a model for the Lao Foundation, which was established in 2010, and has embraced full-circle advocacy centered on improving lives thru education and work opportunities. It encompasses projects from grass-roots to the classroom to employment.

The Lao Foundation also partnered with award-winning sustainable agriculture advocate group Agrea to provide sustainable, climate change- adaptive farm-based, human-centered, technical, livelihood, and life skills training for close to 30 coconut farmers and their beneficiaries thru BACODECO.

The Philippines remain one of the world’s leading coconut sources, generating north of $2 billion in yearly export earnings for the economy. Around 3.5 million livelihoods of farmers are directly connected to the coconut industry.

 
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