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Socio-Economic Survey Assesses San Fernando City Profile For PFS On Wastewater Management

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On 12-14 August, health workers conducted a rapid socio-economic survey in San Fernando City, La Union in the Philippines, under the Pre-Feasibility Study “Green and Integrated Wastewater Management,” supported by CDIA. Twenty health workers from several barangay offices were trained by CDIA’s social development specialist to conduct surveys in 59 barangays to assess the current baseline scenario. The survey will cover 400 respondents randomly spread across the city.

The survey aims to identify the impacts associated with poor wastewater management system and drainage conditions in the city. It will also help in designing the facilities that can meet local demands, determine the willingness of communities to participate in the project and pay for upgraded services, and generate awareness.

Currently, communities depend upon bottled water for drinking purposes and groundwater/springs for domestic usage. Incidences of water-borne diseases like diarrhea or gastroenteritis are quite common in the city. The city has no sewerage system resulting in polluted water flowing directly into the sea. Wastewater management has a direct link with communities as generators making them an important stakeholder in the entire process.

Support from the local community is as important as political will to make any project successful. The survey is a step towards involving community, assessing demand, and gathering their support to make the project success in the future. To make the entire process collaborative and inclusive, focus group discussions are planned as a next step.

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