With hope and aspiration to have safe water and improved sanitation and to end open defecation, the Municipality of Sindangan in Zamboanga del Norte has expressed full support in the implementation of integrated safe water, sanitation and hygiene (iWaSH) approach in their water and sanitation projects.

The Regional Water and Sanitation Hub (RHub) IX, together with PROWATER Project Management Office and DILG Region IX, held a coordination meeting with local government and barangay officials, as well as DepEd, schools, health and barangay personnel to present and validate the results of the 2015 iWaSH Assessment Results of Sindangan Municipality.

“To assist the government, particularly the WASH programs of DILG, in preparing the waterless LGUs and communities in developing local projects and establishing, improving and expanding WASH systems and facilities; and to strengthen local governance on WASH in waterless LGUs and communities are the two main roles of RHubs,” according to Dr. Evelyn R. Campiseño, RHub IX Head Coordinator and Jose Rizal Memorial State University Vice President for Research Extension and Development.

Dr. Evelyn R. Campiseno of RHub IX

Based on the Assessment Results, 43% of the residents of Sindangan fetched their water in deep well, and 18% in developed spring. Out of 52 barangays, 12 barangays with 21 water sources have undergone water testing. Of these 21 sources, 19 are positive with coliform and 2 water sources are positive with e-coli presence.

With regard to sanitation, 37% has access to toilet and 63% has no toilet, which means that these residents resort to open defecation. The absence of improved sanitation and proper hygienic practices contribute to the contamination of water sources, hence the presence of coliform and e-coli, affecting the health and lives of the communities.

“We conducted our own assessment and the results that you presented are aligned with the results that we have gathered and found out. We, then, express our commitment and support in working with the joint programme and in addressing the stated issues and problems in the next five years,” said Mayor Nilo Florentino Sy.

Mayor Nilo Florentino Sy

This coordination meeting has been attended by Mayor Nilo Florentino Sy, Vice-Mayor Bess Jagonio and 45 barangay officials, school, health and local government personnel, signifying the municipality’s utmost commitment to provide their communities with safe water and improved sanitation, thus, leading them into healthier and more productive lives.

Vice Mayor Bess Jagonio

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 World Health Organization, UNICEF and United Nations Development Programme.