Environment, Development and Sustainability

, Volume 9, Issue 3, pp 241–261 | Cite as

Household water in rural asia: a case study of the construction of a piped water system in Bangui, Ilocos Norte, Philippines

  • Mark Phillips


In early 1980 an extension agent was assigned to the rural municipality of Bangui, Ilocos Norte, Philippines to work on development projects – in particular the improvement of the supply of safe water for drinking and sanitation. After many months of visiting spring sites and meeting with community leaders, a small part of the municipality was selected to build a gravity fed piped water system. Although the system took many months to plan, identify funding and construct, the 600 community members were ultimately rewarded with house to house connections that enabled them to achieve per capita water consumption levels above the minimum levels recommended by the World Health Organization. Of course, money was critical to ensure the project’s success, but many other factors played an equally critical role. For instance, without the active participation of the community and the unwavering support of the community leadership the project would not have survived the initial planning stage. Also, the extension agent played a critical role by acting as a conduit between funding agencies, the Bureau of Public Works and the community. The primary lesson to be learned from this experience is that the success of rural development projects is largely driven by the synergy between the community, technical support, financial support, and agents of change such as extension agents. If any of these ingredients had been lacking, the project result would likely have been far different.


Bangui consumption construction development Ilocos Norte Philippines pipe rural water. 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Economics DepartmentGeorgetown College in GeorgetownMoreheadUSA

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