The Smart Villages Initiative together with the Philippines Center for Water and Sanitation (PCWS) held a workshop in Burgos, Ilocos Norte in the Philippines to discuss issues relating to the nexus of energy, water, and food in rural off-grid communities in Southeast Asia on 1-3 June 2016. Expert participants were brought together from the water, sanitation and hygiene, renewable energy, and agriculture communities working in the non-profit, government, and business sectors.
Over 120 million people in Southeast Asia still live without access to electricity, with the majority of these people living in rural communities. At the same time, the number of people that lack access to improved drinking water sources in Southeast Asia is 61 million, with 8 out of 10 of these people living in rural areas. 176 million people in the region do not have proper sanitation.
There are significant overlaps between projects that are focused on energy access and those that are focused on water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH). The workshop highlighted these overlaps and potential synergies arising from taking a more integrated approach. Attention was given to the practical lessons from the experiences of the WASH community in the Philippines and how these can be transferred to the energy access agenda.