Hands-free disinfectant-1

Tall grass helps in fight vs Covid, as alcohol dispensers and foot baths made from bamboo are distributed

The Department of Science and Technology-Forest Products Research and Development Institute (DOST-FPRDI) distributed on July 6 10 hands-free bamboo-abaca disinfectant dispensers and foot baths to several establishments and government offices in Los Baños, Laguna.

The bamboo dispenser releases alcohol when the connected foot bath is stepped on, while the abaca acts as a sponge that disinfects the pressing footwear. The device was developed by the Institute in 2020 in response to the Covid-19 outbreak.

A prototype was provided to each of the following establishments: University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB); DOST-Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (DOST-PCAARRD); DOST-Calabarzon; Los Baños Municipal Office; Los Baños Doctors Hospital; Los Baños Municipal Health Office; the vaccination hub in Barangay Batong Malake; Centro Mall, Diocesan Shrine of St. Therese of the Child Jesus; and the Barangay Hall of Batong Malake.

The distribution was also meant to test the prototypes, and evaluate the dispensers’ usability and acceptability.

According to Project Leader Florena B. Samiano, “DOST-FPRDI advocates the sustainable use of local forest resources to help protect the public against Covid-19 infection. The use of natural products such as bamboo and abaca is very promising as these are two of the most economically important, widely available resources in the country. They are also eco-friendly because they are biodegradable.”

The distribution was part of DOST-FPRDI’s celebration of its 64th anniversary.

The Institute’s use of bamboo as the main structural component of the dispenser supported the call of bamboo experts and advocates, who have repeatedly highlighted the huge potential of the Philippine bamboo industry in generating sustainable livelihoods, socio-economic development and climate and environmental protection.

During the 39th episode of “Stories for a Better Normal: Pandemic and Climate Pathways,” with the topic “Bamboo is Life!” held online last March 26 and hosted by former Senator and now Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda, guests shared the initiatives of their respective jurisdiction to support the Philippine bamboo industry, and the development of more opportunities for those working in the sector in the new normal. (Story courtesy of DOST-FPRDI and Climate Change Commission, photos courtesy of DOST-FPRDI)