Fri, 24 Jan 2020

Cimatu eyes communal toilets for Davao's coastal slums

Philippine Information Agency
19 Jul 2019, 00:38 GMT+10

DAVAO CITY, July 17 (PIA)- Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Roy A. Cimatu wants to have communal septage facilities in Davao City's coastal informal settlements.

The DENR Secretary said the communal toilets can help minimize the presence of coliform in the coast.

"As long as andiyan sila dumudumi may coliform" (as long as the settlers are defecating there, there is coliform) Cimatu said.

The Environment Management Bureau-XI tasked to monitor coliform levels in Davao's rivers and coasts has recorded high number of fecal coliform in its monitoring stations along Davao River and the coastal areas facing Davao Gulf

In the first quarter of 2018 the mouth of Davao River had a fecal coliform count of 13,697 most probable number per 100 ML. The standard for a Class B river is at 100 MPN/100 ml.

Fecal coliform is a bacteria which comes from human and animal feces and can carry many diseases such as dysentery, hepatitis A and gastroenteritis.

"What can we do? We prevent them, but if we cannot prevent them we are planning to have temporary sewage system, which we have done in esteros in Manila," Cimatu said.

The temporary sewage system involves having communal comfort rooms for 10 families or 20 houses. The comfort rooms have a temporary septic tank which is emptied once a week.

Cimatu said the ultimate solution to minimize amount of fecal coliform to acceptable levels is relocation of the coastal informal settlers however as the long-term solution is being addressed, the temporary sewage system is a way of addressing the problem of fecal coliform.

"I will be directing my regional director to come up with a plan, as we have not yet relocated the informal settlers," Cimatu said.

The DENR Secretary was in Davao City for a Pre-State of the Nation Address (Pre-SONA) event at SMX Davao today (July 17). (PIA/RG Alama)

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