In time for the celebration of Earth Month in April of every year, the Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office 7—Central Visayas, in collaboration with the Provinces of Negros Oriental and Siquijor, has started the implementation of Project LAWA at BINHI in selected municipalities.

Partner beneficiaries in the Municipality of Lazi, Siquijor, listen intensively to the discussions of Project LAWA at BINHI in one of their learning and development sessions.

The Provincial Government of Siquijor started with its unified project, “Empower Siquijor: Sustainable Livelihood and Resilience Initiative,” with an allotted budget of Php 8.23 million for 880 partner beneficiaries from all its towns.

Through this project, they look forward to increasing the adaptive capabilities of their communities through resilient and sustainable livelihoods, ensuring an adequate supply of water and protection of natural resources through the protection and rehabilitation of upland ecosystems, and improving their constituents’ knowledge, information, and institutional capacities on climate change and disaster risk reduction and management plans and objectives through intensive learning and development sessions.

On April 17–19, 2024, the 190 partner-beneficiaries in the Municipality of Lazi, Siquijor, participated in an intensive three-day learning and development session on disaster and climate change and capability building on building water reservoirs, caring for tilapia fingerlings, and enhancing their knowledge in communal gardening and farming for vegetables and fruit-bearing plants more effectively.

They immediately started the program’s second phase, the 15-day actual field work, on April 22. They have to create and rehabilitate water reservoirs and build vegetable and fruit gardens that will soon be helpful for the communities to be water and food-sufficient and may be a source of livelihood.

The remaining five local government units in Siquijor will soon implement the same project. The province expects to create or rehabilitate 20 water reservoirs and build 30 communal gardens or farm sites.

With this project, the Provincial Government of Siqujor Agriculture Office provides partner beneficiaries with tilapia fingerlings and seed or seedlings for their chosen crops.

Meanwhile, in the Province of Negros Oriental, the Municipality of Pamplona has also started its implementation of the project “MaSAGARnang Patubig Tungo sa Maunlad na Agrikultura” on April 24.

The 401 Pamplona partner beneficiaries finished their three-day intensive learning and development session and will start their 15-day water and food sufficiency fieldwork in six identified sites by mid-May.

The four (4) remaining identified implementing local government units in the Province of Negros Oriental, namely Ayungon, Jimalalud, Santa Catalina, and Tayasan, will start in May.

The Province of Negros Oriental has been allocated a total of Php 23.8 million for 2,549 partner beneficiaries from the five (5) identified areas.

Project LAWA at BINHI, or Local Adaptation to Water Access and Breaking Insufficiency through Nutritious Harvest for the Impoverished, is under the Risk Resiliency Program of the Department and aims to address the effects of the El Niño phenomenon on impoverished vulnerable sectors in the community.

A proactive intervention and sustainable solution that will help address food security and water scarcity exacerbated by climate change and disasters.  ###

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