Safe Water and Sanitation in the Philippines

February 18, 2015 • Philippines
Safe Water and Latrines in the Philippines
In this photo, our workers case the entire tank. They prepared the concrete and poured it into the wooden forms, like Jello in those crazy, funny shapes I used to make as kids. At one point, we had more than 20 men working on the tank to fully encase it.

Two projects in Tacloban provide clean water and hygiene for people affected by flooding

Katelyn Holmberg is an intern with Samaritan’s Purse in the Philippines.

During my internship, I’ve had the privilege to be part of two great projects here in Tacloban. The first was fixing a broken septic tank at one of our bunkhouses. Wastewater leaked from cracks in the wall, seeped through the soil, broke the surface, and flowed downhill beneath the bunkhouses.

It was a health risk, and we had to fix it. We encased the entire tank with a 20-centimeter thick wall to prevent any additional leaks. However, we still had to find a way to treat the water exiting from the tank.

That’s when a local university recommended a great option. They advised us to use filters along with chemical dosing to treat the water. It was great how our technical team built an amazing filtration system from old 55-gallon drums, a little PVC, and a whole lot of ingenuity.

Safe Water and Latrines in the Philippines

Here is the basic arrangement of the filter system. It uses six 55-gallon drums. The water flows out of the tank, into the filters for additional treatment, and then travels out into the storm water ditch.

Safe Water and Latrines in the Philippines

Safe Water and Latrines in the Philippines

Here is our technical team at work. These guys are great and work hard to provide safe water for communities here in Tacloban.

Our second big project was installing a community water system and building a latrine system for a new transitional shelter site. We prepared two wells, a pump house, and a tank stand for our water system. In addition, we placed the distribution piping to transport water to tap stands throughout the site so beneficiaries can easily access the clean water.

Safe Water and Latrines in the Philippines

This is where the water begins. The pump draws water up from the well and pushes it through the piping on site to the storage tanks shown below.

Safe Water and Latrines in the Philippines

Each tank stores 5,000 liters for a collective storage capacity of 10,000 liters. We also installed a chlorination unit with the tanks so the water is purified before entering the tanks. Once done, it’s ready for use.

The water flows from the tanks to a tap stand. There are three on site to serve the beneficiaries with clean water. Tap stands usually have about six taps for use and are placed on a platform.

We’re also working on latrines for this project. Each comfort room (as they are called here) has three toilets. Two stalls are just toilets, while the last one is a shower/toilet combination. We’re building 12 comfort room blocks for the 120 homes.

Safe Water and Latrines in the Philippines

Safe Water and Latrines in the Philippines

This is another view of the site. Here, only the basic frames of the houses have been built. Now the site is completely finished and covered in houses like this.

Safe Water and Latrines in the Philippines

Safe Water and Latrines in the Philippines

Our team of carpenters built the superstructure of the comfort room by securing the large, structural members on the foundation. They also prefabricated the walls for rapid installation purposes. Below is the framing for the superstructure and the prefabricated walls.

 Safe Water and Latrines in the Philippines

Safe Water and Latrines in the Philippines

Lastly, the carpenters added the wall coverings and the plumbers installed the toilets. The comfort room is basically complete. Just a few finishing touches and it’s ready for use.

Safe Water and Latrines in the Philippines

SUPPORT
Philippines Projects Samaritan's Purse is working to improve the quality of life for thousands in the Philippines by providing clean water, hygiene education, and provision of latrines. We are conducting nutrition monitoring for infants and young children and training parents on better feeding practices. Our teams are also helping families recover their livelihoods through bamboo plantations and business training. We partner with the local church, supplying Bibles and offering discipleship courses to help them reach their communities with spiritual care and support.

Philippines Projects 013395
$

More