Integrated WASH Program
WASH stands for water access, sanitation and hygiene.
Manila Water Foundation’s (MWF) core advocacy is to bring WASH to all marginalized communities in the Philippines --- a participatory intervention that will result to access to clean and potable water and improvement on sanitation facilities and hygiene practices in the communities.
Water is necessary for sustaining life and good health conditions. Without access to clean water, individuals are prone to diseases and health hazards.
Through the Integrated WASH Program, communities are given physical access to a water supply that can provide them safe, clean and potable water for drinking, bathing, cooking and other everyday use.
During the first phase, MWF provides a level 2 water supply system that includes the development of the water source with a treatment facility, the laying of water network, and the construction of watering points.
Using a participatory approach, MWF forms and trains a Community Water Group to manage and maintain the water facility.
With water readily accessible, the Integrated WASH Program moves to the sanitation phase.
Without sanitation facilities, marginalized community residents resort to open defecation — the human practice of going to open spaces outdoors to defecate. This practice is often attributed to lack of access to sanitation facilities or due to traditional
cultural practices. Some barriers in good sanitation practices are: (1) lack of funds, (2) competing priorities on spending, (3) no access to technical knowledge
and (4) belief that open defecation or burying fecal waste is harmless.
Manila Water Foundation intervenes by making sanitation facilities available in these communities. Aside from provision of facilities, MWF conducts behavioral change communication (BCC) campaigns to trigger a behavior shift that promotes good sanitation practices and strengthen community accountability in taking care of its new facilities.
Residents are involved in the design and construction and they are also put in charge of maintenance and minor repairs once the facilities are constructed.
The last phase of the Integrated WASH program is to enhance the community’s knowledge on proper hygiene practices, primarily Hand Washing with Soap (HWWS).
As with Sanitation, BCC campaigns on hygiene not only teach the correct practice of HWWS during critical times, it also promotes having the presence of soap within handwashing facilities for an improved adoption of new behaviors that promote good health.