The Lanao del Norte provincial government seeks to expand the “Zero Open Defecation” or ZOD program, an initiative that the national government has mandated for local government units (LGUs) to adopt.
In a statement on Monday, Governor Imelda Dimaporo said the ZOD project will have a budget for water testing, provision of toilets, and other necessary tools to mobilize and empower communities to help solve basic sanitation problems.
Dimaporo noted that since 2021, the provincial government has been promoting ZOD initiatives as a commitment to the National Sustainable Sanitation Plan of the Department of Health (DOH).
In Tubod town, at least 24 barangays have been declared with ZOD status.
According to the DOH, the expanded ZOD initiative aims to provide access to sanitary toilets for communities so residents no longer have to defecate in open fields and waterways.
In a report last year, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said at least 6.3 million households in the country still use unsanitary toilets or practice open defecation.
DOH warned that open defecation may result in children contracting diarrhea, worm infections, stunted growth, and undernourishment. (PNA)
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