Photo Slideshow: Water Connections in the Informal Community of Cuatro, East Zone Manila

When vendors and their customers spend less on water from the filling stations, both parties stand to profit, according to aid workers in Manila.

Early risers in Cuatro, a borough of Manila’s East Zone, peer from a window here, a doorway there. Preparing for their commutes to work in the city, they cluster, awaiting the sputter and hum of motorcycle taxis, the smoky fumes mingling with the spicy fragrances of early morning Pamatid Gutom, the food of the streets.

As night wanes, its lifting shadows illuminate a series of plastic pipes, vibrantly blue, edging along the same damp streets. The pipes lead to a water-filling station, where the community gathers to take advantage of clean, running water.

J. Carl Ganter is Circle of Blue’s co-founder and director. Ganter visited Manila last September, and these images accompany an article by contributing writer Sarah Haughn. Making Connections in the Philippines — Water Privatization Across Manila’s East Zone. Reach Ganter at

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