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WASHplus Weekly: Focus on WASH & Ebola

11 hours 59 min ago

Issue 167| Oct  31, 2014 | Focus on WASH and Ebola

This issue contains updates on Ebola outbreaks and other recent journal and newspaper articles as well as links to World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) websites on Ebola. Included are WHO/UNICEF factsheets, guidance on making chlorine solution from Tufts University, articles from the Global Public-Private Partnership on Handwashing, a summary of water and Ebola issues from the Pacific Institute, Ebola-related anthropological studies from the Institute of Development Studies, and other resources. 


Ebola Virus Disease (EVD): Key Questions and Answers Concerning Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, 2014. WHO. Link
The key to controlling the hazard associated with the presence of the virus in the body fluids of infected individuals lies in the rigorous enforcement of protocols to separate and contain ALL body fluids (including feces and urine). Feces from suspected or confirmed Ebola cases must be treated as a biohazard and handled at a minimum.

An Open Memo on Ebola and Water. Science Blogs, Oct 2014. P Gleick, Pacific Institute.Link
As input to the ongoing discussions about how to meet and overcome the spreading risks of Ebola, this blog post provides thoughts on the water-related components of U.S. efforts. The author urges manufacturers of water treatment technologies to confirm that they are designed and can be operated to specifically remove or inactivate Ebola-type viruses with high reliability and for medical experts to determine the quality and quantity of water needed in a field hospital setting.

Ebola Virus Disease Factsheet, 2014. WHO. Link
Good outbreak control relies on applying a package of interventions, namely case management, surveillance, and contact tracing; a good laboratory service; safe burials; and social mobilization. Community engagement is key to successfully control outbreaks.


Methods to Make Chlorine Solution in Ebola Emergencies, 2014. D Lantagne, Tufts University. Link
The methods for onsite manufacturing of chlorine include: diluting HTH or NaDCC powder in water; diluting concentrated liquid solution in water; and generating sodium hypochlorite using salt, water, and electricity.

Methods to Test Chlorine Solution Concentrations in Ebola Emergencies, 2014. D Lantagne, Tufts University. Link
This document describes three methods for testing chlorine solution: portable iodimetric titration kits; dilution followed by testing with FCR/TCR test kits; and calculation based on manufacturing.

WASH Package for Ebola Care and Treatment Centres/Units: Guidance Note, UNICEF. Link
This guidance note recommends actions for the implementation of WASH packages in treatment and care centers. The recommended actions are presented under the different components (water supply, hygiene and hand washing, disinfection, solid waste management, latrine and wastewater management, and dead body management) of the defined Ebola Care Center/Unit WASH package to complement community and house-to-house level interventions.

Ebola and WASH. UNC Water Institute Water and Health Conference, 2014. P Hunter. Link
There is still much to learn about Ebola risks associated with WASH as the virus has not been extensively studied in this context. Nevertheless, much is known about the Ebola virus and other viruses that provide the basis for addressing WASH-related questions concerning potential environmental transmission routes and human exposure risks. This workshop communicated what is known or suspected as well as what we still need to know about Ebola virus risks in relation to WASH.

Ebola Information Released for Water and Wastewater Utilities, 2014. Water Research Foundation. Link
Because of Ebola’s fragility when separated from its host, bodily fluids flushed by an infected person would not contaminate the water supply. Researchers believe Ebola survives in water for only a matter of minutes. This is because water does not provide the same environment as bodily fluids, which have higher salt concentrations. Once in water, the host cell will take in water in an attempt to equalize the osmotic pressure, causing the cells to swell and burst, thus killing the virus.


Handwashing and Ebola: The Facts, 2014. Global Public-Private Partnership for Handwashing. Link
Hand washing with soap after any contact with body fluids is one method to protect against infection. It is known that the Ebola virus can be killed by soap, chlorine, alcohol-based hand rub (CDC recommends at least 60 percent alcohol), very high heat, and exposure to many hours of sunlight. The preferred way to remove Ebola virus from your hands is with soap and running water. Soap and running water should always be used when hands are visibly dirty/soiled. If hands are not visibly dirty/soiled, alcohol-based hand rub may be used.

Global Handwashing Day in the Time of Ebola. Huffington Post, Oct 2014. J Sachs, Earth Institute at Columbia University. Link
Many of the world’s poor lack access to safe water and soap needed to protect them from water-borne and hand-to-mouth pathogens. One problem that needs to be overcome is extreme poverty itself. Proper hygiene requires a basic minimum of resources. Ending the extreme poverty that blocks proper hygiene and the foundations of good health should be a core worldwide commitment of the new Sustainable Development Goals. The second problem to overcome is that of bad habits. Proper hygiene requires that individuals know the importance of good hygiene and develop the habits to carry it out.

Ebola, Other Hospital-Acquired Infections… and HandwashingHuffington Post, Oct 2014. L McCay, Global Public-Private Partnership for Handwashing. Link
As hundreds of millions of people around the world celebrate Global Handwashing Day on October 15, the focus on promoting hand washing comes at a pertinent time for health services. The Ebola outbreak has compelled health facilities around the world to assess their infection control readiness.


The Significance of Death, Funerals and the After-Life in Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia: Anthropological Insights into Infection and Social Resistance, 2014. J Fairhead, IDS. Link
The aim of this briefing paper is to consider the various ways in which widely reported fear and resistance to the Ebola response can be understood, and what each way of understanding offers to those battling with the current epidemic.

Medical Anthropology Study of the Ebola Virus Disease Outbreak in Liberia/West Africa, 2014. WHO. Link
The topics explored in this study are: local knowledge and understanding of Ebola as a viral hemorrhagic disease, understanding of current health messages, and community concerns regarding Ebola.


Controlling Ebola: Next Steps. The Lancet, Oct 2014. R Dhillon. Link
Control strategies based on rapid diagnosis, patient isolation, and treatment can reduce the transmission to well under one additional person per infected case, thereby rapidly containing the epidemic. No coherent national or international approach has so far been implemented to integrate the intervention chain from case identification to diagnosis, to secure transport, to isolation and treatment. While efforts to create new vaccines, medicines, and diagnostics are underway, the authors recommend these three measures be adopted in a concerted way.

How to Avoid Being Infected with Ebola. The Guardian, Oct 2014. S Boseley. Link
Can I get Ebola from a toilet seat? Yes – feces from somebody with Ebola are a real hazard and the virus has also been detected in urine. But there would only be a danger if a seriously sick person had used the toilet and contaminated it and that is most likely in their home or hospital. Public toilets, in general, are very unlikely to be a risk.

The Ebola Epidemic Special Collection. Science. Link
Given the current outbreak, unprecedented in terms of number of people killed and rapid geographic spread, Science and Science Translational Medicine are making their collection of research and news articles on the viral disease freely available to researchers and the general public.

Consolidated Ebola Virus Disease Preparedness Checklist, 2014. WHO. Link
The Consolidated Checklist identifies 10 key components and tasks for both countries and the international community to complete within 30, 60, and 90 days.

Transmission Dynamics and Control of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD): A Review. BMC Medicine, Oct 2014. G Chowell. Link
The complex and unprecedented Ebola epidemic ongoing in West Africa has highlighted the need to review the epidemiological characteristics of EVD as well as the current understanding of the transmission dynamics and the effect of control interventions against Ebola transmission. This article reviews key epidemiological data from past Ebola outbreaks and carries out a comparative review of mathematical models of the spread and control of Ebola in the context of past outbreaks and the ongoing epidemic in West Africa.

Interim Infection Prevention and Control Guidance for Care of Patients with Suspected or Confirmed Filovirus Haemorrhagic Fever in Health-Care Settings, with Focus on Ebola, 2014. WHO. Link
This document provides a summary of infection prevention and control measures for those providing direct and non-direct care to patients with suspected or confirmed cases of Filovirus haemorrhagic fever, including Ebola or Marburg, in health care facilities.


UNICEF WASH Cluster – WASH and EbolaLink
This page enables users to be directly linked to the technical Q&A platform in order to ask questions to Ebola specialists in real-time. It also aims at providing up-to-date WASH guidelines, manuals, and news related to the evolving Ebola response.

World Health Organization Ebola WebsiteLink
This website contains updates on Ebola outbreaks and links to WHO reports on Ebola.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Website - Link
This webite contains factsheets, situation reports, and other resources.
WASHplus Weeklies highlight topics such as Urban WASH, Household Air Pollution, Innovation, Household Water Treatment and Storage, Hand Washing, Integration, and more. If you would like to feature your organization’s materials in upcoming issues, please send them to Dan Campbell, WASHplus Knowledge Resources Specialist, at

Filed under: Sanitation and Health Tagged: Ebola

Launch of World Toilet Day 2014 website

12 hours 37 min ago


World Toilet Day is a day to take action. It is a day to raise awareness about all people who do not have access to a toilet – despite the human right to water and sanitation.

Alcime, 28, in front of her community toilet. Cap-HaÏtien, Haiti. Photo: Shiho Fukada, Panos pictures for WSUP, Assisted by International Medical Corps UK.

It is a day to do something about it.

Of the world’s seven billion people, 2.5 billion people do not have improved sanitation. 1 billion people still defecate in the open. Women and girls risk rape and abuse because they have no toilet that offers privacy.

We cannot accept this situation. Sanitation is a global development priority. This is why the United Nations General Assembly in 2013 designated 19 November as World Toilet Day. This day had previously been marked by international and civil society organizations all over the world but was was not formally recognized as an official UN day until 2013. World Toilet Day is coordinated by UN-Water in collaboration with Governments and relevant stakeholders.

Filed under: Campaigns and Events Tagged: World Toilet Day 2014

BioFizz, a biological product formulated to treat septic tanks as well as urban sanitation systems

13 hours 20 min ago

BioFizz, a biological product formulated to treat septic tanks as well as urban sanitation systems, 2014. 

BioFizz is a biological sanitation treatment product intended for use in both septic tank systems, as well as conventional urban lavatories

BioFizz is a biological product developed by CSIR Biosciences, intended for use in both septic tank systems, as well as conventional urban lavatories. Septic tank systems are widely used in various parts of South Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa as well as in various other developing countries. Most urban populations in these countries are provided with septic tanks; although in some other less developed countries, up to 45 % still use traditional pit latrines.

The septic tank system provides a cost-effective on-site sanitation mechanism, and is the most cost-effective, and likely the only practical approach for securing the health benefits associated with hygienic disposal of excreta. Although its use is advantageous, numerous limitations of the use of septic tank systems have been reported.

The BioFizz product can also be applied as a biological alternative in normal domestic water borne sewage systems, where environmentally aware customers can use the product to reduce the burden on sewage treatment facilities and ensure cleaner effluent traps and pipes. On-site, point-of-source treatments of these septic tanks and urban lavatory systems are required in order to suitably treat sewage generated from households. This form of sanitation is also being adopted by suburban lifestyle estates and game lodges across Africa.

A scientifically developed, effervescent product was formulated to release beneficial bacteria into the system upon application. The incorporated bacterial strain has the capability of liquefying solids, and reducing waste ions such as ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, phosphates, chemical and biological oxygen demand. Various product prototypes have been formulated and given to various clients for testing acceptance with their customers.

This product makes possible more hygienic ablution facilities, reduces burden on existing treatment facilities and also reduces maintenance costs required to pump out the contents of full tanks (in the case of septic tanks).


Filed under: Sanitary Facilities Tagged: septic tanks, urban sanitation

Social and psychological impact of limited access to sanitation: The link between MHM and reproductive tract infections, and between WASH practices and pregnancy

13 hours 26 min ago

Social and psychological impact of limited access to sanitation: The link between MHM and reproductive tract infections, and between WASH practices and pregnancy, October 2014. SHARE, WSSCC.

The approach utilizes a baseline cross-sectional survey to quantify  WASH practices and reported health history among a randomly-selected subset of girls and women from each of the four life-course groups in tribal, rural, and urban areas of Odisha, and a set of overlapping sub-studies each testing focused hypotheses about pathways between sanitation access, SRPS, hygiene behaviour and health.

Some Key Findings (for Practitioners):

  • While most sanitation challenges are universal for women, their  relative severity and frequency differed in urban, rural, and tribal areas and among young women, married women, and older adults. Strategies for improving latrine access and use could potentially utilize context-specific promotional strategies to
    encourage behaviour change.
  • Sanitation encompasses much more than defecation, specifically  within the Indian context. The act of defecation is embedded within other behaviours, including post-defecation cleaning, ritual bathing, and changing clothing; as well as menstrual management and urination. Strategies to improve sanitation
    coverage in India must be aware of how defecation practices are positioned within these larger behavioural patterns and responsive strategies are needed in order to facilitate adoption and use of sanitation technologies.

Filed under: Hygiene Promotion Tagged: India, menstrual hygiene management

Oct 29, 2014 – The 3rd Annual Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) in WASH in Schools Virtual Conference

28 October 2014 12:04 (America/New_York)

The 3rd Annual Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) in WASH in Schools Virtual Conference, Wednesday 29 October 2014

The 3rd virtual MHM in WinS conference will build on the content and recommendations of the prior two conferences and continue the effort to fill in the gaps in the existing knowledge and advocacy around this important issue. The one-day conference will bring together academics and health, gender, education, and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) experts from around the world currently implementing MHM-related activities.

Conference objectives:

  • To share recent research findings that relate to various aspects of MHM in WinS
  • To highlight school-based MHM program descriptions and their potential for scale
  • To share recommendations about how new MHM programs can be developed by WinS practitioners

Filed under: Campaigns and Events, Hygiene Promotion Tagged: menstrual hygiene management

What to do with infant poo? The blind spot of the blind spot

27 October 2014 15:16 (America/New_York)

After a few years researching and working on sanitation, I feel (felt) that I have a good knowledge about the topic, or at least good knowledge of most of it and a clear picture of the areas I should learn more about. Moreover as a shit-worker I –and probably most of us in the sector– have developed a sort of pride or even vanity about being a herald of a neglected cause…

Last week at the UNC Water and Health Conference I was humbled and even slightly embarrassed when I ‘discovered’ the world of children’s faeces in an exciting side session: “What to Do with Infant Poo? Evidence-based Programming to support safe disposal of young children’s faeces”. Convened by WSP, UNICEF and USAID / WASHPlus Project, the session included presentations of experiences from Kenya, Bangladesh and Cambodia, followed by group work on ways forward. 

It is not that I ignored everything about child faeces; I had read something, had had some coincidental observations while staying in Indian villages, where I also included the issue partially in household surveys by gathering information of individuals’ defecation practices. But overall my knowledge was limited to the fact that child faeces have more pathogens than adult shit, and therefore should be disposed of safely; I had not fully acknowledged the complexities of the issue and kind of took for granted that improvements in adult sanitation would automatically lead to better management of child faeces. I was thus struck by a study in Bangladesh (by ICDDR,B), a country where adult open defecation is minimal, that showed that only 11-14% of children’s faeces are disposed of in latrines.

I had also not reflected about of the different defecation practices by age groups (my nephew is still in the nappy-phase) which vary country to country and require specific approaches. In Cambodia, for instance, Watershed’s research has shown that children up to six months, not having control over their bowels, rely on nappies (either disposable or reusable –more or less rudimentary). From seven months to two years they generally defecate openly, mostly in the courtyard. From two to five years they start using the potty or the latrine if available.

Finally, I had not given much thought either to how the different choices impact the environment and the implications in terms of solid and liquid waste management. In Cambodia again, in villages with high latrine coverage, when potties are used, in 92% of the cases these are emptied in latrines. Faeces in the courtyard are removed with a scoop or an improvised tool, just to be thrown farther away or in the trash. Baby’s disposable nappies always end up in the trash, which is mostly burnt or buried. Cloth diapers –used by 30%– are emptied in the latrines and then cleaned, but the resulting wastewater is again disposed of in or near the courtyard.

So what to do about children faeces?

The Bangladesh experience was based in supporting caregivers in potty training and promoting the best potty after a test of different models available in the local markets. In Cambodia, efforts have been made to develop potty designs that are more stable than those traditionally used, which small children cannot use on their own. In parallel, WSP and UNICEF are developing 25 country profiles summarising available data on child faeces disposal and providing ideas to strengthen safe practices.

These emergent efforts are very interesting… but very scarce. We need more people and more organisations that engage in this topic and contribute take children faeces out of the blind spot. Please share your thoughts and any related experience you know about!

CONTRIBUTORS: Andrés Hueso González

Filed under: Hygiene Promotion Tagged: infant feces

Robert Chambers – So Much to Keep Up With, So Much to Learn

27 October 2014 15:09 (America/New_York)

This was the first time I have been to the annual four and a half day conference of the Water Institute at the University of North Carolina.  Like the annual WEDC conference, there was a huge, almost overwhelming, harvest of information and learning. Here are some bullets of things that struck me:

Inequality is big, big now, with the post-2015 agenda.  It will be picked up and reported in the JMP.  We are entering a new space.  Good. 

Ash. Soap or ash for handwashing.  A JMP committee was unwilling to mention ash because there has been no study of the health effects, only those of soap, although there is no question that microbiologically it is nearly as good as soap.  Let us hope that research will be funded – there are people willing to carry it out.  But the big money for HW research comes, I suppose, from Unilever and Proctor and Gamble.  There is scope here for funding from others.  Ash is poor-friendly – widely available, costless, can be left outside without being stolen or taken by teachers, and is not eaten by goats.  But the deeply rooted refrain is ‘handwashing with soap’.  Again and again one has to argue for including ash – ‘handwashing with soap or ash’ or for that matter, soil, depending on the soil.

Behaviour change.  This came up repeatedly. Far too much to absorb or report but some snippets:

  • Signing a pledge can be effective
  • When someone has invested (e.g in building their own toilet) they may feel they have to keep up appearances and justify it by using it
  • Frequent rewards can reinforce behaviour
  • Special times can be picked as opportunities for change – e.g. a marriage or funeral
  • New behaviours can piggy-back on one another through linking
  • ‘Choice is the enemy of behaviour change’.
  • People infer motives from observing their own behaviour (linked with dissonance reduction)

Read the complete post

Filed under: Progress on Sanitation, Sanitation and Health Tagged: Community-Led Total Sanitation, Robert Chambers

#WorldToiletDay seminar: sanitation for improved lives of women and children

26 October 2014 13:42 (America/New_York)

Sida and WaterAid are organising a seminar on 19 November 2014, World Toilet Day, in Stockholm, Sweden.

The Inspirational Morning Seminar on The Relevance of Sanitation and Hygiene in Addressing Children’s and Women’s Health & Rights will be held at Sida’s headquarters from 08.30-12.00.

The seminar aims to raise awareness about the taboos and difficulties surrounding sanitation specifically as it relates to health and for example girls’ and women’s menstrual hygiene management  (MHM).

The seminar moderators are Ana Gren and Johan Sundberg.

Speakers include:

  • Archana Patkar – Presentation of WSSCC – MHM Relevance, program approaches, Reflections, need for innovation, recommendations how to best address the problem
  • Robert Chambers – WASH, Women and Children: from blind spots to core concerns?
  • Jenny Fredby, WaterAid, Sanitation and hygiene for children’s and women’s health, approaches, reflections and recommendations for SDGs

The seminar will close with a discussion followed by a joint pledge to “Break the silence, Be proud – Don’t be shy, Tell your friends”.

Register before 14 November on the Sida web site.

10:55 – 11:50 Joint discussion for all participants; the discussion will be fuelled by discussion engines: Experts in DEMO & HR, Health, Governance, Research – SIWI, SEI, SanWatPUA, Sida

11.50 – 12.00 Closure – Take the pledge! – Break the silence, Be proud – Don’t be shy, Tell your friends (Sida & WaterAid)

Filed under: Campaigns and Events, Dignity and Social Development Tagged: gender, menstrual hygiene, right to sanitation, Sida, WaterAid, World Toilet Day

The Sustainable Sanitation Alliance is inviting all its members to a Forum User Survey

8 October 2014 10:30 (America/New_York)

4000 members from 150 countries: The Sustainable Sanitation Alliance is inviting all its members to a Forum User Survey

Membership in the Sustainable Sanitation Alliance (SuSanA) recently surpassed 4000 people residing in 150 countries. The vibrant SuSanA Discussion Forum as well as the continually improving website have contributed to a strong growth in membership since SuSanA’s founding nearly eight years ago. The following ten countries have at least 100 SuSanA members each: USA, India, Germany, UK, Kenya, South Africa, Netherlands, Bangladesh, Uganda, Nigeria.

The SuSanA secretariat and SuSanA partner Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) are now inviting all users of the SuSanA Discussion Forum to take part in a Forum User Survey. The aim is to find out opinions regarding possible improvements of the Forum. The survey and resulting Forum improvements are a component of the co-funding that was received by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for the Discussion Forum via a grant to SEI. 

Participation in the survey takes approximately 5 minutes (or a bit longer if you have plenty of comments). Everyone is warmly invited to participate, whether they are members of SuSanA or not – provided they have used the Discussion Forum in the past, be it for reading or for writing. By taking this survey, you can also discover interesting new features of the Forum.

As a thank you for participating in the survey, all participants are eligible to win one of over 150 prizes:

Prizes will be sent to a randomised selection of participants who leave their e-mail address after filling out the survey. These prizes were donated by SHARE and by SuSanA partners Eawag-Sandec, SEI and GIZ.

All survey replies are anonymous and will be treated confidentially. The survey results will be presented on the Discussion Forumin early November.

Further information about the survey is available from Elisabeth von Muench, (consultant for SEI).

Further links:

Please take part in our forum survey which is running during October 2014.

Dr. Elisabeth von Münch, Independent consultant
Community Manager of SuSanA Discussion Forum
Schwalbach near Frankfurt, Germany

Bonus for SuSanA members: you can post on the discussion forum by sending your contribution to

Filed under: Campaigns and Events Tagged: Sustainable Sanitation Alliance

WASHplus Weekly – World Habitat Day: Focus on Slums

3 October 2014 10:32 (America/New_York)

Issue 164 | Oct 3, 2014 | World Habitat Day: Focus on Slums

The first Monday in each October is World Habitat Day. This year the theme is Voices from Slums. This issue of the weekly contains news of upcoming urban events, urban innovation awards, recent urban WASH studies, and other reports and resources on issues faced by the urban poor.


World Habitat Day: Voices from Slums, October 6, 2014Link
Each year World Habitat Day takes on a new theme chosen by the United Nations based on current issues relevant to the habitat agenda. The themes are selected to bring attention to UN-Habitat’s mandate to promote sustainable development policies that ensure adequate shelter for all. This year’s theme, Voices from Slums, is intended to give voice to slum dwellers for improving quality of living conditions in existing slums. This is the UN’s official website for the event. 

International Conference on Urban Health, March 9-12, 2015, BangladeshLink
The International Society for Urban Health is an association of researchers, scholars, professionals, community members, and workers and activists from various disciplines, roles, and areas of the world whose work is directly related to the health effects of urban environments and urbanization. The International Conference on Urban Health provides an international forum for information exchange among urban health stakeholders. The theme for the 2015 conference is Urban Health for a Sustainable Future: The Post 2015 Agenda.


USAID/WASHplus Urban Health UpdatesLink
Urban Health Updates contains more than 800 peer-review articles and “gray” literature reports on health issues faced by the urban poor.

Urban Health: It’s Time to Get Moving! Global Health Science & Practice, May 2014. V Barbiero. Link
Policy makers must commit to a long-term action plan that addresses the triple burden of health issues faced by growing urban populations. A comprehensive global urban health strategy is in order; one similar to the global approach to HIV/AIDS, polio eradication, and malaria. The strategy should build on the urban experience, both positive and negative, from all regions of the globe and provide a clear vision and programmatic guidance.

Trends in Childhood Mortality in Kenya: The Urban Advantage Has Seemingly Been Wiped Out. Health Place, Sept 2014. E Kimani-Murage. Link
The narrowing gap between urban and rural areas may be attributed to the deplorable living conditions in urban slums. To reduce childhood mortality, extra emphasis is needed on the urban slums.

Vulnerability to Food Insecurity in Urban Slums: Experiences from Nairobi, Kenya.Journal of Urban Health, Aug 2014. E W Kimani-Murage. Link
The study found a high prevalence of food insecurity in Nairobi slums; 85 percent of the households were food insecure, with 50 percent being severely food insecure. Factors associated with food security include level of income, source of livelihood, household size, dependence ratio, illness, perceived insecurity, and slum of residence.


Stanford Freshwater Solution Gets Global Recognition. Stanford News, Sept 2014. R Jordan. Link
During the recent World Water Week in Stockholm, the Stanford Woods Institute’s Water, Health and Development Program won a $15,000 prize and international recognition for the design of a community-scale, fully automated chlorine dosing device that can be installed on shared water points in low-income urban settings. The device requires neither reliable electricity nor 24/7 supply to function consistently.

Reed Elsevier Announces 2014 Environmental Challenge Winners, Sept 2014. Link
Reed Elsevier, a provider of professional information solutions, announced the winners of its 2014 Environmental Challenge, which supports innovative solutions to improve sustainable access to safe water and sanitation. The $50,000 first prize winner is Sustainable Sanitation Design. It has developed a unisex urinal—a sanitation service product serving both urban users and farmers through the collection of safe and cheap organic fertilizers. Prize money will allow production of the first 10,000 units for residents of urban slums in Kampala, Uganda. Support from the Reed Elsevier Environmental Challenge will also allow Sustainable Sanitation to construct, install, and maintain 150 devices serving 10,000 people in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

International Water Association 2014 Project Innovation Awards. Awards Link | Blue Diversion Website
This year’s winner in the applied research category is Blue Diversion, created by Eawag and EOOS and supported by Tribecraft, Switzerland. The goal of the Blue Diversion project is to provide a hygienic toilet for urban slums without connection to running water, grid electricity, or sewers that offers high personal comfort, including access to water, at a price of 5¢ per person per day.

Tech Museum of Innovation Tech Awards 2014, presented by Applied Materials. (Link)
This international awards program honors 10 innovators each year from around the world that are applying technology to confront humanity’s most urgent challenges. One of the 2014 winners is Sanergy. Sanergy has opened 387 Fresh Life franchises in the Mukuru slum in Nairobi, providing more than 15,000 residents with access to sanitary toilets, and economically supporting 190 Fresh Life operators, most of whom are women.

Grant Funding from the Canadian Government’s Grand Challenge to Peepoople Kenya, 2014. Link
Grand Challenges Canada, funded by the Canadian Government, has selected the Peepoo project in Kenya as a part of its program of Bold Ideas with Big Impact in Global Health. Peepoo is a personal, single-use, self-sanitizing, fully biodegradable toilet that prevents feces from contaminating the immediate area as well as the surrounding ecosystem. After use, Peepoo turns into valuable fertilizer that can improve livelihoods and increase food security.


Sanitation 21: A Planning Framework for Improving City-Wide Sanitation Services, 2014. J Parkinson. Link
Various new planning methodologies have been developed and applied, embodying a shift in thinking on sanitation issues. The experiences from these planning approaches are incorporated into the Sanitation21 planning framework, which epitomizes the new generation of sanitation master planning. Unlike conventional master planning approaches, these planning approaches consider a wider range of aspects of sanitation that are not specifically related to infrastructure. These relate to issues of poverty, inequity, land ownership, environmental concerns, or the wider political economy.

The Limits and Possibilities of Prepaid Water in Urban Africa: Lessons from the Field, 2014. C Heymans. Link
This study explores the potential of prepaid water meters for serving urban poor communities. It provides urban utilities, oversight agencies, and other stakeholders in Africa with a basis for decision making on the suitability, introduction, and management of such meters.

The Urban Water Supply Guide: Service Delivery Options for Low-Income Communities, 2014.Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP). Link
Providing improved water supply to low-income urban communities is a difficult challenge faced by water utilities throughout Africa and Asia. This guide provides an introduction to available options for serving these communities. The guide draws on sector experience in general, and more particularly on WSUP’s extensive experience of implementing urban WASH programs in sub-Saharan Africa and elsewhere.

Guide to Health Care Waste Management for the Community Health Worker, 2014. USAID DELIVER Project. English version | French version
This publication provides practical guidance for community health workers on how to safely handle and dispose of hazardous waste. It describes the basic principles of waste management and offers solutions for managing the waste generated from everyday activities carried out in the community.

Financing Sanitation and Cost Recovery in the Slums of Dar es Salaam and Kampala. Habitat International, July 2014. M Pieter van Dijka. Link
Governments could recognize the importance of household level or private solutions and support them, for example, by promoting more appropriate governance structures and cost recovery systems, reorganizing the emptying system to bring down its cost, and involving small scale producers.

Irrigated Urban Vegetable Production in Ghana: Characteristics, Benefits and Risk Mitigation, 2014. P Dreschel. Link
This report highlights not only the important contribution of urban vegetable production for farmers and society, but also possible risks and risk perceptions related to the use of polluted water sources. It contains health risk assessments and outlines options for risk mitigation, which were studied in Ghana in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the World Health Organization.

Handshake: IFC’s Quarterly Journal on Public-Private Partnerships, 2014. International Finance Corporation. Link
This issue of Handshake delves into municipal solid wastes. Poorly managed waste has an enormous impact on residents’ health, the local and global environment, and the economy; improperly managed waste usually results in higher down-stream costs than what it would have cost to manage the waste properly in the first place.

Solid Waste Management and Social Inclusion of Waste Pickers: Opportunities and Challenges, 2014. M Marello. Link
This paper explores the opportunities and challenges inherent in cooperation between municipal solid waste systems and waste picker cooperatives. There is growing enthusiasm about waste picker inclusion, often as part of “integrated solid waste management.” The World Bank and the InterAmerican Development Bank, for example, have both funded projects to support waste picker integration into formal sector recycling.


State of African Cities 2014, Re-Imagining Sustainable Urban Transitions, 2014. UN HABITAT. Link
Ubiquitous urban poverty and urban slum proliferation, so characteristic of Africa’s large cities, is likely to become an even more widespread phenomenon under current urban development trajectories, especially given the continuing and significant shortfalls in urban institutional capacities. Therefore, this report argues for a radical re-imagination of African approaches to urbanism, both to strengthen the positive impacts of Africa’s current transition and to improve urban living and working conditions.

WorldRisk Report 2014: Focus: The City As a Risk Area, 2014. United Nations University. Link
Under the thematic focus “The City As a Risk Area,” this report shows that urbanization need not inevitably bring about changes in risk levels. The crucial aspect is how urbanization develops—whether the new houses and settlements are situated in exposed zones, whether urban growth is well coordinated, and whether it goes hand in hand with investment in sanitation and power supply, educational facilities, and infrastructure.

Filed under: Sanitary Facilities, Sanitation and Health Tagged: slums, urban health

Food hygiene: Safe food, healthy child

2 October 2014 12:38 (America/New_York)

Published on Sep 5, 2014

This video is one of the promotional materials used in the SHARE-funded food hygiene intervention trial in Nepal, conducted by Om Prasad Gautam, PhD Fellow, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK. Copyrights reserved with O Gautam.

You can read more information about this study here:…

Filed under: Sanitary Facilities, South Asia Tagged: food hygiene, Nepal

Sanitation in Malawi – SHARE project and CCODE work

2 October 2014 12:33 (America/New_York)

Published on Sep 2, 2014

The video features the work of CCODE and the Federation of the Rural and Urban Poor in Blantyre, framed on the SHARE (Sanitation and Hygiene Applied for Equity) research project, as well as the challenges that the country faces in terms of sanitation, water and hygiene.

SHARE’s work to date in Malawi has focused on Ecological Sanitation (Ecosan), which has been heavily promoted in urban areas. Blantyre in Malawi is also one of the cities included in the City-Wide Sanitation Project.

For more information about the work of CCODE and the Federation of the Rural and Urban Poor visit

For further info about SHARE visit

Filed under: Africa, Progress on Sanitation, Sanitation and Health Tagged: Malawi, SHARE

WSSCC Appoints David Shimkus to Lead Global Sanitation Fund

1 October 2014 11:41 (America/New_York)

Geneva, 1 October 2014 – The Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) announced today that David Shimkus has joined the Global Sanitation Fund as its new Programme Director, bringing to the Fund over fifteen years of experience in international health and development.  He will oversee the Fund’s ongoing efforts to support community-led sanitation programmes in developing countries, including resource mobilization, financial management, capacity building and programme monitoring and evaluation.

“We are thrilled to have David Shimkus at the helm of WSSCC’s Global Sanitation Fund,” said WSSCC Executive Director Chris Williams. “He is a proven manager, leader and facilitator with a deep understanding of empowerment and community development.  I am confident that under his leadership, the Fund and its partners will help end open defecation and bring sanitation equity to millions more people in the developing world.”

Mr. Shimkus joins WSSCC from the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS), where he served as Senior Manager of Global Health Partnerships. In that role, Mr. Shimkus provided financial and programmatic oversight for collaborations between UNOPS and major global health organizations.  Prior to joining UNOPS, Mr. Shimkus was the Director of Business Development for Pathfinder International, where he led global planning and resource mobilization for HIV/AIDS prevention, care and treatment and maternal and child health.

“I believe that sanitation is the crossroads of development – the focal point where wise investments can have a catalytic impact on all aspects of a community’s growth, from health to education to economic opportunity,” said Shimkus. “I’m looking forward to working with my colleagues at WSSCC and our many partners to build on the Fund’s strong foundation and expand our reach in the years to come.”

About the Global Sanitation Fund
The Global Sanitation Fund is the financing arm of WSSCC, providing targeted investments to sanitation programmes in the world’s most vulnerable communities.  It is the first and only international fund devoted solely to sanitation.  With a focus on sustainable, community-led initiatives, GSF helps fill the funding gap in countries where sanitation policies are in place but have not been fully implemented due to financial limitations.  Since its launch in 2010, the Fund has helped 3.7 million people in 14,000 communities stop defecating in the open.  Today, the Fund supports programmes in 11 countries with commitments totaling USD 97 million.

Filed under: Uncategorized

WASHplus Weekly: Focus on Sanitation as a Business

26 September 2014 10:04 (America/New_York)

Issue 163 | Sept 26, 2014 | Focus on Sanitation as a Business

This issue highlights some recent reports, conference proceedings, catalogs, and blog posts on sanitation entrepreneurs, sanitation markets, and other sanitation as a business issues. Included are summaries of a conference in Uganda; a Hystra report on household mobile toilets; catalogs of sanitation business opportunities; and blog posts from Sanivation, Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor Enterprises, and others.


Designing the Next Generation of Sanitation Businesses: A Report by Hystra for the Toilet Board Coalition, 2014. J Graf, Hystra. (Link)
This report discusses two models that combine an aspirational value proposition for base of the pyramid (BoP) families with a strong potential for financial sustainability. In rural areas, the authors analyzed projects that activate local rural sanitation markets. In urban areas, they analyzed initiatives servicing mobile home toilets. Based on an in-depth analysis of both the best practices and greatest challenges from a pool of 12 representative projects, the report suggests strategies to overcome challenges to sustainability and scale.

Sanitation Business Catalogue: Let’s Rapidly Scale Sanitation Services to the Poor!2014. APPSANI. (Link)
This catalog contains 27 business propositions of sanitation sector entrepreneurs from all over the world. Together, they offer a variety of services, and all of them are looking to consolidate or expand their business and bring sanitation services to scale for customers at the BoP. This catalog was compiled for the Sanitation Business Matchmaking event at the first BoP World Convention & Expo in Singapore, August 2014.

Ready for Funding: Innovative Sanitation Businesses, 2014. Aqua for All. (Link)
This document was developed to give insights into promising prospects in the sanitation sector in small towns and peri-urban areas in upcoming economies. The sanitation sector offers long term, slow, and stable return on investments. The challenge of the sanitation industry is to access to the right blend of financial products.

Sanitation as a Business: Unclogging the Blockages, 2014. Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. (Link)
This report summarizes a two-day conference in Uganda. One of the results was recognition among participants of the importance of business- and market-based approaches as keys to address some of the main barriers for scaling sustainable sanitation solutions. While there is still a long way to go toward universal usage of these approaches, participants were able to get a much richer understanding of the principles and key tenets of how sanitation as a business programming works; many participants intended to go back to their respective environments and apply the lessons they had learned.

What Influences Open Defecation and Latrine Ownership in Rural Households? Findings from a Global Review, 2014. Water and Sanitation Program. (Link)
The most salient factors influencing rural sanitation behaviors that emerged from the review include access to and availability of functioning latrines, sanitation products, and services; latrine product attributes (for example, perceptions of cleanliness and durability); social norms around open defecation; perceptions of latrine affordability; self-efficacy to build latrines; and competing priorities for other household items. The review also identified a number of emotional, social, and physical drivers.

Ending Open Defecation in Rural Tanzania: Which Factors Facilitate Latrine Adoption? Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, Sept 2014. S Sara. (Link)
Future efforts should consider methods to reduce costs and ease payments for households to upgrade sanitation infrastructure. Messages to increase demand for latrine adoption in rural Tanzania should integrate themes of privacy, safety, prestige, and health. Findings indicate a need for lower cost sanitation options and financing strategies to increase household ability to adopt sanitation facilities.

Why the Conventional Approach Will Never Work: The Six Great Tragedies of Subsidized Latrines, n.d. Water For People. (Link)
Two of the listed tragedies are: No focus on building viable supply chains or pit-emptying services means that even if a householder desired to upgrade or self-finance the building of a latrine, he/she does not have a specialist private sector organization to turn to, and subsidies turn latrine acquisition into a lottery where only the lucky households in the lucky nonprofit organization-selected areas obtain a free latrine.

The eCompendium of Sanitation Systems and Technologies, 2014. EAWAG. (Link)
The eCompendium online tool was developed to be used for: system design discussions by engineers and planners; training events and workshops; classical teaching (e.g., environmental engineering); and as a first-hand information source on sanitation systems and technologies for students and practitioners.

Combined Solid Waste Management and Basic Sanitation: Lokossa, Mono Region, Benin, 2014. A DuBois. (Link)
This project constructed 28 household-level EcoSan latrines and two latrines for public/demonstration purposes. Additionally, a compost site was built to reprocess sorted organic waste together with sanitized excreta. The collection of excreta and urine containers is handled by a group of local gardeners that is also responsible for the composting process and for the marketing of the compost. In this way both categories of waste, organic and excreta, are revalued for agricultural purposes, creating a profitable compost market and offering the farmer an ecological alternative to industrial fertilizers.

THE WASTE Diamond Business Approach, 2014. Dutch WASH Alliance. (Link) | (Video)
The Diamond Business Approach is based on an institutionalized business approach that is system-oriented and driven by demand and supply mechanisms. Core stakeholders are therefore the private sector and its clients (households, landlords, municipalities, etc.) and organizations that enable the business environment (e.g., financial institutions and local authorities). Using this approach, WASTE plans to set up sustainable sanitation systems in all seven countries where it works.

Multi-Level Sanitation Governance: Understanding and Overcoming the Challenges in the Sanitation Sector in Sub-Saharan Africa, 2014. N Ekane, Stockholm Environment Institute. (Link)
This paper shows how analysis of multi-level governance, path dependency, and institutional inertia can be used to improve understanding of some of the challenges in the sanitation sector, and discusses approaches that can contribute to improving the sanitation situation in a sustainable way. In addition, the paper asserts that demand-driven strategies and private sector involvement in the sanitation sector is paramount for establishing new sanitation paradigms and socio-technical regimes.


Part I: How an Ambitious Group of Innovators are Catalyzing Change in the Toilet Business. New Global Citizen, Mar 2014. J Adley. (Link)
This is Part I in a three-part series about innovations in global sanitation, following the Unclogging Blockages in Sanitation conference in Kampala, Uganda, with a report from Masters Without Borders.

Part II: How an Ambitious Group of Innovators are Catalyzing Change in the Toilet Business. New Global Citizen, Mar 2014. J Adley. (Link)
This is part two in a three-part series about innovations in global sanitation, which describes how Unilever, IDEO, and Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor went to Ghana to understand the market needs and design a toilet and business model that was accessible to residents of low-income urban areas. The pilot program started with 20 families, which quickly grew to 100.

Part III: How an Ambitious Group of Innovators are Catalyzing Change in the Toilet Business. New Global Citizen, Apr 2014. J Adley. (Link)
Sanivation rents toilets to families in the villages surrounding Lake Naivasha; they pay a weekly fee for the waste removal. Sanivation’s toilets are both mobile and urine-diverting, meaning urine is collected in a separate container from feces.

World Toilet Organization Founder on Turning Poop Culture into Pop Culture. The Guardian, Aug 2014. (Link)
Jack Sim shares some thoughts on the importance of sanitation in BoP markets. He describes the World Toilet Organization’s SaniShop social franchise, which trains local populations to start small $2,000 factories that produce very affordable latrines and shelters, and sell them to the local community.

The Next Great Market Opportunity: Sanitation for India’s Poor. GatesNotes, March 2014. B Gates. (Link)
Just like any other sector, there is a value chain in sanitation. And all across this value chain—from the design of next-generation toilets that don’t require a sewer connection to the development of new markets for the collection and treatment of waste—there is amazing business potential.

Cooking with Gas from Fermented Waste: Entrepreneurs Empowering Sanitation.Forbes, April 2014. F Dawson. (Link)
One Ethiopian project demonstrates the commercial potential of sanitation—and its wider economic as well as societal impact. EOC, the development arm of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, in partnership with WaterAid, an international charity improving access to safe water, hygiene, and sanitation, have set up a biogas production facility that can be sold to individual families to provide a safe method of sanitation that can also produce gas for cooking and light.

Entrepreneurial Improvements to Water and Sanitation Could Cause $480B Swing in Global Economy. Forbes, April 2014. F Dawson. (Link)
In some parts of the developing world, it is cholera that makes the water almost as undrinkable as that of the mariner’s sea. Solving the issues that cause this could be worth as much as $480 billion to the global economy, according to WaterAid.

Bringing Squat Toilets+Sanitation Service to Where It Is Needed:  Dense Urban Environments, 2014. Sanivation. (Link) | (Website)
Sanivation is contracted by a CDC Innovation Fund award to design and implement a new service model approach to sanitation for the Kakuma Refugee Camp. The pilot system will provide Somali and Dinka refugees with a household toilet along with a waste collection service that treats human waste and converts it into materials to make burnable briquettes.

Model Behavior: 20 Business Model Innovations for Sustainability, 2014. SustainAbility. (Link)
Model Behavior identifies 20 distinct business models falling into five categories, offering a closer look at what’s occurring in each of these models to produce more sustainable outcomes.

A Value Proposition: Resource Recovery from Faecal Sludge: Can It Be the Driver for Improved Sanitation? Resources, Conservation and Recycling, May 2014. S Dienera.(Link)
This study evaluated the potential for resource recovery from innovative fecal sludge treatment processes to generate a profit that could help sustain the sanitation service chain.


Planning & Design of Sanitation Systems and Technologies, Oct. 13 – Nov 16, 2014. EAWAG. (Link)
In this course participants will learn how to plan for affordable and context-specific sanitation solutions using some state-of-the-art sector planning tools and frameworks such as Sanitation 21, Community-Led Urban Environmental Sanitation (CLUES) and the Sanitation Systems Approach. By using exercises and concrete examples, participants will learn how to choose appropriate sanitation systems and technologies for a variety of urban contexts.


Sustainable Sanitation Alliance—Sanitation as a Business and Public Awareness Working Group. (Link)

Filed under: Economic Benefits Tagged: entrepreneurs, Sanitation as a business

Ending Open Defecation in Rural Tanzania: Which Factors Facilitate Latrine Adoption?

24 September 2014 9:50 (America/New_York)

Ending Open Defecation in Rural Tanzania: Which Factors Facilitate Latrine Adoption? Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health,  2014, 11(9), 9854-9870; doi:10.3390/ijerph110909854

Authors: Stephen Sara and Jay Graham. Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, School of Public Health and Health Services, George Washington University, 2100 M St., NW Suite 200, Washington, DC 20037, USA

Diarrheal diseases account for 7% of deaths in children under five years of age in Tanzania. Improving sanitation is an essential step towards reducing these deaths. This secondary analysis examined rural Tanzanian households’ sanitation behaviors and attitudes in order to identify barriers and drivers to latrine adoption. The analysis was conducted using results from a cross-sectional study of 1000 households in five rural districts of Tanzania. Motivating factors, perceptions, and constraints surrounding open defecation and latrine adoption were assessed using behavioral change theory.

Results showed a significant association between use of improved sanitation and satisfaction with current sanitation facility (OR: 5.91; CI: 2.95–11.85; p = 0.008). Livestock-keeping was strongly associated with practicing open defecation (OR: 0.22; CI 0.063–0.75; p < 0.001). Of the 93 total households that practiced open defecation, 79 (85%) were dissatisfied with the practice, 62 (67%) had plans to build a latrine and 17 (18%) had started saving for a latrine. Among households that planned to build a latrine, health was the primary reason stated (60%).

The inability to pay for upgrading sanitation infrastructure was commonly reported among the households. Future efforts should consider methods to reduce costs and ease payments for households to upgrade sanitation infrastructure. Messages to increase demand for latrine adoption in rural Tanzania should integrate themes of privacy, safety, prestige and health. Findings indicate a need for lower cost sanitation options and financing strategies to increase household ability to adopt sanitation facilities.

Filed under: Uncategorized

Validity of Rapid Measures of Handwashing Behavior: An Analysis of Data from Multiple Impact Evaluations

24 September 2014 9:43 (America/New_York)

Validity of Rapid Measures of Handwashing Behavior: An Analysis of Data from Multiple Impact Evaluations in the Global Scaling Up
Handwashing Project, 2014. Water and Sanitation Program.

Authors: Pavani K. Ram, Michelle W. Sahli, Benjamin Arnold, John M. Colford, Claire Chase, Bertha Briceño, Alexandra Orsola-Vidal, and Paul Gertler

This multicountry analysis has shown that observation of handwashing materials at the places where people wash hands, at the times most necessary for washing (after fecal contact and before food preparation), is a valid measure of handwashing with soap in multiple cultural and geographic contexts. There continues to be an overarching need for developing valid measures of handwashing behavior that can be collected in an efficient and inexpensive fashion. The structured observation data indicating low rates of soap use for handwashing at times of pathogen transmission reinforce the global imperative to improve handwashing behavior for prevention of the leading causes of death in young children.

Filed under: Hygiene Promotion Tagged: handwashing

IWA – Faecal Sludge Management, systems approach for implementation and operation

23 September 2014 11:06 (America/New_York)
This link also has a info on an online course, how to order the hardcopy, etc;

The first book dedicated to Faecal Sludge Management (FSM) has been published recently by IWA Publishing. The book ‘Faecal Sludge Management, systems approach for implementation and operation‘ as well as the individual chapters can be downloaded from this page. Damir Brdjanovic, Professor of Sanitary Engineering and Mariska Ronteltap, Senior Lecturer of Sanitary Engineering at UNESCO-IHE have edited the book, together with Dr. Linda Strande, director of the Excreta and Wastewater Management group at EAWAG (the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology). The book is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation. 

The appropriate and adequate management of faecal sludge deriving from onsite technologies is imperative for the protection of human and environmental health. This is the first book dedicated to faecal sludge management. It compiles the current state of knowledge of this rapidly evolving field, and presents an integrated approach that includes technology, management and planning. It addresses the planning and organization of the entire faecal sludge management service chain, from the collection and transport of sludge and treatment options, to the final enduse or disposal of treated sludge. In addition to providing fundamentals and an overview of technologies, the book goes into details of operational, institutional and financial aspects, and provides guidance on how to plan a city-level faecal sludge management project with the involvement of all the stakeholders.

Chapter downloads Project planning scheme – Technology Selection Flow Chart and Project Planning Scheme

Online course The objective of the online course is to gain an understanding of all of the required aspects for the design and operation of a comprehensive faecal sludge management system. The next course will start on 5 January 2015. Go to the course page.
Short course
The three-week short course addresses a holistic approach on FSM. There will be a focus on technology; however, technology cannot be seen separately from planning and management aspects; therefore, non-technical aspects will also be addressed in this module. The next course will start on 30 June 2014. Go to the course page.

Pro-poor sanitation innovations UNESCO-IHE and partners received an 8 million dollar grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The grant will be used to finance a 5-year capacity building and research project to stimulate local innovation on sanitation for the urban poor in sub-Saharan Africa and South-East Asia. Read more here about the project.
Filed under: Wastewater Management Tagged: faecal sludge management

WASHplus Weekly: Focus on WASH & Human Rights

19 September 2014 10:42 (America/New_York)

Issue 162 | Sept 19, 2014 | Focus on WASH & Human Rights

This issue highlights the just-published handbook on WASH and human rights by Catarina de Albuquerque, the UN special rapporteur on the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation. Also included are studies from the UNC Water Institute; Human Rights Watch; fact sheets and position statements from the UN and UNICEF; country reports from the DRC, Haiti, and South Africa; and links to relevant websites.

Realising the Human Rights to Water and Sanitation: A Handbook, 2014. C de Albuquerque. (Link)
This handbook is the product of six years of work by the first UN special rapporteur on the human rights to safe drinking water and sanitation. It explains the meaning and legal obligations that arise from these rights, translating the often complex technical and legal language into accessible information. The target audiences for this handbook are governments at all levels, donors, and national regulatory bodies. It provides information that will also be useful to other local, regional, and international stakeholders, including civil society, service providers, and human rights organizations.

Fact Sheet on the Right to Water, n.d. United Nations. | Arabic | English | French |Spanish
The roots of the current water and sanitation crisis can be traced to poverty, inequality, and unequal power relationships, and it is exacerbated by social and environmental challenges: accelerating urbanization, climate change, and increasing pollution and depletion of water resources. To address this crisis, the international community has increasingly recognized that access to safe drinking water and sanitation must be considered within a human rights framework.

Translating the Human Right to Water and Sanitation into Public Policy Reform.Science and Engineering Ethics, Jan 2014. B Meier. (Link)
The development of a human right to water and sanitation under international law has created an imperative to implement human rights in water and sanitation policy. Through 43 interviews with informants in international institutions, national governments, and NGOs, this research examines interpretations of this new human right on global governance, national policy, and local practice.

Examining the Practice of Developing Human Rights Indicators to Facilitate Accountability for the Human Right to Water and Sanitation. Journal of Human Rights Practice, Mar 2014. B Meier. (Link)
This policy note focuses on efforts to develop indicators for state reporting to human rights treaty bodies. It proposes an indicator development model as a basis for developing indicators that reflect the attributes of the right to water and sanitation, enlist key stakeholders in the policy making process, and have political relevance for state reporting.

Equity in Water and Sanitation: Developing an Index to Measure Progressive Realization of the Human Right. International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health, Jan 2013. J Luh. (Link)
The authors developed an index to measure progressive realization of the human right to water and sanitation. While in this study they demonstrate its application to the nondiscrimination and equality component for water, the conceptual approach of the index can be used for all the different components of the human right.

Implementing an Evolving Human Right through Water and Sanitation PolicyWater Policy, Nov 2013. B Meier. (Link)
Examining the opportunities created by this UN resolution, this article analyzes the implementation of the human right to water and sanitation through global water governance, national water policy, and water and sanitation outcomes. While obstacles remain at each step in the implementation of this right, the authors conclude that the UN resolution could have lasting effects on public health through rights-based water and sanitation policy.

Cleaning Human Waste: “Manual Scavenging,” Caste, and Discrimination in India, 2014. Human Rights Watch. (Link)
This report documents the coercive nature of manual scavenging. Across India, castes that work as “manual scavengers” collect human excrement on a daily basis, and carry it away in cane baskets for disposal. Women from this caste usually clean dry toilets in homes, while men do the more physically demanding cleaning of sewers and septic tanks.

Menstrual Hygiene Day Links Periods and Human Rights, 2014. A Klasing, Human Rights Watch. (Link)
Handling periods (or “menstrual hygiene management” as experts call it) isn’t the first thing one might associate with human rights. Yet the link between realization of rights for women and girls and menstrual hygiene management could not be clearer.

The Rights to Safe Water and Sanitation. 2014. UNICEF. (Link)
UNICEF supports realization of the right to water and sanitation through an equity-focused approach.

The Availability, Accessibility, Acceptability and Quality (AAAQ) Framework and the Right to Water, 2014. M Jensen, Danish Institute for Human Rights. (Link)
This issue paper explores a possible generic methodology for the operationalization of rights, exemplified through the right to water. The key aims of this methodology are: to identify the core normative dimensions of the right in terms of the criteria of availability, accessibility, acceptability, and quality (AAAQ) and to develop a framework on the basis of the AAAQ criteria that consists of specific standards, generic indicators, and generic benchmarks.

Global Water Scarcity: Health, Human Rights and Environmental Challenges, 2014. R Pink. (Video)
Dr. Ross Michael Pink is a co-founder of Global Water Rights and has designed and taught courses on water rights and development. His presentation at the University of Toronto focuses on global water scarcity with case studies from India, Indonesia, Mali, and Tibet.

The Right to Sanitation: Time to Delink from the Right to Water. Human Rights Quarterly, Aug 2014. K Ellis. (Abstract)
Within the human rights arena, water and sanitation are very often presented as linked together. This article examines the historical roots of this linkage as well as its manifestation at both the international and domestic level in countries that have formally recognized a right to water and sanitation. The analysis leads to a conclusion that a continuation of the linkage is not historically warranted, nor does it offer clear advantages for realization of a right to water or a right to sanitation.

The Free Flow Principles: Freedom of Expression and Rights to Water and Sanitation, 2014. ARTICLE 19. (Link)
The right to freedom of expression is a fundamental human right, necessary for individual self-fulfillment, self-realization, and autonomy and for the functioning of a democratic form of government. Freedom of expression is key to the success of any efforts that aim at the realization of the rights to water and sanitation.

Can Water Be a Human Right? Appeal, 19(131) 2014. K Snell. (Link)
The human right to water was recognized in the 2002 CESCR General Comment 15 as well as in a 2010 UN General Assembly Declaration. While a human right to water may appear attractive as a means of preventing waterborne disease and ensuring adequate supply of water for basic domestic needs, many questions are raised when one considers how a declaration of the right translates into an actual legal entitlement.


DRC – In Search of Clean Water: Human Rights and the Mining Industry in Katanga, DRC, 2014. A Montejano. (Link)
This report begins by setting out the context in the Katanga Province and providing an overview of the human right to water. It then assesses, firstly, whether mining companies comply with the national mining regulations, stressing also the importance of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and taking the concept of human rights due diligence as a benchmark; secondly, the performance of the DRC vis-a-vis its international human rights obligations, emphasizing the participation of state-owned companies in the mining sector; and lastly, the role of the home states of the polluting companies and their extraterritorial obligations regarding the protection of the human right to water in the DRC.

Haiti – Cholera as a Grave Violation of the Right to Water in Haiti, 2014. S Dávila-Ruhaak. (Link)
This report on cholera in Haiti provides a case study of strategies used and difficulties faced by victims seeking accountability and remedies for right-to-water violations perpetrated by nonstate actors.

South Africa – Report on the Right to Access Sufficient Water and Decent Sanitation in South Africa, 2014. South African Human Rights Commission. (Link)
This report provides an overview of the state of access to water and sanitation in South Africa. It provides the framework for the commission’s work on water and sanitation by looking at the status quo. It gives an overview of the impact that a lack of access to water and sanitation can have one one’s life and dignity and one’s ability to access other human rights. The section ends with an analysis of the state of national and provincial access to water and sanitation in the country.

USA – United Nations Says Turning Off Poor Detroiters’ Water Violates Human Rights. Huffington Post, June 2014. K Abbey-Lambertz. (Link)
Detroit has been shutting off water to customers who reportedly can’t afford to pay their bills, and United Nations experts said Wednesday it’s a violation of human rights. The UN responded after a coalition of activist groups submitted a report to its Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner detailing water shutoffs and extreme consequences for families in the city who can’t afford to pay their bills and have had to go without water.


UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Right to Water and Sanitation(Link)
The UN Human Rights Council in March 2008 initially established the mandate of the special rapporteur on the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation as the independent expert on the issue of human rights obligations related to access to safe drinking water and sanitation. Catarina de Albuquerque took up the mandate in November 2008. As special rapporteur, Ms. de Albuquerque carries out thematic research, undertakes country missions, and works with development practitioners on the implementation of the rights to water and sanitation.

Rights to Water and Sanitation(Link)
Use this site to find out more about why water and sanitation as human rights are key to achieving universal access to safe water and sanitation. Also, find out about what progress has been made in getting the rights recognized and what impact the implementation of the right has made so far.

United Nations – The Human Right to Water and Sanitation. (Link)
Links to UN resolutions and reports on WASH and human rights.

Filed under: Dignity and Social Development Tagged: human rights

Factors Associated With Pupil Toilet Use in Kenyan Primary Schools

19 September 2014 10:08 (America/New_York)

Factors Associated With Pupil Toilet Use in Kenyan Primary Schools. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, 2014, 11(9), 9694-9711; doi:10.3390/ijerph110909694

Joshua V. Garn, Bethany A. Caruso, et al.

The purpose of this study was to quantify how school sanitation conditions are associated with pupils’ use of sanitation facilities. We conducted a longitudinal assessment in 60 primary schools in Nyanza Province, Kenya, using structured observations to measure facility conditions and pupils’ use at specific facilities. We used multivariable mixed regression models to characterize how pupil to toilet ratio was associated with toilet use at the school-level and also how facility conditions were associated with pupils’ use at specific facilities.

We found a piecewise linear relationship between decreasing pupil to toilet ratio and increasing pupil toilet use (p < 0.01). Our data also revealed significant associations between toilet use and newer facility age (p < 0.01), facility type (p < 0.01), and the number of toilets in a facility (p < 0.01). We found some evidence suggesting facility dirtiness may deter girls from use (p = 0.06), but not boys (p = 0.98).

Our study is the first to rigorously quantify many of these relationships, and provides insight into the complexity of factors affecting pupil toilet use patterns, potentially leading to a better allocation of resources for school sanitation, and to improved health and educational outcomes for children.

Filed under: Africa, Sanitary Facilities Tagged: Kenya, toilet use, WASH in schools

USAID DELIVER – Guide to Health Care Waste Management for the Community Health Worker

19 September 2014 10:01 (America/New_York)

USAID Deliver Project – Guide to Health Care Waste Management for the Community Health Worker, 2014. (In English and French)

The USAID | DELIVER PROJECT has published a French language version of the Guide to Health Care Waste Management for the Community Health Worker. This illustrated guide is now available in French and English. 

This publication provides practical guidance for community health workers on how to safely handle and dispose of hazardous waste. It describes the basic principles of waste management and offers solutions for managing the waste generated from everyday activities carried out in the community.

Filed under: Sanitary Facilities Tagged: health care wastes


fhi360 care Winrock International

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