Tag Archives: Philippines

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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

Philippines – Only 59% of Samar households have sanitary toilets; 81% have access to water

Only 59%  of Samar households have sanitary toilets; 81% have access to water

Catbalogan City: June 8 — Samar’s newly-elected leaders are challenged with this health and sanitation data.

In the record of the Samar Integrated Provincial Health Office, it revealed that only some 59% of Samar province households have sanitary toilets.

The data was culled from the IPHO records in calendar year 2009.

There is an improvement though, on scrutiny, comparing the two consecutive years, in 2008, only 51% of the 100, 193 households in Samar have sanitary toilets then, commonly called as comfort rooms or ‘CR’.

A difference of 7, 451 was noted.

This area remains problematic, according to PHO reports.

As regards access to water, IPHO reported that some 81% of the total households in Samar have access to safe water.

Some municipalities like Paranas, Sta Rita, Pinabacdao, Villareal and and Sto Nino use sodium hypochlorite (hyposal) to purify water.

The mentioned municipalities are beneficiaries of a water and sanitation project of WHO, PCWS, DOH and the Italian Government which benefited at least some 112, 212 households from the project.

Hyposol is a water disinfectant used in raw and contaminated water. It is aimed to provide households with useful and practical approach to water quality to prevent onslaught of diseases that may afflict them when ingesting unsafe water.

Meanwhile in a press release given by NSO-Samar, it said that in the national scene one in four poor families have no sanitary toilets or some 24%.

Source – PIA Press Release

USAID – A Rapid Assessment of Septage Management in Asia

A Rapid Assessment of Septage Management in Asia: Policies and Practices in India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam, 2010.

Full-text:  http://www.waterlinks.org/septage-report

by USAID and the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology

ECO-Asia prepared the report in collaboration with the Department of Water and Sanitation in Developing Countries at the Swiss Federal Institute for Aquatic Science and Technology, and in consultation with stakeholders from a range of Asian national governments, water and wastewater operators, research agencies, and international development agencies.

The report comprehensively documents the weak state of septage management for onsite sanitation systems, the main form of urban sanitation in many Asian cities. It provides a regional analysis of key challenges and existing good practices related to septage management, and highlights strategies through which governments, water and wastewater operators, and development assistance agencies can promote septage management as a practical near-term solution to the region’s critical sanitation challenges.

The key finding is that most countries neglect septage management, which results in significant urban water, environmental and public health damages. Nevertheless, a number of countries and cities in the region have established effective regulations, treatment facilities and supporting programs that can be replicated across Asia through focused water operator partnerships.  USAID supports water operator partnerships through the WaterLinks network.