Basic Needs Services (BNS) Philippines, Inc., BORDA’s partner organisation in the Philippines, extended its collaboration with 15 cities/municipalities in 2019–2020 to introduce and amplify an integrated sanitation approach for the benefit of around 100,000 people.
As climate change impacts have begun to challenge even the most technologically sound and innovative solutions, cities and municipalities need to adapt and/or retrofit sanitation systems to be climate-resilient. To provide insight into possibilities for making existing and future investments climate-resilient if not climate-proof, BNS shares here its approaches to mitigation and adaptation in La Union Province north of Manila, and other regions in the Philippines.
While climate change impacts on wastewater and septage treatment infrastructure, the latter also contributes to climate change. Treatment processes naturally give off major greenhouse gases. Thus, BNS has incorporated methane gas capture from the biogas digesters in several projects including the Bauang slaughterhouse (for cooking food at the municipal jail facility), the Bacnotan and Balaoan slaughterhouses in La Union Province (for heating water), and the Sta. Cruz slaughterhouse in Laguna Province.
BNS has made more use of anaerobic treatment, which is proving to be an attractive component compared to pond systems. For the stabilisation of sludge from septage, BNS introduced stabilisation reactors, aside from methane gas capture, in the septage treatment facility in Barangay Payucpoc, Municipality of Bauang, La Union.
Upcoming BNS projects include the septage treatment plant in Bacnotan Municipality in La Union and a community-based sanitation project in Sitio Baroro in Bacnotan. All anaerobic tanks in BNS-assisted city/municipal DEWATS projects will shift to solar energy to power their pumping systems.
Funding – To justify the required additional investments to make treatment systems climate resilient, cities/municipalities need to know their optionsand the corresponding costs. Indeed, adapting to climate change will add to the already substantial financing gap for sanitation in the Philippines, as in the rest of the world. It also raises several specific challenges for financing. Climate change adaptation needs to be mainstreamed into water and sanitation policy objectives at least cost. Nevertheless, adaptation funding should be built upon sound approaches and demonstrate value for money.
Blended infrastructure – Making water and sanitation systems climate-resilient does not imply the need to abandon traditional infrastructure, but rather the wider adoption of blended grey–green–blue infrastructure, which can be more cost effective, less vulnerable to climate change, offer mitigation co-benefits, and provide better service and protection over its lifetime.
Biogas digesters – Treatment processes naturally give off major greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O). CO2 and CH4 form from anaerobic decomposition of organic matter, while N2O is formed from nutrient removal processes, which is becoming more prevalent. Thus, BNS has incorporated methane gas capture and reuse at several sites.
Our partner BNS Philippines has extended its cooperation with 15 cities/municipalities to introduce and amplify an integrated sanitation approach, benefitting 100,000 people and making basic services more climate-resilient
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