November 2012 – November 2013
The Visayas Primary Health Care Services, Inc. successfully implemented an environmental health project with the support of the Foundation for Philippine Environment on Nov. 2012 to Nov. 2013.
Barangays Tangke, one of the 22 barangays in Talisay City, Cebu, is one of the ten coastal barangays in Cebu. Spanning 90.06 hectares with a population of 11,791 or 1,636 households (NSO 2007), it has seven sitios, namely: Salvador, Kilawan, San Rafael, San Pedro, Magay, Galaxy, and Rattan.
The one year project enhanced awareness on environmental sanitation and proper waste disposal in order to prevent and control health problems arising from the lack of it. Information, education and communication (IEC) materials and community meetings enhanced the residents’ awareness on the maintenance of hygienic conditions through services such as garbage collection, personal hygiene, solid waste management, and pollution control. Ten units of billboards were produced and placed in strategic areas in the barangay.
Community sessions were held in each sitio on the theme of inadequate sanitation as a major cause of disease world-wide and improving sanitation has a significant beneficial impact on health both in households and across communities. With education followed mobilization of the residents to practice environmental sanitation, including personal hygiene, proper disposal of human, animal and domestic wastes, the use of the communal toilets, and solid waste management.
The project trained community health workers (CHWs) and leaders of the people’s organization, the Tangke United Fisherfolks Association in a series of trainings on solid waste management, forest and watershed, climate change and orientation of environmental laws, and vermiculture. A study tour to the Mohon Parish Eco Park, Barangay Luz and Councilor Nestor Archival Eco Park was also conducted.
Finally, it also established a solid waste management system. Families recycled kitchen wastes by putting them into used pails, mixed them with sawdust and sprayed with solution of indigenous microorganisms (IMO) and let stand for one to two months, covered, which were converted into compost that were put in containers of recycled cans and bottles and used as soil grown with vegetables as sources of food. Small garden plots and containers with the plants were then cultivated by several families.
In summary, the project addressed the poor environmental sanitation problem in Tangke, Talisay particularly by recycling kitchen and biodegradable wastes and converting them into compost to serve as fertilizers for vegetables and herbal plants like lagundi and oregano. Instead of having the wastes thrown away to the garbage bins, they were used productively and at the same time provided food for the people. Thus, only non-biodegradable wastes were being collected and disposed in the garbage trucks. This endeavor also somehow instilled cleanliness and sense of protection and responsibility for the environment among the residents there. Knowing the benefits that the project would provide for them, the members of TUFA and residents cooperated in working for a cleaner barangay that they themselves benefitted.