Multi-sector confab boosts city’s water safety advocacy PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 06 June 2016 13:44

By JASMINE MOHAMMADSALI

Members of different government agencies and stakeholder groups converged last week to discuss and come up with unified advocacy messages to combat and address the gastroenteritis outbreak in the City.

Dubbed Clean Water, Good Health: Promoting Behavior Change to Prevent Water-Borne Diseases, the two-day workshop was facilitated jointly by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), through its Be Secure Project, the City Health Office (CHO), and the Zamboanga City Water District (ZCWD), to develop strategies, IECs, and plans on implementing promotions programs to identified groups for the further prevention of water-borne diseases in the City.

The outputs of the participating agencies will serve as a contributing foundation to the development of a promotions program design and strategy for target audiences including the general public, school children, barangays, and other sectors.

In her message to the participants, City Mayor Beng Climaco acknowledged the direction of the workshop, emphasizing that communication is critical in containing and mitigating emergencies.

“I think one very important aspect that I would like the USAID to teach us is crisis communication. It can happen in any medical facility [setting],” Climaco said.

“Communication is very effective. I would like the water district to really have your board members [communicate with the public],” she added.

Climaco also shared the responses of the local government to the water-crisis and its impact to the agricultural sector, including the drilling rigs for agricultural development in Curuan, and the provision of fertilizers and seeds for farmers.

Joining the workshop were representatives from the ZCWD and the City Health Office for updates on the gastroenteritis outbreak and water facilities, and the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) for weather forecasts. Also present were participants from local government offices, and national agencies, as well as resource persons from the Be Secure Project for technical expertise on water contamination, alternative water treatment options, and public education. —Jasmine Mohammadsali