Solar-Powered Irrigation Project to Boost Agriculture in Mabini, Bohol

The groundbreaking ceremony for a transformative Solar-Powered Irrigation and Domestic Water System project recently unfolded in Sitio Banat-e, Barangay San Jose, Mabini, Bohol to help boost agriculture and enhance living conditions in the area.

The project is spearheaded by Sibol ng Agham at Teknolohiya Inc. (SIBAT) and MISEREOR, with collaboration from provincial and local government units, alongside GlobalGiving, Anakata Wind Power Resources, and the Centre for Neighbourhood Studies.

The initiative is driven by the pressing need to address water scarcity, which has hindered the full cultivation of approximately 32 hectares of farm land by members of Nagkahiusang Mag-uuma sa San Jose (NAMASAJO). Due to insufficient water sources, agricultural activities are limited to the rainy season from August to December.

By integrating solar-powered water pumps for irrigation, the project intends to maximize the utilization of the entire 32-hectare land for rice production and other crops. This endeavor will enable members to cultivate the entire area throughout the year and potentially adopt double cropping for rice to augment their income.

Additionally, the project aims to provide access to domestic and potable water for members residing near their agricultural plots, thereby improving their quality of life and reducing the burden of water transportation and storage.

“As a mother who takes care of our home, I consider water as a basic need. We have been living without electricity. It is something we have adapted to since we grew up not having it, using only gas lamps. But it has always been our dream to have water source for our daily use and for our community to have gardens in our backyards where we can grow vegetables for our daily needs and maybe sell for additional income for us,” shared Ester Malacaste, Sitio Banat-e People’s Organization Leader.

Mayor Ongie Bernales-Lim of Mabini expressed optimism about the project, stating, “This initiative is a vital response to the critical needs of Sitio Banat-e, where water scarcity has persistently affected agricultural productivity. By implementing sustainable water solutions, we’re not only constructing infrastructure but also revitalizing livelihoods and nurturing self-reliance within our community.”

Bohol Governor Aris Aumentado added that the project strongly aligns with the administration’s Strategic Change Agenda which encourages the use of renewable energy in power production and the pumping of water for domestic and irrigation purposes.

“Together let us shape a future in which Boholano people have a chance at a better life, as well as the opportunity to achieve our dreams through the provision of necessities such as power and water,” he said.

“Aside from the Solar-Powered Irrigation and Domestic Water System project, Bohol has witnessed the launch of two other remarkable renewable energy endeavors – the Solar and Wind-Powered Water and Lighting Project in Sitio Mahayahay, Barangay Montesuerte, Carmen, and the Wind-Solar Powered Water Project in Ubay,” disclosed Estrella Catarata, SIBAT Executive Director.

These initiatives further underscore Bohol’s commitment to sustainable development and exemplify the province’s proactive approach towards harnessing renewable energy sources for the betterment of its communities.

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