The energy and water nexus for off-grid communities in the Philippines and Southeast Asia

Date: 26 November 2016
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Related Event: Burgos Smart Villages Workshop

Water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH), energy, and agriculture are topics of great importance to every rural community. In Southeast Asia, these issues overlap in many remote villages where lack of access to energy is often coupled with lack of access to clean drinking water or water for sanitation or agriculture. This report summarises the information presented at, and conclusions arising from, the workshop on issues related to energy, water, and food for rural communities held by the Philippines Center for Water and Sanitation (PCWS) and the Smart Villages Initiative. The workshop took place at the northern end of Luzon in Burgos, Ilocos Norte in the Philippines. It was part of an on-going programme of engagement by the Smart Villages Initiative in Southeast Asia. It brought together a diverse group of around 28 people working on WASH, energy, and agriculture in off-grid villages in Southeast Asia to review their experiences to date and to identify barriers to further progress and how they may be overcome.

The workshop was held over three days, from 1-3 June 2016. The first day consisted of a field
trip to the Energy Development Corporation’s wind and solar plants to gain insight into a renewable energy project connected to water and agricultural in the Philippines. The second day consisted of presentations from 11 people, beginning with an introduction to the Smart Villages Initiative and PCWS. There were presentations on WASH initiatives in the Philippines, renewable energy and rural energy development in the Philippines. Moreover, there were presentations on wide-ranging topics including off-grid agriculture, research methods for the energy-water-food nexus, and studies of gender in rural electrification. The day ended with a discussion of some key questions for the communities. Day three consisted of a final in-depth discussion of messages to send to policy makers and the energy, water, and food communities working in off-grid rural areas.