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USAID BeSecure recognizes local partners

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The USAID Water Security for Resilient Economic Growth and Stability (Be Secure) Project has recognized the City Government and other partners in Zamboanga, Basilan and Mindanao as it concludes its two-year project in this part of the country.

Mona Grieser, USAID Be Secure Chief of Party on Monday (March 6) led Project officials and staff in recognizing local partners who have shown commitment and support in pursuing a common agenda for water security in the face of changing climate in a gathering dubbed Roadshow and Close-Out event held at the Garden Orchid Hotel.

In her message, Grieser said “Zamboanga City has been the highlight of our career” citing the city’s “amazing leadership” and the presence of “unity of purpose”. “For those of us who work at Be Secure, we can say that Zamboanga has been the highlight of our career so far. There is no question. Rarely have we met a group that is so supportive, so willing to listen and learn and move ahead almost faster than we can keep up with you”.

Heading the list of Be Secure awardees were Mayor Beng Climaco, the City Planning and Development Office, the Zamboang City Technical Working group on Disaster Risk Reduction Management Plan and Local Climate Change Action Plan and the Zamboanga City Water District, Western Mindanao State University and other partners.

The City Government through Mayor Climaco was cited for adopting the vision of becoming a safer and more livable city through conscious and deliberate implementation of policies on water security, climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction.

“Using the newly developed downscaled climate change projection for Zamboanga City, the LGU drafted an enhanced disaster risk reduction and management plan, local climate change adaptation plan and mainstreamed disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation into the city’s comprehensive land use plan,” the USAID Be-Secure said, adding that Mayor Climaco also committed P10 million for the feasibility study of the impounding dam to help ensure the water security of the city.

The ZCWD was likewise recognized for “embracing water demand management by actually establishing a WDM task force within the water district, promoting water audit and developing water audit manuals” as well as its “commitment of P10M for the feasibility study of the impounding dam.

The event showcased all the accomplishments of the project which Grieser said Be-Secure is humbled for all the wonderful things accomplished. While the project did not bring more water to the city, Be Secure provided Zamboanga with “some tools, dropped a few seeds and watched them grow.”

“You will continue to have problems but you are already well on the road to developing the plans, the structures, the infrastructures even to handle them for the next coming years,” Grieser added.

The twin event was attended by local partners from the government, academe, civil society and the media. It was highlighted by by the launching of the Water and Climate change video, several cases of success stories from the field. (Sheila Covarrubias)




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