The province of Negros Occidental has declared its commitment to Zero Open Defecation (ZOD) during the First Provincial Sanitation Summit held at Nature’s Village Resort in Talisay City, yesterday.
The activity was spearheaded by the Provincial Government of Negros Occ. through the Provincial Health Office in collaboration with the Water and Sanitation Program-World Bank (WSP-WB), attended by local officials, city/municipal health officers, and sanitary inspectors from the different cities and municipalities of the province.
The group committed to accelerate effective sanitation intervention in their own respective cities/municipalities and allocate necessary resources for program implementation.
Records show that out of 522,760 households in the province, only 79.22 percent have access to sanitary toilets while 20.78 percent or 108,650 households are still without access to sanitation.
Open Defecation is hazardous to health and is a principal factor in the transmission and spread of gastrointestinal infections and malnutrition.
Fifth District Board Member, Atty. Alain Gatuslao, who represented Gov. Alfredo G. Marañon, Jr., said that the provincial government is committed to advocate, implement and personally support the ZOD by creating policy agenda, timely ordinances, and effective sanitation interventions to help minimize if not eradicate problem.
Guests from the WSP-WB were Country Coordinator, Karl Galing; Project Coordinator for Visayas Marieto Perez; Communication Specialist, Sonny Cuenco; Sanitation Marketing Specialist, Panny Paragas, and Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist, Eric Baculi.
Also present in the activity were Mayor Araceli Somosa of the Municipality of Calatrava, Mayor Valente Yap of the Municipality of Bindoy, Negros Oriental who presented talks on Putting sanitation in the Municipal Executive and Legislative Agenda and Championing the Zero Open Defecation Challenge; and Provincial Planning and Development Coordinator, Ma. Lina P. Sanogal, among others. /Capitol News