DUMAGUETE CITY (PIA)– Pushing for the eradication of public defecation in Negros Oriental, the Provincial Technical Working Group (PTWG) assisted by Water and Sanitation Program of World Bank (WSP-WB) consultant Engr. Marieto Perez has formulated the finalization of Negros Oriental Zero Open Defecation (ZOD) Plan yesterday in Dumaguete City.
While the program is intended for the poorest of the poor, Perez said the group partnered with the DSWD’s Pantawid Pamilya to integrate its health and sanitation program and facilitate identification of the beneficiaries.
Panatwid Pamilya Provincial Link Asela Bella Tse said all of the municipal links have been trained on community led total sanitation and identified pilot barangays for a triggering behavior change towards zero open defecation.
It is stressed that social awakening is important to trigger a barangay to move from open to fixed point defecation.
The PTWG also targets to join the Pantawid Pamilya’s family development sessions to encourage pantawid-beneficiaries to see the importance of proper hygiene and sanitation and help protect them from infectious diseases.
With 271,185 households listed in the province, only 76 percent have access to sanitary toilets while 24 percent or 65,084 households are still without access to sanitation.
To scale up rural sanitation program, The PTWG set to implore local government units to create an ordinance in support of the ZOD program.
The practice of open defecation is not only hazardous to health but contaminates water sources and transmits diarrheal diseases.
It is hoped that possible funding requirements will be included in the legislation support for ZOD campaign in the LGUs.
According to WHO, diarrheal disease is the second leading cause of death in children under five years old, and is responsible for killing around 760,000 children every year.
WHO added that the disease can last several days, and eventually dehydrates the body. The disease is common particularly among children and elderly. (mbcn/JCT/PIA7-Negros Oriental/This article was first published at PIA Website on Mar. 5, 2015)