Staring last week we are starting to provide low-cost sanitation in the Province of Samar. The first municipality of Samar from Leyte is Sta. Rita and it can be reached via the famous San Juanico Bridge. We have established our toilet production camp in the Municipality of Marabut after coordinating with the local officials there. We found out that like Leyte, Samar is also equally devastated by the typhoons with large areas of farms damaged and houses and structures flattened to the ground. Tents where people are staying are everywhere. Food aid is very few already as international aid pronounced that now is no longer the time for emergency but that of "recovery". I don't know for how long people will hold out and famine stalks the land. Sanitation too is wiped-out and our toilet system is the only viable alternative as international water and sanitation agencies insist on the use of the plastic slab with a hole as their toilet. People detest the plastic slabs and seldom use it if at all. We are trying to lobby with international aid and hope that they will adopt our system.
Next week we will start with the installation of the toilets to the communities and selecting the poorest of the poor who is also most vulnerable to diseases caused by open defecation. Our problem in Samar is that the cost of materials is very high and roads are very bad. There seems to be sleeping government here. Local NGO's are also not active as it should be in other areas.
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