WHO introduced the WSP concept, with AusAID support
In 2006, the World Health Organization (WHO) introduced this concept in the Philippines, with support from the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID). Its concept was included in the 2007 Philippine National Standards for Drinking Water.
One hundred ninety (190) water districts, out of total 831 in the country, were trained on this approach. They completed nine water safety plans, serving at least 15 million people, as well as drafted 15 water safety plans. And yet there is more than 6,000 water systems in the country that need to know about this concept and make WSPs to ensure safe drinking water supply in their areas.
Selected areas in the country which experienced waterborne disease outbreaks will form part of the upcoming AusAid assisted Phase 3 Project, from 2012 to 2016. The project will develop WSP models for new types of water systems.
WSPs minimize outbreaks of waterborne diseases
Waterborne diseases still confront the country, despite high coverage of water supply (92%). Outbreaks of typhoid in Cebu, and cholera in Catanduanes occurred this year.
Identified causes of such outbreaks are:
- open defecation;
- unprotected water sources;
- uncontrolled disposal of animal wastes;
- non-chlorination of community-based systems; and
- inadequate water monitoring.
The use of WSPs will contribute in reducing the environmental risks of waterborne diseases, in order to minimize these disease outbreaks. The risks will be clearly identified and addressed in developing and implementing the WSPs.