Tag Archives: Philippines

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.

Typhoid outbreaks in the Philippines and Fiji

Philippines – Typhoid outbreak declared in remote Sarangani village

GENERAL SANTOS CITY – A typhoid outbreak has been declared in four remote sitios (sub-villages) of Barangay (village) Datal Anggas in Alabel town, Doctor Honorato Fabio, Alabel municipal health officer, told reporters that the Department of Health through the Regional Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) in Manila that four out of the five samples sent out for laboratory testing turned out positive for typhoid.

He said that to date, 21 suspected cases of typhoid have been monitored in sitios Salimama, Ihan, Glamang and Sangkoya.

Datal Anggas is the farthest barangay of Alabel and can only be reached via a three-hour uphill travel travel on four-wheel drive vehicle.

Most of the residents, he said, belonged to the B’laan tribe. Fabio said a medical team had been dispatched to contain the spread of the disease in the area.

He said residents were also asked to strictly observe personal hygiene and sanitation in their surroundings. They were also told to boil their drinking water before taking it in, he said. SOURCE


Fiji – Typhoid cases increase – February 26, 2010

Another 50 new cases of typhoid has been recorded in the country ever since the Ministry of Health put out an alert on Tuesday.

This new information has just been released by the National Typhoid Taskforce which just concluded its meeting an hour ago.

Ministry of Health spokesperson Iliesa Tora says the Ministry is now considering procuring typhoid vaccines and are already talking with donors and suppliers.

“Yes we’re looking at bringing in vaccination and we’re talking with our partners, the donor agencies about this but I think the onus is on us the members of the public who need to ensure they have a clean environment and look after themselves well…”

On Tuesday, 33 typhoid cases were recorded in the Central Division, which is the centre of this recent outbreak.

A few other cases from other health facilities around the country was also reported during this week but by today, 92 cases have been confirmed so far. SOURCE

Philippines: ADB, Manila Water to Conduct Study to Restore Pasig River to Full Health

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Manila Water Company Inc. are funding an assessment of the wastewater and sanitation needs along the eastern side of the Pasig River, Manila’s polluted main waterway. ADB is considering providing Manila Water with a private-sector project loan to fund implementation of a wastewater treatment system once the study is completed.

The 27-kilometer-long Pasig River was once used by locals as a source of drinking water and fish, and a place to swim, but in recent decades it has been polluted by the increasing amounts of untreated sewage brought by rapid urbanization and insufficient sanitation systems. Like other major river systems in Metro Manila, the Pasig River is now biologically dead, damaging the health and livelihoods of Manila’s 11 million inhabitants.

Read the full news release.

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Source: ADB, 26 Jan 2010

Philippine Symposium on Sustainable Sanitation, Makati City, Philippines, 15‐16 October 2009

Organised by: Philippine Ecosan Network (PEN) under the Stockholm Environmental Institute – EcoSanRes 2 Philippine Knowledge Node Project, and with support from the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

Theme – “Sustainable Sanitation Capacity Development for Decision Makers”

The Symposium will open with a Global Handwashing Day Celebration.

The objectives of the Symposium are:

  • To promote Sustainable Sanitation and hygiene concepts, ideas and principles among major sanitation stakeholders and decision makers;
  • To sustain the momentum of Sanitation initiatives created by the 2008 International Year of Sanitation and the National Sanitation Summits of 2006 and 2008;
  • To gather and give recognition to leading institutions who have embarked on essential programs, innovative projects and good practices on sustainable sanitation and hygiene for everybody to learn from; and
  • To share and inform the participants on major policy reforms and programmatic efforts by key stakeholders and support institutions.

The organisers also expect that the outcomes symposium will feed into the East Asia Ministerial Conference on Sanitation 2 (EASAN-2) in January 2010 to be hosted by the Government of the Philippines.

Tentative Programme [PDF file]

Read more on the PEN web site.

For further inquiries, please contact Ms. Majen Tong at telephone number +632 433-9042 or thru email at sussanphils [at] caps.ph

Philippines – Floating sanitary toilets

Feature: Floating toilets, anyone?

The ‘floating sanitary toilets’ (FST), a local innovative sanitation technology, was developed by the Center for Health Development of the Department of Health for La Union, Pangasinan and Ilocos residents.

The FST is a low cost pour-flush sanitation facility which floats on water. Its structure and waste treatment materials are made of locally available indigenous materials such as bamboo, nipa, sawali, used plastic drums, sea corals or river gravel/stones, charcoal and garden soil.

It was conceptualized in response to the challenge of preventing the contamination of the different bodies of water with e. coli, vibrio cholera and other micro-organisms causing severe diarrheal diseases and outbreaks.

So how does the FST work?

There are actually three models of FST. For FST Model A, the fecal materials go to the digestion chamber then it is de-sludged offshore. This model is good for one to two persons.

For FST Model B and C, the fecal materials go to the digestion chambers where an aerobic decomposition occurs. The effluents then go to the treatment chamber which further improves the quality of the wastewater to levels within the DENR wastewater standards.

Model B is good for one household composed of four to five persons, while model C is communal and can serve four households.

The FST’s primary targets are fish cage/fishpen watchers and operators, households living along riverbanks or coastal areas, floating villages and people needing sanitation facility for aqua culture activities /projects in open rivers and seas.

The cost of materials for FST is quite minimal as per the estimated cost of operation and maintenance per person. Model A costs 18,000 with a P3 cost of operation and maintenance per person. Model B costs 25,000 with maintenance of one peso per person while model C costs 50,000 with less maintenance of less than one peso.

The FST is beneficial both for the bodies of water and the public. Aside from being a low-cost sanitation facility option for bodies of water, it is easy to use and readily accessible. It provides government and the constituents of the opportunity to resolve sanitation issues in a collaborative manner at an affordable cost.

FST is also an interim and long = term solution to the problem of water-borne and water-related diseases and epidemics.

Source: PIA Information Services, Aug. 27, 2009

Documentary Film: Coming Clean on Sanitation

This 22-minute documentary film, produced in 2009 by the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) with assistance from 5 national broadcasting companies in the region, showcases the difficulties experienced and actions undertaken by individuals, communities, organizations, and governments in the following 6 countries:

  • China, People’s Republic of –  A photographer documents the degradation and revival of Suzhou Creek.
  • India – People clamor for individual household toilets after realizing its benefits.
  • Indonesia – A dedicated teacher and her students campaign for the use of public toilets.
  • Pakistan – A cleanup woman comes home to a community of garbage, without water and sanitation.
  • Philippines – Lakeside slums deal with water pollution and the consequences of water-borne diseases.
  • Viet Nam – A dying lake is revived by a huge development project, benefiting lakeside towns.

To get a DVD copy – go here

Source: ADB

Philippines – Dagupan okays first of its kind health, sanitation code

DAGUPAN CITY, Jan. 16 (PNA)–The city council here has passed Dagupan’s own comprehensive health and sanitation code which was dubbed as a “milestone legislation”.

City Health Officer Leonard Carbonell hailed the code authored by Councilors Jesus Canto and Michael Fernandez, that codified all national laws and existing city ordinances dealing on health and sanitation.

He said he was able to ask the authors of the code to insert as one of its provisions proper septic management practices for homes and industries so that the city’s aquifer would be protected.

The code was passed during the regular session on Monday by the city council presided over by Vice Mayor Belen Fernandez.

The overall objective of the code is to make the land, air and water of Dagupan safer for the benefit of its more than 150,000 population, he said.

The code was drafted by the council consistent with the Sustainable Sanitation in East Asia (SUSCEA) of which Dagupan City is one of the pilot places in the Philippines.

The sanitation code likewise has provisions regarding food and water and also sets sanitary requirements for all establishments and business, practices which were not observed before.

“It is a milestone legislation in the sense that you can count in your fingers the number of cities with existing sanitation code and gladly, Dagupan is now one of them,” he said.

Read More – Philippines News Agency