Auke Idzenga

Bacolod NGO wins BBC World Challenge

Bacolod NGO wins BBC World Challenge
By Carla Gomez
Inquirer Visayas

BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines—A Bacolod nongovernment organization has won the top prize at the BBC World Challenge 2010 for its perfected model of a hydraulic ram pump that has brought water to remote villages in the Philippines and other parts of the world.

The Alternative Indigenous Development Foundation Inc. (AIDFI) based in Barangay (village) Mansilingan, Bacolod City, won the top prize of $20,000, according to Hazel Stuart, a British national based in Bacolod City.

Stuart, who makes television documentaries, said in an email that she attended the awarding ceremonies held in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, on Monday.

“Auke Idzenga of AIDFI won the whole thing out of 800 projects worldwide. It got down to 60, then 12, then the final three,” Stuart said.

The entry from Peru came in second and Guatemala was third place.

Idzenga, the AIDFI chief executive officer, was in Amsterdam and has yet to issue a statement on AIDFI’s BBC World Challenge victory.

According to the BBC World Challenge website (, the awards ceremonies will be broadcast on December 4 on the BBC World News and announced on the website on the same day.

Now on its sixth year, the BBC World Challenge is a global competition aimed at finding projects or small businesses from around the world that have shown enterprise and innovation at grassroots level.

On November 18, AIDFI’s entry “Running Water Uphill” also won the Community Initiative Award of the Energy Institute Awards held in London.

The AIDFI program centers around the locally perfected model of the old hydraulic ram pump, a device that can pump water to very high elevations without the use of electricity or fuel.

AIDFI has so far installed 170 ram pumps for about 50,000 beneficiaries, Idzenga said earlier.