JMH pilot tests its WASH loan

by: MBColumna | 2019

In July 2019, JMH Microfinance, Inc. pilot tested its Water Access, Sanitation and Hygiene loan or WASH loan at selected barangays covered by its Castilla and Pilar branch. This is designed to promote safe water and sanitation in member households through relevant awareness intervention, affordable technologies and accessible financial intermediation.
JMH was one of the MFIs selected by Microfinance Council of the Philippines, Inc. (MCPI) to undergo training and provided with technical assistance under their WaterCredit Program. The WaterCredit Program was readily pursued by JMH because of its aligned direction with its four-fold program of Kabuhayan, Kagalingan, Kalusugan and Kalikasan that is designed to bring about the holistic development of its clients. JMH intends to address important issues regarding water access and sanitation faced by its clients in their communities to ensure their socio-economic development.

Before the conduct of the technical assistance, JMH conducted a rapid water and sanitation needs assessment using a questionnaire type survey administered by its account officers during the centers’ weekly meetings. This was done in three (3) barangays with one hundred thirty-four (134) respondents that were deemed sample representatives of their areas of operation. These were high density coastal barangays covered by 2 branches – Pilar and Castilla 1.

After the assessment, it was concluded that the current water situation in JMH’s areas of operation has more disadvantages to clients and their communities, health and economy-wise. Likewise, the current situation in sanitation requires financial intermediation as well as awareness intervention for the clients and their communities to address these in a more empowering and sustainable manner. Thus, the initial study indicates the need for JMH to address the issues and concerns focused on the (1) Awareness of clients and the communities on WASH issues and (2) Access of clients to intermediation strategies for them to address water and sanitation issues obtaining in their households and communities.

With this, JMH strives to help clients and their communities to increase awareness on water, sanitation and hygiene issues, improve water and sanitation health behavior and increase access to safe water and sanitary toilets.