The Philippines has 421 principal rivers spread across 119 proclaimed watersheds. Aside from providing water to drink for 110 million Filipinos, these are also the source of irrigation for almost a million hectares of agricultural lands across the nation, and a significant source of electricity comprising 10% of the current power mix.
But the Philippine government’s emphasis on big dam and hydro power infrastructure, while providing quick benefits of water distribution and power generation, are destructive to watersheds and disruptive to affected resource-dependent communities.
Today on the International Day of Action for Rivers, we spoke to Leon Dulce, campaigns support and linkages coordinator of the Friends of the Earth Philippines, to delve into the water situation in the Philippines, and how projects like the Kaliwa Dam threaten to further worsen the country’s water crisis in a climate changed world.
*Photo and voice credits: Stop Kaliwa Dam Network.