Like many highland communities in the Philippines, Barangay Tuburan lacks regular access to water for drinking, and has little-to-no water to spare for irrigating crops. When their drinking water source runs dry, villagers are either forced to purchase costly water or spend hours hauling small quantities of water uphill from distant streams. Much of this labor is often performed by women and children, who are kept from more productive activities such as work and schooling.


The AIDFI Ram Pump is a simple and cost-effective, yet robust technology, which uses the energy of falling water from a river to drive a hydraulic pump, and transport water uphill. Requiring no electricity or fuel inputs, the Ram Pumps installed in Tuburan supply up to 25,000 liters of water per day. More than simply a technological intervention, our program trains local villagers as certified technicians to maintain the hardware, while also creating a local committee to fairly distribute water and manage a village fund, paid into by the villagers, themselves.

Our Role

In early 2017, TEL was approached by Stephen Yao, a US-based philanthropist with ties to Barangay Tuburan, in order to explore solutions for increasing water access in the highland communities surrounding Janiuay in Iloilo, Philippines. Together, we conducted qualitative assessments of farmer and household water needs, along with gathering quantitative data on the local hydrological context. Based on these results, and the presence of a perennial river in the vicinity, we identified the Hydraulic Ram Pump as an appropriate and viable solution. TEL solution provider, Alternative Indigenous Development Foundation (AIDFI), then completed a technical feasibility study to set up a comprehensive water delivery system and local training program.


With generous support from the Coca Cola Foundation of the Philippines, TEL, AIDFI and a newly formed local water committee have implemented a village water system to provide up to 25,000 liters of water per day to Brangay Tuburan. Principally used for irrigation, the increased access to water provides opportunities for farmer households to grow cash crops and create value-added agricultural products, thereby increasing household income, while also improving nutrition through the consumption of locally sourced produce. Stay tuned for results from our year-one impact assessment in spring 2019.

Location: Iloilo, Philippines

Launch date: May 2017

Beneficiaries: TBD

Alternative Indigenous Development Foundation

Coca Cola Foundation Philippines

Project Status: active
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