April 19, 2016 – In countless, remote, upland communities throughout the country, people have to deal with a basic, urgent problem the instant they wake up – getting water. For most of them, it means a downhill trek over ravines and boulders to draw water from a stream or well and then taking their precious haul uphill over the same distance, over the same rugged terrain. Only then can they even start on the mundane tasks of daily life.
But the future is taking a brighter and refreshing turn for these villages. The installation of the Agos Ram Pump, one of the water stewardship projects of Coca‑Cola Philippines, is helping these communities gain better access to water, which is now right at their doorsteps.
“In support of the 100 percent water replenishment goal of The Coca‑Cola Company, we started the Agos Ram Pump Project, which provides simple and sustainable water systems to water-poor communities in the country,” said Diego Granizo, President and General Manager of Coca‑Cola Philippines.
As part of its water replenishment goal, The Coca‑Cola Company aims to safely return to nature and bring to communities the amount of water equal to what is used in the finished beverages and their production. In order to achieve its 100 percent water replenishment goal, the Company engages in wastewater treatment facilities for all its production plants and in providing water facilities that improve access to water-poor communities.
In the Philippines, the project’s key component is the Agos Ram Pump, a modified version of a 200-year-old technology that elevates water without the need for electricity. It harnesses the momentum of naturally-flowing water to propel itself into reservoirs, which in turn channels water to common tap stands near the clusters of houses.
The once dusty and barren Sitio Binalbagan in Barangay Masulog, La Castellana is one of the communities that have been transformed by the Agos Ram Pump.
“With the problem of water accessibility a thing of the past, communities can now focus on life’s more important aspects. Children can now go to school, vegetable patch gardens are grown in the backyard, mothers have time to do economically productive endeavors, and hygiene and sanitation has improved,” Granizo added.
More than 140 households in the village benefit from the Agos Ram Pump, which supplies 25,920 liters of fresh water daily. Across the Philippines, a total of 20,018 households have benefitted from the project since 2011. As of 2015, 1.319 billion liters of water have flowed through Agos Ram Pumps.
“In 2012, Coca‑Cola Philippines promised to deliver 100 Agos Ram Pumps to the communities that do not have access to water. Today, we are celebrating not only 100 but 118 Agos Ram Pumps that have been installed across 39 provinces in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. Our business is only as sustainable as the communities we serve, and through the Agos Ram Pump we aim to make a positive difference to these communities,” Granizo said. Coca‑Cola Philippines has also installed rainwater catchment facilities and gravity installations in 11 locations around the country.
Coca‑Cola Philippines, together with its partner, Alternative Indigenous Development Foundation, Inc. (AIDFI), has been providing Agos Ram Pumps as a means of giving access to water for various upland communities around the country. The guiding principle behind this initiative is that the same amount of water that Coca‑Cola uses in making products, should be returned to communities and nature.