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HomeNWTF and Cauayan LGU partner anew vs open defecation

NWTF and Cauayan LGU partner anew vs open defecation

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The Negros Women for Tomorrow Foundation and the Local Government of Cauayan partners anew, this time for a sanitation project aimed at eliminating open defecation in the province.

The NWTF, a non-governmental organization aimed at helping women achieve self-sufficiency and self-reliance, particularly in low-income and depressed urban and rural communities, is fresh from its partnership for education that helped Caliling National High School set up its own 3D printing laboratory and Point-to-Point (PtP) internet connectivity,

NWTF, Cauayan LGU, USAID Safe Water, and OBA-BF Project Beneficiaries during Cauayan Environmental Health and Sanitation Program Launching last November 25, 2022 in Brgy. Man-uling, Cauayan.
NWTF, Cauayan LGU, USAID Safe Water, and OBA-BF Project Beneficiaries during Cauayan Environmental Health and Sanitation Program Launching last November 25, 2022 in Brgy. Man-uling, Cauayan.

Forty households in Cauayan were beneficiaries of the Output-Based Aid – Blended Finance program of the Negros Women for Tomorrow Foundation, the Municipality of Cauayan, USAID Safe Water, and the Province of Negros Occidental.

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Through the program, beneficiaries were provided grants by the Cauayan LGU to support the construction of each of the household’s septic tanks.

NWTF, on the other hand, offered financial support through loans under its Water Access, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) program. The loans were used to help finance the respective toilet structures of the beneficiaries.

NWTF and USAID Safe Water representatives
NWTF and USAID Safe Water representatives.

“It has been our dream to have our own toilet but we did not have the funds to construct one,” said Jartie, one of the beneficiaries of the blended finance program.

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“We are extremely thankful that we were able to now have a restroom for our daily needs. This is not just for us but also for our children, so that they won’t have a hard time later on,” she added.

Lorena, also a beneficiary of the project said, “it was difficult for us before, we had to use other people’s toilets, or wherever possible sometimes even under the coconut trees. But now, we have our own toilet that we can use comfortably.”

NWTF Executive Director and Founder Suzzette Gaston during Cauayan Environmental Health and Sanitation Program Launching
NWTF Executive Director and Founder Suzzette Gaston during Cauayan Environmental Health and Sanitation Program Launching

This program is part of NWTF’s commitment to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), particularly on Water Access, Sanitation, and Hygiene. For NWTF, this goal will only be possible by working together with other people, organizations, and institutions.

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“Partnerships are really the way to do things in this century. Even the Sustainable Development Goals recognize partnerships as an important way of doing things,” NWTF Assistant Director for Administration and Strategic Projects Raymond Serios said, stressing the integral role of collaborations in making this project a success.

Cauayan Mayor John Rey Tabujara with Lorena, one of Output-Based Aid – Blended Finance project beneficiaries
Cauayan Mayor John Rey Tabujara with Lorena, one of Output-Based Aid – Blended Finance project beneficiaries

Cauayan Mayor John Rey Tabujara shared the same view on the importance of partnerships and collaborations, noting that the beneficiaries have a part to play in this.

He added that, “the LGU, Barangay, and the beneficiaries themselves, must stay committed and determined to make this project a success, and likewise contribute to the Zero Open Defecation (ZOD) program of the national government.”

The blended finance program came just in time as cholera cases are starting to become widespread not only in Negros but across the country. This year, the DOH has recorded more than 4,000 cases from January 1 to November 2, 2022. A 254 percent increase from the same period last year.

NWTF Founder Corazon Henares (leftmost) with USAID Safe Water Representatives
NWTF Founder Corazon Henares (leftmost) with USAID Safe Water Representatives

Meanwhile, the Asian Development Bank released data showing the lack of improved sanitation facilities and awareness could considerably heighten the risks of infections or other illnesses from fecal sludge or wastewater.

Furthermore, the current statistics shows that around 50.3 million Filipinos do not have access to safely managed sanitation services, and of these, some 24 million use limited/unimproved toilets or none at all.

Now more than ever, the celebration of World Toilet Day rings more meaningfully; with the World Health Organization (WHO) stressing that everyone should care about toilets because it is crucial for public health and poor sanitation can lead to transmission of infectious diseases.

Jartie, one of the Output-Based Aid – Blended Finance project beneficiaries in Cauayan
Jartie, one of the Output-Based Aid – Blended Finance project beneficiaries in Cauayan

NWTF and its partners acknowledge the severity of the prevailing problems in sanitation and hence, commit to maintaining their efforts to help resolve this problem.

“Our dream is to eliminate open defecation in the country, making sure that we have toilets for every household in the country that are sanitation grade,” Serios said.

“We do this not only because we care for the wellbeing of the families, but also to make sure that we take care of the environment and the entire ecosystem,” he added.

NWTF extends its invitation to other LGUs, and other sectors of society to come and join them in this advocacy for a cleaner and healthier tomorrow by bringing toilets to every home.

Since 2014, NWTF, along with its partner organizations, has helped over 1 million lives through its WASH loans.

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Hannah A. Papasin
Hannah A. Papasinhttp://facebook.com/hannah.mariveles
Writer. Critic. Professor. She started writing since primary school and now has two published textbooks on communication. A film buff, she's a Communication, Media Literacy and Journalism Professor of the University of St. La Salle-Bacolod, and has a Master's Degree in English.
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