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Sarangani aims for zero open defecation by 2016

ALABEL, Sarangani – The provincial government of Sarangani aiming for zero open defecation by 2016 as it becomes the recipient of Water and Sanitation Program (WSP) funded by World Bank.

Gov. Steve Solon has created a task force that will undertake the program in a bid to eradicate open defecation within the impoverished villages of the province.

“With the creation of a task force, we hope to achieve a zero-open defecation status in Sarangani,” Solon said.

Provincial health officer Arvin Alejandro said poor families who are mostly residing in geographically isolated villages in the province are the ones practicing open defecation.

Many of these families do not have sanitary toilets which caused the prevalence of food and water borne diseases  in their communities.

“Open defecation triggered high rates of under-five morbidity across the province as evidenced by food- and water-borne diseases specifically acute gastroenteritis as the leading cause of admission in government hospitals from 2007 to 2013,” Alejandro stressed.

He said the provincial government has tapped non-government organizations and private sector partners in the provision of low-cost sanitary facilities to poor households. (Joseph Jubelag)