FDW project: Ridge to Coast, Rain to Tap project in the Philippines

  • Philippines
  • Philippines - Cagayan de Oro City Water District (COWD)
Region: Cagayan d'Oro
Period: 2018-2024
Project Partners: Cagayan de Oro Water District (COWD), FRRL Industrial Trading Corporation (FITC), Wetlands International (WI), Unifrutti Tropical Philippines Inc. – Mt. Kitanglad Agriventures Inc. (UTPI-MKAVI), Netherlands Red Cross (NLRC)
Funding: RVO

Severe flooding events, caused by tropical storms Sendong in 2011 and Vinta in 2017, have shown that the Cagayan de Oro (CdO) river catchment, CdO institutions and citizens, and in particular its water supply system are vulnerable to flooding.

The 'Ridge to Coast, Rain to Tap” (R2CR2T) project' aims to tackle this vulnerability via an integrated approach to improve the resilience of the water supply. Water supply coverage, sanitation and disaster risk reduction are being expanded to 7,000 previously unserved households in relocation areas, inhabited by people who lost everything in the 2011 Sendong flood. The project provides a strong boost to improve the operations of the Cagayan de Oro Water District (COWD), via capacity development, investments and technical assistance.

Flood resilience is being tackled at a systemic level in the river basin and by directly protecting water supply infrastructure. The project contributes to an enabling environment in which CdO- and Bukidnon- stakeholders cooperate towards flood risk reduction, and aims to show via several pilot reforestation interventions how these can be implemented sustainably to reduce flooding.

The project is 49% subsidized by the Sustainable Water Fund (FDW) under the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. On behalf of the Dutch Government, the project is managed by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO). The project has started on 1st January 2018 and is expected to be completed by 31st December 2022.

The project implementation is divided into five separate work packages, described below:

  1. Project Inception: preparatory phase to draft baseline descriptions, review interventions, approaches and budget – completed Jan 2019.
  2. Reduced Risk of Flooding through Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM): integrated approach to flood risk reduction via stakeholder cooperation, reforestation and agroforestry pilots with upstream indigenous communities, generation of funding via PES (Payment for Ecosystem Services), development of a Decision Support Tool and an upscaling approach to other river basins.
  3. Improved Management of Water Supply Infrastructure COWD: Strengthening COWD to improve its performance and reduce flood vulnerability, integration of GIS, hydraulic modelling and other IT support for long-term strategic planning and a capacity building programme for NRW reduction, operational and financial sustainability COWD.
  4. Water, Sanitation and Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) in relocation areas and schools: Extend COWD water supply network by 7,000 connections in urban poor areas, improve safe sanitation and hygiene practices in relocation areas & schools and reinforce Disaster Risk Management capacities
  5. Project closure: financial and administrative closure including final evaluation and project audit.

The R2CR2T Project Partnership consists of 6 formal partners and 4 implementing partners, including:

  1. VEI B.V. (VEI): lead partner, managing the project and heading the COWD capacity building activities;
  2. Cagayan de Oro Water District (COWD): semi-public water supply utility in Cagayan de Oro, leading infrastructural investments for distribution extensions and flood resilience of water supply;
  3. FRRL Industrial Trading Corporation (FITC): private company providing IT solutions to COWD including GIS, hydraulic modelling and asset management;
  4. Wetlands International (WI): NGO leading the integrated river basin management approach and strengthening the Cagayan de Oro River Basin Management Council (CDORBMC) to assume a leading role in the regional strategy and implementation of catchment restoration;
  5. Unifrutti Tropical Philippines Inc. – Mt. Kitanglad Agriventures Inc. (UTPI-MKAVI): agricultural firm implementing agroforestry and reforestation activities in the upper CDO river catchment. The Hineleban Foundation (HFI), with UTPI-MKAVI, leads the implementation of these activities and training of the participating Indigenous Peoples in close cooperation with the Bukidnon Indigenous Peoples Advisory Council (BIPAC), as a formal representative of the interests of the involved Indigenous Communities;
  6. Netherlands Red Cross (NLRC) is responsible for WASH education, sanitation and disaster risk reduction. The Philippines Red Cross (PRC) is leading the implementation of the NLRC activities.

More info on the project on:


Website RVO

Link to the project video 'Ridge to Coast Rain to Tap'

Link to the video 'Rainforestation: A Tool to Build Resilient Societies'

Link to the video 'Cooperating partners in the Philippines' 

Read the Project Factsheet here

Read the Human Interest story of the Ridge to Coast Rain to Tap project here

Read the publication 'Safe water for displaced families in Cagayan de Oro'

Read the Adlai case study here

Read the success story from barangay Tablon - Building disaster-resilient communities

COWD water system

Rik Dierx

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