Philippines - WaterStep





Subay, Philippines


Subay is located in the largest lake in the Philippines on the island of Talim. Here, families make a living fishing along the shoreline or by making furniture from bamboo that grows on the island. The island is a 30-minute ferry ride from the mainland, which means that everything – groceries, clothes, gasoline, construction materials, and drinking water – must be shipped. For 500 families in the island fishing community of Subay, the high cost of water means that not everyone can afford safe drinking water. 



Talim Island 7

A HIGH COST. On the island, families buy their drinking water in 5-gallon containers that have been shipped to the island via ferry from the mainland. The same water on the island costs twice as much as it does on the mainland. For families that can't afford the expense, they have to find another source of water. 

SEASONAL FLOODS. For the people of Talim Island, water is abundant but not safe to drink. During the rainy season, rainfall from the mainland drains into the lake, flooding the island communities. A month can pass before the waters recede, causing additional strain to water infrastructure. 

Chlorination Systems


Water Transportation 


Well Repair


Health Education


The Project


WaterStep is working with the community of Subay to find the right water solutions. This includes finishing a well, installing a water purification system in the only elementary school on the island, teaching health education in the community, and providing WaterBalls so people can easily carry water home. 

This doesn't have to be the end of their story. Support projects like the one in Subay, and help provide safe drinking water to people that need it.

Country Profile



Cebu Pic women and child


An island nation located in the South Pacific, the Philippines is prone to natural disasters of all kinds, including typhoons, volcanoes, and earthquakes. In December 2013, WaterStep deployed a three person team to the Philippines in response to Typhoon Haiyan. The team trained other relief organizations and supplied them with the technology needed to provide safe water in their areas. Over 150 people from almost 50 organizations were trained, and every organization left training with a donated water purifier to install in the community where they worked. (See where the water purifiers were installed.)





OUR PARTNERS IN THE FIELD. The Springs Foundation is a Filipino nonprofit organization founded in 2000. The Springs Foundation was key in WaterStep's efforts to provide relief to disaster-stricken communities in the aftermath of the typhoon that devastated the island nation in December 2013. Since then, the Springs Foundation has worked with us to find communities still in need.