Luisito Turtor is using a mud boat to prepare his land for rice planting. He’s able to do this because of a new water system in his community and pumps that carry the water to his thirsty fields. With a better water supply, his family is healthier too.
Luisito and his family live in Agusan del Sur, a landlocked province in Mindanao, in the southern Philippines.
People in this region — especially children — struggle with malnutrition. Natural disasters, changing weather patterns, internal conflicts and other factors have contributed to a severe lack of economic opportunity here. Many families cannot grow or earn enough to feed their households year-round.
Luisito, like many people in this area, grows rice to support his family. A good rice harvest requires rain, but the El Niño weather phenomenon caused stretches of drought that left his fields dry and his family hungry.
Thanks to your generosity, six new community water systems are helping families in several different ways. Farmers like Luisito are able to use pumps to get water to their fields to continue planting and harvesting rice. The improved access to water is also helpful to women, who are often tasked with fetching water for their households. With water more easily accessible, mothers spend more time growing nutritious vegetables and learning new ways to prepare them to help combat childhood malnutrition.
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Families participating in this project saw an increase in income of 25 percent, and a reduction in childhood malnutrition of more than 84 percent.