WASH Sector sets sanitation indicators for Pablo-affected communities

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NABUNTURAN, COMPOSTELA VALLEY PROVINCE, March 7 -- The Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) sector, headed by the Department of Health, has agreed on a set of sanitation indicators for the communities affected by Typhoon Pablo.

“These indicators will help us ensure that the Pablo-affected communities who may be living in evacuation centers or occupying temporary learning centers have good sanitation practices,” Engineer Rex Labadia of the DOH said during Tuesday’s WASH meeting held in Nabunturan, Compostela Valley.

He said that since there are still schools being used as evacuation centers three months after the typhoon, the Sector needs to come up with a standard or indicator for the said area to ensure the health of the people.

For school evacuation centers, he said, there should be a ratio of one latrine for every 60 people and a ratio of one bathing area for every 100 people.

While one hand washing facility is acceptable for every ten persons, he said, the facility should be within ten meters of the toilet. The same indicators apply for evacuation centers and other areas where Pablo victims are staying, he added.

Labadia said that TLCs or Temporary Learning Centers should have one latrine for every 60 students and a minimum of 15 water taps as group handwashing facility.

Both the bunkhouse transit site in the rural areas and the urban areas should have one latrine for every 20 persons and one bathing area for every 40 persons, he said.

“The excreta or refuse disposal facilities built for the evacuation centers should safely contain the excreta or the waste to avoid contamination of the water supply,” he said.

These facilities must have access to water for cleaning and flushing, he added.

Labadia said there are various designs for the excreta facilities but cautioned that temporary designs are good only for a lifespan of three months while those with semi-permanent designs for the evacuation camps should be used only for six to eight months.

He said the latrines should be accessible to all people especially women and other vulnerable groups. It should also offer them security and privacy especially to women.(RGA/LAC/PIA XI)