April 29, 2016
The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is supporting the pilot testing of a water purifying technology in the Philippines in a move to share Japanese know-how and expertise in addressing development challenges including water supply in areas deprived of safe, affordable water.
The technology called "Aqua Cube" was pilot-tested recently in two far-flung and low-income barangays in Sagay City, Negros Occidental.
Aqua Cube, developed by Japanese company Murakami Manufacturing Co. Ltd., features a compact, all-in-one package (treatment, generator, water tank and simple operation and maintenance). The purification capacity of the equipment is 2,000 liters per hour. It was introduced in the Philippines and other countries by Japanese marketing company INADA, Inc.
When implemented, the Aqua Cube technology could process raw water from irrigation channels, rivers, and creeks. It has auto-cleaning function and can produce clean drinking water for 600 people in an hour.
Said initiative is part of JICA's Verification Survey with the Private Sector for Disseminating Japanese Technologies, a component of Japan's official development assistance (ODA) where Japanese companies work with government agencies to share technologies that can help address needs of developing countries.
"We aim to share Japanese technology that can help disseminate safe water to remote areas in the Philippines," said JICA Senior Representative Takahiro Morita. "Likewise, assuring supply of quality water in low-income areas is crucial in addressing public health challenges and livelihood opportunities."
JICA said they welcome the support of the Sagay City's LGU to the technology and lauded the LGU's effort in prioritizing safe drinking water supply to sustain development.
JICA added that aside from providing safe and affordable water supply, the project also aims to address vulnerability of drinking water sources during disasters like Typhoon Yolanda and the recent El Nino phenomenon. In Japan, the technology was developed to ensure stable, safe water supply during emergencies.
The local government of Sagay City said the technology could help ensure the health of the people of Sagay since it could purify the water from deep wells commonly contaminated with bacteria. The water supply system in Negros Occidental Province only covers 53% of the population (2012 data) and many of the poor areas without water system rely on boiled rain water or boiled water from wells for household use.
The local residents also shared that the improved water quality helped extend the shelf life of buko pie products (a specialty Filipino baked coconut pie), a livelihood source in the barangays. The food product's shelf-life was extended from few days to a week, thus helping increase sales by 50%.
In times of disasters and emergencies, the LGU said, the portability of the technology also allows easy relocation of equipment to barangays where safe drinking water is needed.
Aside from safe water technology, JICA also helped introduce other Japanese technology in the Philippines recently to support sustainable development. This includes, among others, geo-cloud software that helps LGUs utilize maps and manage disaster-related information for coordination and easy allocation of resources in times of disasters.
The Aqua Cube, a portable water supply technology can provide safe and affordable water to remote areas in the Philippines. With support from the Japan International Cooperation Agency, the technology developed by Japanese company, Murakami Manufacturing Co. Ltd. and brought to the Philippines by INADA, Inc. was pilot-tested recently in waterless and low-income barangays in Sagay City, Negros Occidental.
Residents of Sagay City, drink the purified water produced by the Aqua Cube during the Panaad Festival