Sustainable and resilient pro-poor water supply project in Cebu

The sustainable and resilient pro-poor water supply project Cebu is located in the central, typhoon-prone part of the Philippines. The Metro Cebu Water District (MCWD) provides water to 43% (820,000) of the population, is profitable and can sustain its operations but  it lacks capital for significant expansion of the network. No investors are interested in funding extensions of the distribution system. Especially in poor areas where return on investment is low and risks are higher and it is not commercial viable for MCWD to invest. MCWD developed a 60-80 strategy (aiming to connect 60% households and 80% commercial), but funding this strategy is problematic leaving the most vulnerable people without safe and affordable drinking water. Another issue in the region is that the Cebu area suffers from regular earthquakes and typhoons after which MCWD is not capable of recovering water production within an acceptable time span.

The project intends to improve access to clean drinking water to 80,000 poor people, of which 30,000 belong to the poorest people in the slums of Cebu aiming to alleviate poverty, improve health conditions, improve livelihoods, improve conditions for economic growth and enhance self-reliance. For the poorest, community programmes will enhance health gains, with training in Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), Health Promotion, Food Security and in building resilience against natural disasters. Without this project, these people would never have access to such amenities. To ensure that water supply remains uninterrupted, or can be operational soon after strong typhoons or earthquakes, the project will also provide plans and facilities to increase disaster preparedness and resilience. So that shortly after a major incident the population will quickly have their basic needs catered and can focus on reconstruction their livelihood. Furthermore, MCWD operations (project management, distribution control, water safety) will be improved by training and the design of a water safety plan including after Disaster Guidelines and equipment. These guidelines will help MCWD to get operations started after a disaster.

Project summary

Project number:
Total budget:
€ 3,998,326
Philippines (the)
Project status:
Budget spent:
90.00 %
90.00 % spent
Tied status:
Partially tied
Project partners:
Cebu City, Company, Eau Et Vie, Het Nederlandse Rode Kruis, Metro Cebu Water District, Netherlands Enterprise Agency
Basic drinking water supply and basic sanitation