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Gov’t to unveil solar water project for off-grid villages in Mindanao

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The government will launch next month a solar water project for remote villages in Mindanao to prepare for the expected El Niño next year.

Mindanao Development Authority (MinDa) Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said his office, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) and the local government units (LGUs) of Mindanao will gather at the SMX Centre at SM Lanang, Davao City to officially roll out the Mindanao Solar Water Supply and Irrigation Project on December 6.

The MinDA Solar Water Supply and Irrigation Project aims to provide sources of safe drinking water for the off-grid villages in Mindanao and Palawan while at the same time giving farmers access to irrigation water for agricultural crops including rice.

At least 2,000 barangays in Mindanao are still without safe sources of drinking water while MinDA aims to assist LGUs in irrigating 100,000 hectares of rice farms in preparation for the El Niño which is expected next year.

Unlike the Solar Powered Irrigation System (SPIS), which Piñol introduced when he was Agriculture Secretary and was granted for free to farmers’ groups, the MinDA Solar Water Supply and Irrigation Project will be funded by the DBP through a low-interest loan granted to Mindanao LGUs. #

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