As part of the implementation of the integrated safe water, sanitation and hygiene, the UNICEF, together with its local partner Action Against Hunger, has facilitated the Sanitation Learning Tour last February 8-9, 2017 in the Province of Masbate.

This Sanitation Learning Tour aims for the partner local government units in Camarines Norte (Basud and Capalonga) to learn from the experiences of the partner LGU in Masbate in terms of sanitation programming within an integrated water, sanitation and hygiene (iWaSH) approach.

“Basud and Capalonga are here because they are also part of PROWATER Joint Programme. Masbate is also included in the pilot sites of PROWATER. We also went to Cotabato to learn from them but now we are glad that municipalities are already coming to learn from us. We hope that the Province of Masbate could also give insights we learned from other provinces and municipalities, through the leadership of the Provincial Government of Masbate,” said Eleanor Peña, Action Against Hunger Head of Base in Masbate.

Eleanor Pena of Action Against Hunger

“It’s very heartwarming, enlightening, and inspiring at the same time that this time around, the people from other provinces are coming from us. I think that sounds an achievement for the Province of Masbate, but also for the DILG, the Action Against Hunger and all the other NGOs working hand in hand with the Provincial Government. We always need the support and the partnership among the different stakeholders,” according to Vice Governor Kaye Revil.

Vice Governor Kaye Revil

On the first day of the Learning Tour, the participants have made courtesy call visits with the provincial and municipal governments. On site presentations have been carried out focusing about the Community-Led Total Sanitation and the Municipal Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Task Force of Aroroy, Masbate.

Bgy. Captain Marites Agao of Bgy. Malubi, Aroroy, Masbate has shared their experiences on how their barangay attained the G0 to G2 sanitation level through bayanihan with the community and school and their reward and monitoring system. A makeshift toilet has also been constructed on site to prove that building a sanitation facility does not cost much. To conclude the day, the participants have been to a site visit on one of the WASH initiatives in Barangay Malubi.

Bgy Captain Marites Agao of Bgy Malubi showing the barangay spot map reflecting the houses with and without sanitation facilities

On the second day, presentations on the SDGF Joint Programme on PROWATER and the iWaSH Framework, the Provincial WASH Task Force of Masbate, the Municipal WASH of Milagros, Cawayan, Monreal and Aroroy, the WASH in Schools and the WASH in Daycare Centers filled the day of the participants. The day has been wrapped up by a workshop in formulating the sanitation plans for Basud and Capalonga municipalities in line with the iWaSH approach.

The Joint Programme on PRO WATER is supported by the Government of Spain through the Sustainable Development Goals Fund and is jointly implemented in the Philippines by DILG, DOH, World Health Organization, UNICEF and United Nations Development Programme.