26M Pinoys lack access to clean toilet-A A +A
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
TWENTY-SIX million Filipinos continue to have no access to clean toilets in the country, including 7.5 million that are openly defecating.
This was revealed by a representative of the United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef), saying it heightens the risks of having diarrhea outbreaks in communities.
"We currently have 7.5 million open defecators in the Philippines and another 17 million, who don’t have hygienic toilet or are still sharing a toilet with their neighbors… This is a very risky practice," said Unicef Wash (water, sanitation, and hygiene) Specialist Dr. Mike Gnilo during the press launch of the One Million Clean Toilets movement.
He explained that unclean public toilets and open defecation carries the risks of diarrhea, which is the third leading cause of child illness and fourth leading cause of death of children under five years old.
And in a bid to help build more toilets in Filipino households, multi-sectoral groups have launched the movement that aims to get one million pledges for clean toilets inside one year.
"We are looking to collect a total of one million pledges from private households to conscientiously maintain their own clean, safe, and hygienic bathrooms by the next World Toilet Day in November 2014," said Unilever's Domex brand manager Dennis Chua.
He explained that for every pledge to the campaign, Domex is set to donate five pesos to Unicef's Sanitation Program, which includes building household toilets.
Chua said that once they are able to meet the one million pledges, that would mean a donation of P5 million for the sanitation program of Unicef.
Aside from the pledges, the organizations also committed to deploy personnel that will help conduct training activities on the proper cleansing of public restrooms, initially in Manila, as well as in gas stations in the North Luzon Expressway and South Luzon Expressway.
Gnilo explained that the Unicef sanitation program aims to provide at least 20 barangays nationwide with household toilets.
This, Gnilo furthered, would mean building toilets for about 10,000 families in the coming year.
Chua said pledges of support to the One Million Clean Toilets movement may be sent via Domex Philippines' Facebook page (facebook.com/DomexPhilippines) by "liking" the page. (HDT/Sunnex)