The project aims to contribute to public health resiliency in Manila. Work centers around assisting urban poor in maintaining health, including diarrhea-related care, and increasing access to and use of safe water and basic sanitation. On the larger scale, the project increases disaster and public health emergency anticipation and response capacities and works towards the prevention of water and sanitation-related diseases. Manila, capital of the Philippines, is one of the most densely-populated cities in the world, most of it urban poor living illegally in squalor. Since much of the population lives illegally in slums, they have no access to government support for sanitation or health care programmes. Young children in Manila are particularly vulnerable in these circumstances, which are also marked by food insecurity and poor nutrition, and in Manila Diarrhea is one of the leading causes of death for children five and under. The slums of Manila are the targeted project areas, particularly Barangay 101-Tondo, a community settled in and around garbage dumps. Barangay 101-Tondo, which harbours some of Manila’s most acute cases of diarrhoea, cholera, and typhoid, and has limited access to sanitation for its 25,000-strong population.
The project takes a community-centred approach to changing behaviours that will lead to improved health, including work targeted at children. Water and sanitation facilities in communities are also built next to the stockpiling of non-food items, such as household water treatment chemicals and hygiene kits to assist community-level transformation. To build the capacity of Red Cross Philippines, staff and volunteers are trained to help reduce and manage risk.
Urban poor in the slums of Manila are the primary beneficiaries of the project. Within this group, caretakers of children and children are targeted.