"Masayang masaya po ako na magkakaroon na po [kami] ng toilet, [at] malapit na po 'yung toilet. Kahit anong oras, pwede nang dumumi," community member Erlin Robina said.
Erlin is one of the 45 recipients of the ongoing toilet project at Sitio Monicayo in Mabalacat City, Pampanga. With the construction under the works, the new toilet is no longer just a dream for Erlin and her neighbors, but a reality in the making.
Sanitation phase begins
On November 19, in time for World Toilet Day, MWF launched the Sanitation Phase of its Integrated WASH Program at the Sitio, wherein 45 toilets with septic tanks will be constructed for toilet-less households.
Imbibing the concept of bayanihan or helping each other towards a common goal, recipients of the toilet project shared their sweat and labor in the toilet construction. Residents dug five feet of dirt in their area, and allotted 3-by-2 meters of land to make way for the construction.
As of December 2019, most households now have readily available septic tank chambers, and will be moving on to the completion toilet structure in the next few months.
Aside from the construction of facilities, community members were exposed to a sanitation learning session, and hygiene campaign.
The session on used water aimed to build an understanding and appreciation for wastewater treatment in line with the toilet construction project. At the end of the session, participants were able to define wastewater, its source, treatment and types and also gained an appreciation on the wastewater treatment process, and its environmental impact. Armed with this knowledge, they can be stewards of proper wastewater management in their community.
Simultaneously, proper handwashing was once again put on a spotlight through the installation of soap racks around the neighborhood. Handwashing is a do-it-yourself vaccine against communicable diseases. To reiterate this concept to the community, soap dishes and markers were installed near sinks and toilets where handwashing is critical.
Integrated WASH Program
MWF's Integrated WASH (Water Access, Sanitation, and Hygiene) Program is a participatory intervention that will result to access to clean and potable water and improvement on sanitation facilities and hygiene practices in the communities.
The Integrated WASH framework being implemented in Sitio Monicayo will serve as a benchmark for future WASH communities, including one in Barangay Sapang Uwak in Porac, Pampanga. In the years to come, MWF hopes to scale its Integrated WASH Program to other corners of the country—leaving no toilet-less and water-less community behind.
Partnerships for sanitation
The sanitation milestone for Sitio Monicayo is made possible through the collaboration with partners, Clark Water, Clark Development Corporation, Holcim, and Mabalacat City Government.
This project is still open for partners and donors. Do you want to be part of this milestone? Contact MWF through our email address, [email protected] or through its social media accounts.