Comfort Rooms for a Healthier Community

Year: 2016
Country: Philippines
Project Status: Funded
Impact Sector: Health
Project Investment: $4,777.78

Project Launch: 7-1-16

Open defecation is a major issue in Ferrol, a low-income coastal municipality, as it contributes to water contamination and the spread of disease. Working with the Ferrol Rural Health Unit, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Mayor and barangay leaders, this project will expand a community-Led total sanitation campaign to provide an additional 100 families with "comfort rooms" or "CRs" which are local equivalents of bathrooms, bringing the community to nearly 100% coverage. Community members will form a small business enterprise to supply the bathroom materials, providing extensive job training and employment opportunities. As part of the campaign, families will be trained on the dangers of open defecation and explore strategies to minimize risk.

Project Update: 10-24-16

Seven of the proposed comfort rooms have now been constructed and work continues on the project's remaining rooms. Community surveyors have visited recipient homes to gauge attitudes about the comfort rooms and have collected information about frequency of use and other feelings beneficiaries have about the new structures.

Final Report: 6-29-17

The LGU is planning to continue utilizing Filger’s expertise in constructing more CRs, pending next year’s budget. Households lacking a CR are continually being identified, and more households are being constructed as more couples get married and start a family. The RHU is continuing to distribute porcelain toilet bowls to qualified households. This is proof of the political will and continued support of this project. Another success is cooperation among community members who in past years were stubborn to complete their comfort room, despite receiving materials. This project was very successful in mobilizing households in two of five barangays to reach certified Zero Open Defecation Status. This means that all households in a barangay have an operating CR certified by means of surveys by the National and Local Government, and a Barangay Resolution is then passed to declare this. Additionally, Ferrol received the Best Water and Sanitation Hygiene Implementation in Region IV-B for 2016, with the two ZOD barangays receiving awards for use in health and sanitation in their respective barangays.

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