The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) have started preparing a Sanitation and Hygiene Behavior Change Communication Strategy and Action Plan to help the Baguio City government improve water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) practices and health awareness in the city.
The strategy and action plan are one of the city’s initiatives to address water quality and its impacts on health. The evidence-based plan, which will help address the most pressing sanitation and hygiene challenges in the city, is divided into three parts:
- Part A aims to improve solid waste management practices.
- Part B aims to improve safe and timely fecal sludge emptying practices, improve services, and increase demand from households, businesses, and institutions.
- Part C aims to improve WASH and health awareness; and promote hygiene behavior change for COVID-19 infection prevention, control and mitigation, and prevention and response to other water- and sanitation-related health emergencies.
Baguio City has developed its Faecal Sludge Management plan (2021–2050) based on the principle of city-wide inclusive sanitation. It will include developing and testing of the Sanitation and Hygiene Behavior Change Communication Strategy and Action Plan.
Baguio City is known as the “summer capital” of the Philippines and attracts millions of tourists each year. But lack of safe sanitation, such as overflowing septic tanks, poses major health and environmental risk in the city. These challenges are compounded by COVID-19, which severely impacted vulnerable communities in the city which have limited access to water, safe sanitation services, and proper hygiene.
The grant funding for the project was provided by the Government of Japan through the Japan Fund for Prosperous and Resilient Asia and the Pacific and administered by ADB. ADB has contracted the consortium of Ranas Ltd. and Action Against Hunger, Philippines to support Baguio City to develop the plan.
In partnership with ADB, UNICEF will support Baguio City in implementing the Sanitation and Hygiene Behavior Change Communication Strategy, providing communication materials and technical assistance related to COVID-19 prevention, ending open defecation, proper solid waste disposal and fecal sludge management. UNICEF will also document the campaign experience in Baguio to inform the development of the DoH Playbook on Sustainable Sanitation, which will serve as a guide for other local governments seeking to achieve safely managed sanitation services.
UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. In more than 190 countries and territories, they work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone.
ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.