Maguindanao provincial ‘WaSH’ plan launched PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 15 December 2014 11:47

Stakeholders on Thursday pledged support to a pioneering water and sanitation thrust of the now partners United Nations Children’s Fund, the A Single Drop for Safe Water (ASDSW) and the office of the provincial governor of Maguindanao.

Local officials from Maguindanao’s 36 towns and representatives of different civil society organizations signed a manifesto committing unanimous support to the provincial Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WaSH) initiative of the three cooperating outfits during a summit in Buluan town.

The summit capped the launching of Maguindanao’s provincial WaSH plan, which the UNICEF, the ASDSW and the provincial government are to jointly pursue to ensure supply of safe, clean water for Maguindanao’s “tri-people,” comprised of Muslim, Christian and lumad sectors.

The WaSH plan is also meant to maximize sanitation and cleanliness in enclaves of the tri-people thriving in all parts of the province, a component area of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

“To have clean water for the people and to maintain sanitation and keep hygiene among them are the objectives of these WaSH efforts,” said Engineer Wahab Tunga, Maguindanao’s provincial administrator.

Tunga, speaking on behalf of Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu, said the provincial government assured, during the summit, the program’s two key benefactors, the UNICEF and the ASDSW, of its religious implementation of the WaSH plan for Maguindanao.

Officials of the UNICEF and the ASDSW attended Thursday’s WaSH summit in Buluan, the new capital town of Maguindanao.

In a statement, Mangudadatu said the UNICEF and ASDSW-supported Maguindanao WaSH plan will bolster the common efforts of the provincial government and the Department of Health to reduce cases of water-borne diseases plaguing far-flung areas in the province.

“This program will ensure that our people are always healthy. Healthy people means healthy, productive peasants and fishermen everywhere,” the governor said.

Tunga said mayors from different towns and leaders of different sectors manifested their support to the implementation of the Maguindanao WaSH plan by affixing their signatures to a large tarpaulin manifesto draft in the presence of UNICEF and ASDSW officials.

The ASDSW has actively been helping communities in different parts of the Philippines gain access to clean water and in educating stakeholders on the importance of sanitation and hygiene to ensure good public health.

The organization teaches beneficiary-communities to address water and health issues autonomously, through environment-friendly technologies supported by local and foreign benefactors.

Mangudadatu and his 36 constituent-municipal mayors have been trying to address sanitation issues in remote areas, where villagers get water for cooking and drinking from swamps and marshes that connect to the 220,000-hectare Liguasan Delta in the center of the province.

“The provincial government is also invoking Islamic values in furthering this provincial WaSH plan. Water is very important for Muslims because of the obligatory ablution rituals that precede all of the five prayer rites a Muslim performs every single day,” Mangudadatu said.