Access to safe and clean water is crucial amid the COVID-19 pandemic. It used to take half an hour to fetch water from a spring in Barangay Renti, a village in Upi, Maguindanao. The ILO Japan Water and Sanitation (WatSan) Project collaborated with indigenous peoples to build a new water system. Households, schools, and indigenous communities now have access to safe and clean water.
The project trained and hired Tedurays, a group of indigenous peoples to construct the water system, of which 30 per cent are women. They received wages and social protection benefits, and the project guaranteed occupational safety and health, and cared for the environment through reforestation. More importantly, the project respected indigenous cultures and traditions working hand in hand with the Tedurays.