Things are looking up for Brgy. Pawa in Nabas, Aklan
There’s a spot in Boracay’s White Beach from where one can see the picturesque mountains of Northern Aklan. Perched on the foothills of these mountains are wind turbines courtesy of the Nabas Wind Farm which provide a source of renewable energy to over 90 households in the far-flung barangay of Pawa in Nabas, Aklan.
The Nabas Wind Farm viewed from Boracay's White BeachBrgy. Pawa is located up in the highlands, five kilometers away from the national road. Before the mid 2010s, one needed to hike a steep trail to get there, or ride ahabal-habalthat had to pass thru a narrow dirt road. Suffice it to say, the village was hardly accessible to government and medical services. Water was scarce. The nearest spring was more than a kilometer away from residential areas.
Brgy. Pawa is located up in the highlands, five kilometers away from the national road.Since there was no electricity, community folk were literally living in the dark. Children studied their lessons with a gas lamp orgaseracome evening. Since the place is isolated, the neighborhood used to be a hideout for insurgents, especially in the 70s and the 80s. People in the village get by thru slash-and-burn farming or headtopics.com
kainginbariw-weaving.Road leading to Brgy. Pawa before (left) and after the arrival of the wind power project.Things only started to look up for Brgy. Pawa in 2015. It was when, thru the advice of the Department of Energy, identified the location as an ideal spot to harness renewable energy from the wind.
Among the areas in the town of Nabas, wind is strongest in Brgy. Pawa. “Parang palaging may bagyong parating. Sobrang lakas ng hangin, malakas ang tunog,” describes Yrel Ventura, CSR and Environment Manager of PetroGreen Energy Corporation, the renewable energy arm of Filipino-owned PetroEnergy Resources Corporation (PERC). “
Kung nakaka, kailangan mong hawakan kasi liliparin. Maginaw atfoggy.”PWEI's adopt-a-school program provided the learning needs of children and helped in the physical development of the school.It takes a villageBut before building the wind farm, PWEI first had to address the basic needs of the community. This led to the creation in 2014 of the
Pawa Agri-Ecotourism and Livelihood Development Association(PAELDA) whose vision was to be a main driver of change and development in the community. It was organized by the village folk, with the assistance of PWEI.The PWEI ran a road project between 2014 to 2015, and installed water impounding dams, tanks and pipes so water from the spring could reach the homes of the residents. headtopics.com
Bariw-weaving is one of the main sources of livelihood for the women of Brgy. Pawa.For the community development to be holistic and sustainable, several health, education, and livelihood projects were organized. An adopt-a-school program provided the learning needs of children and helped in the physical development of the school. A nutrition program for malnourished kids was also organized, and the barangay was provided an ambulance.
To improve the community’s knowledge on making handicrafts and to help diversify their products, speakers and trainers from schools like UP Los Baños and the Aklan State University were brought in. Handicrafts made of bariw leaves.Through the efforts of PWEI, the assistance of LGUs and other groups, and the cooperation of the whole community, Brgy. Pawa has slowly transformed into a vibrant area, observes Ventura. Now, every home and street in Brgy. Pawa is lighted. Residents are now able to enjoy the benefits and comfort of having electricity in their homes. “Read more: ABS-CBN News »
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