March 4, 2024

To mitigate the impact of El Niño, Project LAWA or Local Adaptation to Water Access was launched on Aug. 31 in several regions of the country including the Cordillera.

Project LAWA aims to develop sustainable solutions and implement interventions that will lessen the challenges faced by the communities during periods of severe drought.

Small farm reservoirs will be established to address water scarcity.

DSWD Regional Director Leo L. Quintilla said impacts of dry spells are often overlooked compared to effects of typhoon.

“Through Project LAWA, we are strengthening the resiliency of our farmers in the region, especially in areas commonly affected by drought while ensuring food security when El Niño strikes,” he said.

Three municipalities in Ifugao, namely Aguinaldo, Alfonso Lista, and Hungduan, will be benefiting from the project with an estimated number of 30 small farm reservoirs to be established. More than 50 farmers and members of the marginalized sector are targeted as beneficiaries for each small farm reservoir.

Orientation and consultation with the concerned local government units were already conducted in the last week of August and site validation on the proposed sites were also done.

Project LAWA is a joint project of the DSWD, Department of Agriculture, and United Nations World Food Programme (UNWFP).

The DSWD will be providing labor through cash-for-work and training for 15 days, DA will be providing technical expertise, especially in setting up of small farm reservoirs, while UNWFP will be providing counterpart materials.

DSWD’s Cash for Work Program serves as a short-term intervention that will provide temporary employment as a source of income of the targeted communities. Beneficiaries will be paid P400 for each day of work. – Mylyn M. Bongsian