Building Climate Resilience in Water Stressed Communities (CREST)

Almost 90% of gastro-intetestinal related dealths globally are due to unsafe drinking water and poor sanitation.  Children under the age of five are particularly vulnerable. Most rural communities in the Philippines still lack access to clean drinking water and improved sanitation.  People in remote villages travel long distances to fetch water, often from contaminated sources.  Climate change and environmental degradation present additional challenges to sustaining clean water supply and healthy watersheds.  The adoption of simple, innovative, locally available technologies presents a cost-effective, sustainable means of confronting these pressing challenges.

Building Climate Resilience in Water Stressed Communities (CREST) is a five year project of USAID and is being implemented by Green Empowerment.  Working with the Republic of the Philippines, local government units and communities, the National Anti-Poverty Commission, other donors, and private sector partners, the project will bring potable water to 23,780 people in remote areas of Leyte, conflict-affected regions of Mindanao and Zambales by 2017.  CREST utilizes a community-based, participatory approach to deliver safe drinking water via hydraulic ram pump and other innovative water and sanitation technologies, ensuring long-term sustainability and resilience in the face of climate change.


Under CREST, USAID supports community participation in installing and operating water delivery, storage, and treatment systems that utilize renewable, locally manufactured appropriate technologies.  The project builds local capacity to technically and financially manage, maintain, and expand these water delivery systems and accompanying storage and treatment technologies.

CREST is led by an interdisciplinary team of NGOs specializing in water and sanitation appropriate technologies and training.  Green Empowerment coordinates overall program implementation.  Alternative Indigenous Development Fund, Inc. manufactures the winning ram pump and provides technical expertise and training for other NGOs and community members.  The Philippine Center for Water and Sanitation compliments piped water supplies by incorporating water treatment filters, rainwater harvesting tanks, and sanitation and hygiene training.


The project aims to accomplish the following by September 2017:

  • Provide potable water to at least 23,780 people to improve basic community health.
  • Install at least 2,014 new latrines and provide improved sanitation to at least 10,000 people.
  • Form community water associations and train people on water and sanitation construction, system operations & maintenance administration and management, and fee collection.
  • Train people in proper sanitation and hygiene procedures.
  • Strengthen capacity of communities to operate, maintain and scale up water treatment and sanitation technologies and facilities.
  • Secure counterpart funding and local government support for additional latrines in each community.
  • Build strong partnerships with local government units, Department of Health officials, other donors, and private sector partners for the sustainability and continued expansion of activities.


Bring potable water to 23,780 people in remote areas of Leyte, conflict-affected regions of Mindanao and Zambales by 2017.