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DSWD gears for nationwide implementation of Project LAWA at BINHI amid El Niño

Recognizing the urgency of addressing the impact of the intensifying El Niño phenomenon, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is ramping up its efforts to implement Project LAWA at BINHI (Local Adaptation to Water Access and Breaking Insufficiency through Nutritious Harvest for the Impoverished) nationwide this 2024.

“The DSWD aims to roll out Project LAWA at BINHI in 310 municipalities, including urban centers, and in 61 provinces across 16 regions to mitigate the impact of El Niño on the most vulnerable sectors of society. Through Project LAWA at BINHI, the DSWD seeks to address the multifaceted challenges posed by water scarcity and food insecurity,” Assistant Secretary for Disaster Response Management Group Irene Dumlao said Tuesday (April 9).

For this scale-up, more than 140,906 families, or an estimated 704,530 individuals, are expected to benefit from at least 1,319 target water harvesting facilities that will cover at least 6,630 hectares of agricultural land, according to the DSWD co-spokesperson.

“DSWD is committed to proactively address the challenges posed by climate change and ensuring the welfare of the most vulnerable communities amid dry spells. As El Niño strengthens, we are scaling up our efforts to enhance communities’ resilience and safeguard their well-being,” Asst. Sec. Dumlao emphasized.

Asst. Sec Dumlao noted that under Project LAWA, the agency focuses on enhancing water access and management in communities prone to drought and water shortages by constructing small farm reservoirs, repairing or rehabilitating water harvesting facilities, and diversifying water supplies, among others.

Meanwhile, Project BINHI aims to promote food security and nutrition among communities by facilitating the adoption of climate-resilient and sustainable agricultural practices such as communal and urban gardening; vermicomposting; and planting of disaster-resilient crops, fruit-bearing trees and mangroves, among others, she added.

According to Asst. Sec. Dumlao, the DSWD initially implemented Project LAWA in nine local government units in Ifugao, Antique, and Davao de Oro provinces, establishing 90 small farm reservoirs, which benefited some 4,590 families in 2023.

Projects LAWA at BINHI aim to strengthen the adaptive capabilities of poor and vulnerable families during periods of severe drought, ultimately mitigating the impact of food insecurity and water scarcity brought about by Climate Change.

It is implemented under the DSWD’s Risk Resiliency Program through Cash-For-Training and Work (RRP-CFTW).

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