Tag Archives: Philippines

Menstrual hygiene reports from Bolivia, Philippines and Sierra Leone

In 2012, UNICEF and the Center for Global Safe Water at Emory University initiated a programme to support collaborative research focused specifically on exploring the MHM challenges faced by female students in Bolivia, the Philippines, Rwanda and Sierra Leone. The project includes developing or
strengthening MHM-related programming in schools in those countries. WASH_Philippines-6

Emory University sent research fellows to work with UNICEF and its in-country WASH in Schools partners on the programme. The assessment activities conducted and themes explored were guided by an ecological framework that covers societal, environmental, interpersonal, personal and biological factors. Questions for qualitative data collection were created to investigate and understand the personal challenges and needs girls have during menstruation in the school setting.

The results are now published as a series of reports:

Bolivia – Long, Jeanne, Bethany A. Caruso, Diego Lopez, Koenraad Vancraeynest, Murat Sahin, Karen L. Andes and Matthew C. Freeman, ‘WASH in Schools Empowers Girls’ Education in Rural Cochabamba, Bolivia: An assessment of menstrual hygiene management in schools’, United Nations Children’s Fund, New York, November 2013.

Philippines – Jacquelyn, Bethany A. Caruso, Anna Ellis, Murat Sahin, Jonathan Michael Villasenor, Karen L. Andes and Matthew C. Freeman, ‘WASH in Schools Empowers Girls’  Education in Masbate Province and Metro Manila, Philippines: An assessment of menstrual hygiene management in schools’, United Nations Children’s Fund, New York, November 2013.

Sierra Leone – Caruso, Bethany A., Alexandra Fehr, Kazumi Inden, Murat Sahin, Anna Ellis,  Karen L. Andes and Matthew C. Freeman, ‘WASH in Schools Empowers Girls’ Education in Freetown, Sierra Leone: An assessment of menstrual hygiene management in schools’, United Nations Children’s Fund, New York, November 2013.


Toxic waste’s health impact in Asia similar to malaria’s

Toxic waste’s health impact in Asia similar to malaria’s |Source: Prime Sarmiento, SciDev Net, Aug 7, 2013|

Toxic waste is an under-recognised major global health burden comparable to outdoor air pollution and malaria, according to a study.

The paper says that people’s exposure to industrial pollutants such as lead, asbestos and chromium from toxic waste sites in India, Indonesia, and the Philippines in 2010 resulted in the loss of 829,000 years of good health due to serious diseases or early death.

Waste collector Dinesh Mukherjee, 11, watches his friend jump over a puddle of toxic liquid at the Ghazipur landfill in New Delhi November 10, 2011. REUTERS/Parivartan Sharma

Waste collector Dinesh Mukherjee, 11, watches his friend jump over a puddle of toxic liquid at the Ghazipur landfill in New Delhi November 10, 2011. REUTERS/Parivartan Sharma

Such a health burden, the researchers say, is comparable to that caused by outdoor air pollution and malaria — both serious problems in developing countries in Asia. The WHO estimates that people living in India, Indonesia and the Philippines lose a total 1.45 million healthy years per year because of outdoor air pollution and 725,000 healthy years due to malaria.

The researchers sampled 373 sites in the three countries. They found that these sites endanger more than eight million people as their daily exposure to industrial pollutants puts them at risk of developing heart disease, cancer and anaemia. The toxic wastes mainly come from tanneries, mining firms and battery recycling plants.

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Equity of Access to WASH in Schools: A Comparative Study of Policy and Service Delivery

Equity of Access to WASH in Schools: A Comparative Study of Policy and Service Delivery in Kyrgyzstan, Malawi, the Philippines, Timor-Leste, Uganda and Uzbekistan.

Emory University; Unicef.

EXCERPTS: Equity_of_Access_to_WASH_in_SchoolsUnderstanding the mechanisms by which children are excluded from WASH in Schools is essential to ensuring adequate and equitable access for all school-aged children.

‘Equity of Access to WASH in Schools’ presents findings from a six-country study conducted by UNICEF and the Center for Global Safe Water at Emory University. This research was carried out in collaboration with UNICEF country offices in Kyrgyzstan, Malawi, the Philippines, Timor-Leste, Uganda and Uzbekistan and their partners. The six case studies presented together contribute to the broader understanding of inequities in WASH in Schools access by describing various dimensions that contribute to equitable or
inequitable access across regions, cultures, gender and communities.

The researchers identified key dimensions of equity through formative investigations that included discussions with service delivery providers and policymakers. In some countries, inequity existed but was found to be linked to poverty and the prioritization of other health and development objectives, rather than a specific policy. In other cases, some dimensions could not be fully investigated, usually due to lack of data. Because it was not feasible to explore every equity dimension in each of the six countries, focus areas were prioritized for each case study.

Some dimensions were found to be relevant across country contexts. Limited access to WASH in Schools compromised children’s health, educational attainment and well-being, and exacerbated already existing inequities and challenges in each of the countries.

Gender was identified as a key aspect of inequity in all six countries, but the mechanisms and manifestations of gender inequities varied within each context. Menstruating girls in Malawi and Uganda faced consistent challenges in obtaining adequate access to WASH in Schools facilities, preventing them
from comfortably practising proper hygiene. In this context, a lack of access to school WASH facilities is a potential cause of increased drop-out rates. Girls in Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan were affected by the poor maintenance of facilities and lack of privacy, rather than by overall lack of basic access. In these settings, lack of doors and private latrine stalls, coupled with proximity to boys’ latrines, led to girls avoiding the use of school WASH facilities, which may have deleterious health effects.

Accessibility of WASH facilities for children with disabilities was identified as an issue in all countries. In Malawi and Uganda, concerted effort has been made to include school sanitation, water and hand-washing facilities appropriate for children with disabilities. The designs for facilities, however, were often found to inadequately address students’ needs, and hand-washing facilities remain largely inaccessible, compromising students’ health.

RFP: Research for Hygiene Behavioural Change among School Children in the Philippines

UNICEF has issued a request for proposal for “Research for Hygiene Behavioural Change among School Children in the Philippines”.

The aim of the consultancy to “craft a simple, scalable and sustainable strategy, program and tools based on the EHCP [Essential Health Care Program] that would lead to improved and sustained hygiene practice and toilet use”.

The EHCP is the Department of Education’s “flagship national health program for promoting group handwashing with soap, group toothbrushing with toothpaste and biannual deworming in public elementary schools”.

The consultancy will build on the findings of the Sustainable Sanitation in Schools Project, which was launched in 2011 by UNICEF, GIZ and Fit for School.

The main research question is: “Does daily group hand washing with soap in school result in the independent practice of hand washing with soap at critical times, particularly after using the toilet in school and before eating/handling food?”

Project Duration: 12 months (May 1, 2013 – April 30, 2014)

Deadline for submission: 10:00 am (GMT) on Monday, 15 April 2013

For more information read the full RFP.

Philippines – Closing the Loop between Sanitation and Food Security

Closing the Loop between Sanitation and Food Security for the ´Base of the Pyramid´

June 9, 2011 – If consumers in the advanced Western economies have a hard time swallowing the idea of drinking water recycled from sewage, that may be nothing compared with what those in the Philippines have to go through when they consider eating foods raised from fertilizer recycled from human wastes.

But that´s exactly what a local foundation based in the boondocks of Mindanao has been advocating, and is now actively looking for “technology off-takers” who are willing to partner with them to literally ´close the loop´ by recycling human wastes as fertilizers for agricultural use in food production.

“There are more than 20 million Filipinos suffering the indignities and health hazards of not having access to proper sanitation,” said Dan Lapid, president/executive director of the  Center for Advanced Philippine Studies.

Water, Agroforestry, Nutrition and Development (WAND) Foundation, a local NGO that promotes social development via ecological sanitation (EcoSan), aims to close the gap in the country´s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), particularly in the proportion of the population using an improved sanitation facility.

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Philippines: an inspiring ‘toilet tale’

His childhood experience with ill-equipped schools in the provinces inspired businessman Napoleon Co to build toilets for poor Muslim and Christian kids in Mindanao.

Children visitors can now use the newly-completed restroom of the KRIS Peace Library

Children visitors can now use the newly-completed restroom (inset) of the Kristiyano-Islam (KRIS) Peace Library instead of the bushes

Napoleon Co, owner of construction superstore chain Home Depot remembers the restrooms in his elementary school:

“Feces were splattered over the cracked tiles, and water barely spewed out of the broken faucets”.

Co admitted to holding the call of nature until he got home as a child— an unfortunate habit he found hard to break while studying in provincial schools in Cebu.

“Tending to withhold bowel movement for years as a child, I was 14 years old when I started seeing pools of blood whenever I used the toilet. Until I was about 35, the hemorrhage did not stop,” he laments.

He vowed never to let his children experience the same thing.

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Philippines – EcoSavers:Maintaining a “bank account” for solid wastes

A common pass book we know is one that contains cash deposits and withdrawal amounts in detail, but in the Entrepreneurs Multipurpose Cooperative in the town of Pavia, they issue pass books indicating kilos of bottles, plastics, and recyclables items as deposits.

The pass books belong to women entrepreneurs called Eco-Savers, majority women vendors and microenterprise operators, who in partnership with the local government of Pavia, are discharged with the responsibility of managing the town’s solid wastes, especially those generated in the public market.

Joy Palmada, manager of the cooperative, proudly shows the bundles of pass books to visitors and clients and those interested how the scheme works and how it has made Pavia a garbage-free municipality.

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ACCESSanitation – Accelerating City to City Exchange for Sustainable Sanitation

ACCESSanitation is a three-year project (December 2009 – November 2012) implemented by ICLEI with funding from the European Union. It aims to to promote and initiate local sustainable sanitation solutions in a total of ten cities – five in the Philippines and five in India – thus improving health conditions, fostering the local economy and increasing food security. As well as benefiting the participating local authorities, the project will also increase awareness on the importance of sustainable sanitation for poverty alleviation among local stakeholders in Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa.

Project partners are: ICLEI European Secretariat, ICLEI Africa Secretariat, ICLEI Southeast Asia Secretariat, ICLEI South Asia Secretariat, Ecosan Services Foundation (Pune) and Xavier University, Cagayan de Oro City.

The principle stages of the project are:

  • Creation of an inventory on relevant national policies and strategies in target countries
  • Identification of 10 cities in target countries to participate in the project
  • National training courses with selected municipalities in target countries
  • Three phases of local application including initial rapid assessment of the sanitation situation in participating cities, priority setting, development of action plan and implementation of solutions
  • Regional knowledge exchange and follow-up workshops
  • Final conference
  • Publication and dissemination of project case studies

Second Partner Meeting, Cape Town, 11-13 May 2010

During this meeting, the ICLEI South Asian and South East Asian partners presented and inventory of sanitation programmes being undertaken in their regions.

The technical partners Ecosan Services Foundation from India and Xavier Institute from Philippines presented the training programme on sustainable sanitation to be held in the project cities.

On 14 and 15 May 2010, the project held the first Advisory Board meeting with representation from the Bremen Overseas Research and Development Association (BORDA), International Water Management Institute (IWMI), University of KwaZulu-Natal, UN-HABITAT, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) and Stockholm Environmental Institute (SEI).

ICLEI South Asia launched a call for Expressions of Interest for cities in the Indian subcontinent to participate in the ACCESSanitation programme. The call closed on 15 April 2010.

ACCESSanitation contact at ICLEI European Secretariat: Barbara Anton, barbara.anton@iclei.org

More information: ICLEI South Asia – ACCESSanitation

USAID Philippines & Rotary Int’l Sewerage and Septage Management Project

San Fernando City, La Union (19 July) — As of 9:45 am, July 16, the United States. Ambassador to the Philippines His Excellency Ambassador Harry P. Thomas Jr. arrived at the San Fernando City for the Groundbreaking Ceremony of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Sewerage and Septage Management Project in Barangay Mameltac, this city.

Congressman Victor Francisco C. Ortega, City Mayor Pablo Ortega, Vice-Mayor Hermenegildo “Dong” Gualberto, former City Mayor Mary Jane Ortega, outgoing Rotary President Mr. Roderick So and incoming President Harvey Tan, Department of Environment and Natural Resources Director Samuel Peñafiel welcomed the US dignitary and party.

With the United States envoy are Rick Nelson – Public Affairs Officer, Pete Broadbent – Control Officer and Roger Carlson – USAID, Acting Director.

The USAID – Rotary San Fernando City Sewerage and Septage Management Project is a USAID-Rotary International H2O Collaboration Project that aims to address the sanitation problem in this lone city of the province.

This issue is a big health risk challenge for San Fernando the fact that drinking water wells which underwent samplings showed widespread contamination that threatens a huge area with water-borne bacteria.

Though many of the residents would want to dislodge their septic tanks, the high cost of the service which is one of the highest in the country hinders them.

Project cost amounts to about P25.46 million, with a shared breakdown of P5 million from Rotary International, P0.46 million from USAID, and a counterpart of a concrete road, lot with an area of 1.2 hectares and fencing amounting to P20 million from the City of San Fernando.

Congressman Ortega said in his speech that this is “another milestone for the city of San Fernando” and to show his full support to the project, he pledged to give P2million of his countryside development fund (CDF) provided the said fund won’t be sliced in the House of Congress.

He urged the people to support all projects that concern the environment, for the city to be a citizen and environment-friendly city.

Ambassador Thomas made a stress in his speech that “an investment of a clean water and sanitation is an investment to the economy, and USAID is a proud partner in protecting health, the environment and the citizens of this country.”

After the program proper, Thomas spearheaded the groundbreaking and laying of the time capsule together with Cong. Ortega, Mayor Ortega, Mr. Roderick So and all the local officials and Rotarians present.

Source – PIA News

Philippines: school sanitation sparks ‘Bayanihan’ spirit in small village

The Filipino spirit of communal unity, ‘Bayanihan’, prevented school toilets provided by UNICEF going unused because of a lack of water. Parents contributed money for the purchase of containers of water in each toilet every school day.

Salag Elementary School, which stands along the highway of the sprawling Siaton town in Negros Oriental, a province in the Central Visayas islands of the Philippines, has long had a problem with a lack of adequate toilets. The school only had two comfort rooms, one for the boys and one for the girls, which are not enough to accommodate a student population of more than 100.

Pupils were often forced to use the nearest bushes and tended to loiter around, missing part of their lessons.

But things changed when Unicef stepped in to address the school’s problem. Teacher Sheila still remembers the day when officials from Unicef came to their school to deliver free goods as well as the good news. “They gave us books and notepads for the students and told us that they will give us comfort rooms. We were so happy when we heard that,” she recalled.

In 2009 all seven classrooms in Salag Elementary School got new toilets.

The provision of toilets is one of the many projects carried out by Unicef in elementary schools belonging to disparity villages in the province to promote school sanitation and hygiene. One of the requirements cited in Unicef’s Child-Friendly School System is for the school to be “healthy” with adequate sanitation and toilet facilities. To date, six elementary schools in disparity villages across the province are now enjoying the sanitation, and privacy, provided by clean comfort rooms courtesy of Unicef which supplied the toilet facilities. The local government units, in return, shouldered the cost of construction.

A grade schooler washes her hands using the water bought with funds from the parents, an initiative inspired by Unicef's health and sanitation campaign in schools. Photo: PIA

However, after the toilets were completed at the Salag Elementary School, it faced a dilemma because it had no piped water supply.

Although the village has a water source, the supply is not sufficient to address the water needs of the village residents. But this did not stop Principal Millard who was determined not to let the toilets go to waste. So he called for a meeting with the teachers and together they came up with an idea to solve the lack of water in the toilets. However, the solution they thought of can only be done with the support from the parents of the students.

So in the next Parent-Teacher Homeroom meeting, Principal Millard presented the solution before the parents- for each parent to contribute money for the purchase of containers of water in each toilet every school day. The principal was not sure if he could convince the parents. With Salag tagged as a disparity area, life in the village is hard and water is scarce and expensive.

But to the principal’s surprise, the parents readily said yes. Now, with the parents chipping in the funds, each classroom’s toilet has up to five gallons of water, enough to address the sanitation needs of around 60 students in each class. All this made possible by the bayanihan spirit among the Salag villagers.

Principal Millard thinks he knows why the parents chipped in.

“This would not have been possible had Unicef not provided the toilets. I don’t think the parents would have agreed to shelling out the money that quickly. They were inspired by what Unicef has done for the school”.

Related web sites:

Source: Rachelle M. Nessia, PIA, 13 Ju 2010