Masbate will not have to be exposed using toilets now that United Nation children's agency UNICEF with Unilever through the help of leading toilet cleaner Domex have committed to better health with proper sanitation and toilet awareness campaign #1MCleanToilets in the province. In Aroroy, Masbate specifically communities of Matangtalang, Talib and Cabangcalan have been declared open defecation-free after the success of Community Approaches to Total Sanitation (CATS) program managed by Unicef and its partners.
The CATS program have helped raising awareness among people to look at the potential health risks of open defecation practices in their communities and collectively sought solutions to their sanitation problems by asking them to share toilets and eventually build their own. It's really a great news for Masbate communities at the opening of 2015 ensuring public facilities in the three Aroroy communities have toilets and handwashing facilities now because of Unicef and Unilever. This is actually part of Unilever Sustainable Living Plan aiming to help improve the health and well-being of more than a billion people worldwide. We all know that open defecation causes diarrhea and other deadly diseases as flies go to the feces and fly into one's food. Kids also miss schooldays when they get sick or take care of sick siblings because of this open defecation practice.
Micheal Emerson Gnilo, UNICEF Communication for Development Specialist attributes the success of making these Masbate barangays open defecation-free as a big step towards eliminating disease-spreading germs especially among children with higher incidences of deadly water-borne illnesses such as diarrhea and pneumonia. According to him, they intend to make 18 more barangays open defecation-free by the end of 2015 hoping these model barangays will influence others for expansion and further scale up the program. Today there are more than 760,000 people living in open defecation-free communities, leading to improved health, safety, security and dignity thanks to UNICEF and Unilever partnership. This partnership has also provided more than 120 schools or 29,500 school children worldwide with safe water, sanitation and hygiene facilities. Because of this noble cause, children stay in school without worrying of illnesses due to poor sanitation leading to improved education. Thank you UNICEF and Unilever and I really hope you continue helping more communities in the Philippines become open defecation-free in your next activities. Pledge at www.facebook.com/DomexPhilippines and let us all help getting to zero open defecation country. Every pledge will make Domex Philippines donate P5 to the campaign building and cleaning toilets to those areas who need it. Visit www.facebook.com/DomexPhilippines for more details how to help.