The Initao Bayani Challenge is an initiative that aims to build 100 ecosan toilets, 50 biosand filters and plant 15,000 fruit and timber trees in the mountains of Tagpaco (Initao Municipality), Sungay (Alubijid Municipality) and Tagbalogo (Naawan Municipality). The mountain ranges in west of Misamis Oriental comprising the Caballero Mountain Range and the Mandangolan Mountain Range are catchment areas which drain water through rivers, streams and numerous creeks.
The mountain areas and its people suffer from, a. loss of flora and fauna due to burning and agriculture, b. shortage of potable water, c. uncertain cropping seasons due to changes in climate, d. denudation and accelerated soil erosion, and, e. flash-flooding resulting to siltation of rivers and coastal zones. The two mountain ranges are contributors to the devastation of Typhoon Sendong in December 2011 as no more trees hold water rampaging down lower settlements.
The problem will be solved by the provision of an integrated packaged of support including tree growing, sanitation and water and improvement of local livelihoods. The financial support will be in terms of the following; ecosan toilet bowls, ceramics at 1,500 pesos each or concrete at 300 pesos each, complete ecosan toilets at 3,500 pesos each, timber tree seedlings at 4 pesos each and fruit tree seedlings at 10 pesos each.
The long term impact of this project is in improvement of soil fertility, less soil degradation due to erosion, improvement of biodiversity because of tree planting and improvement in health and sanitation of local farmers.