Yamog works in Christian, Muslim and Lumad communities in Mindanao. Its renewable energy projects and other related activities are community-demand driven characterized by strong community participation all throughout the project cycle. Cognizant of the importance of multi-stakeholders partnership, Yamog works with local people’s organizations, local government units (usually from the Barangay, Municipal and Provincial levels), government agencies and other social formations within a specific geographical area.
The types of water-driven energy systems that Yamog is capable of establishing in off-grid communities are categorized as follows: a). Micro-hydropower, which can produce energy outputs of 6 -100 kilowatts, and b). Pico-hydropower, which can deliver energy outputs of 1 to 5 kilowatts. These renewable energy systems are designed in such a way that they can be managed by well-organized off-grid communities themselves.
Yamog has already constructed 24 hydropower systems (23 micro-hydros and one pico-hydro) mostly in Mindanao. In addition, Yamog has also established solar energy systems in 19 off-grid communities in Mindanao. Yamog is also engaged in designing and establishing community-managed potable water systems (some of which are solar and ramp pump-driven), and helping communities come up with watershed management plans as well as actual community-driven forest protection and conservation initiatives.
Yamog has two lead components – the Renewable Energy and Water Resource Management (REWRM) Unit, and the Community Empowerment and Ecosystems Protection (CEEP) Unit.
At present, the REWRM Unit is responsible for providing the technical and engineering expertise necessary for the establishment of appropriate, effective, efficient and durable micro-hydropower systems, solar power systems, as well as community support infrastructures like water systems, agri-processing and post-harvest facilities, among others.
The specific tasks of the REWRM Unit are as follows:
- Preparation of pre-feasibility assessments, energy demand and management capability studies, and full-blown feasibility studies.
- Preparation of Environmental Impact Assessments.
- Detailed surveying and mapping, preparation of construction drawings and detailed engineering design, integrating environmental and social concerns into the design of RE systems and community support infrastructure facilities.
- Preparing construction cost estimates, including operation and maintenance costs.
- Raising the awareness of the community about its role in actual construction, operation and maintenance in coordination with the CEEP Unit.
- Providing actual supervision during construction, start-up and performance testing, commissioning, operation and maintenance of RE systems and community support infrastructure facilities.
- Conducting operation and maintenance trainings and technology transfer initiatives to partner communities in tandem with the CEEP Unit.
- Providing regular technical assistance & advice to the local operation and maintenance organizations to ensure successful and sustainable management of RE systems and community support infrastructure facilities.
- Conducting regular monitoring of the technical functionality of established RE systems and community support infrastructure facilities.
- Undertaking research on other types of renewable energy systems.
The CEEP Unit, on the other hand, is responsible for developing the organizational capacities of partner communities. As the unit in-charge of social infrastructure building, it is tasked to establish appropriate social processes and formations that would help ensure the functionality and sustainability of community-based RE systems, community support infrastructure facilities, and other community development projects implemented by Yamog.
The specific tasks of the CEEP Unit are as follows:
- Conducting community consultations with various community stakeholders, and facilitating participatory community appraisals, collective problem analysis and project identification.
- Conducting energy demand studies and feasibility studies of potential renewable energy and community support infrastructure projects in coordination with the REWRM Unit.
- Carrying out absorptive capacity assessments, training needs assessments, gender and development assessments of partner communities and Barangay LGUs.
- Developing capability-building programs and modules for local operation and maintenance groups, other local people’s organizations and LGU partners.
- Organizing appropriate social formations in keeping with the management and sustainability requirements of specific community projects (i.e. O&M organizations for RE projects and potable water systems, women associations, youth organizations, watershed committees, etc.).
- Facilitating the creation of formal multi-stakeholders partnerships.
- Providing technical assistance to local partner organizations in the development and implementation of a sound watershed management plans.
- Promoting empowering and culture-sensitive capacity-building approaches and methodologies, and sustained people’s participation all throughout the project cycle.
- Ensuring the effectiveness and efficiency of community O&M associations and other people’s organizations.
- Providing technical assistance to partner O&M associations in the formulation of appropriate policies, guidelines and systems for the equitable and sustainable utilization of RE projects.
- Facilitating the preparation of integrated community development plans to maximize the benefits of renewable energy systems.
- Assisting partner communities in developing and implementing plans for economic, financial and environmental sustainability of RE projects and other community development initiatives.