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Sanitary Survey of Public Drinking Water Sources A Study Conducted in Slums of Bhubaneswar, Odisha

24 June 2015 10:15 (America/New_York)

Sanitary Survey of Public Drinking Water Sources: A Study Conducted in Slums of Bhubaneswar, Odisha, 2015. Health of the Urban Poor (HUP) Program.

Authors: Biraja Kabi Satapathy, Niladri Chakraborti.

The sanitary survey of drinking water sources was done in Bhubaneswar slums where PFI is running the Health of the Urban Poor Program. The purpose was to understand the risk to public drinking water sources based on onsite inspection and water testing of the source with field test for pipe water supply and H2 S bacteriological contamination test for all the sources. The study report gives details of the survey undertaken, its findings, and suggestions for ensuring drinking water quality in the slums of Odisha. The report tried to capture the result of the indicator-wise sanitary inspection and its relation with other indicators. We hope the study will be useful for the government for making some policy level corrections. We also hope that Government, Non Government and civil society organisations will adopt the sanitary survey as a tool for identifying factors that affect drinking water sources, which is essential for drinking water safety.

What factors affect sustained adoption of safe water, hygiene and sanitation technologies?

23 June 2015 15:58 (America/New_York)

What factors affect sustained adoption of safe water, hygiene and sanitation technologies?A systematic review of literature, June 2015. EPPI-Centre, Social Science Research Unit, UCL Institute of Education, University College London.

Authors: Kristyna Hulland, Nina Martin, Robert Dreibelbis, Julia DeBruicker Valliant, Peter Winch

Among the exciting advances in water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) programmes and policies, sustainability counts as a renewed and crucial area of focus for implementers, scientists, policy makers, and donors alike. To further our understanding of the barriers and facilitators to sustained adoption and use of water and sanitation technologies, we conducted a systematic review of studies concerning both initial and sustained adoption of WASH interventions at the individual, household and community levels in low- and middleincome countries. We built on previous reviews of handwashing and point-of-use water treatment, with a comprehensive review that is dramatically larger and broader in scope than previous studies. It is the only review we know of that includes a range of WASH interventions and factors associated with adoption.

 

Fecal Coliform Contamination of Drinking Water: An Evaluation of World Field Assessment Techniques

29 May 2015 10:38 (America/New_York)

Fecal Coliform Contamination of Drinking Water: An Evaluation of World Field Assessment Techniques. EWB-USA Technical Paper 104.

Authors: William Fripp, Catherine Dane Woodyard, PhD, and Marina Hanna

A safe, consistent, and reliable water supply is a universal need. However, a large number of the world’s population lives in areas that are suffering from water quality problems and water shortages. Many areas have contaminated water with fecal coliform bacteria as the primary contaminant of concern. As a result, there are many aid groups that are actively working to develop and improve the water supply in the developing world.

An important first step in such work is an accurate appraisal of the existing water supply. This appraisal often requires a rapid, onsite field assessment of possible fecal coliform contamination with minimal equipment. This paper summarizes a qualitative evaluation of five field assessment techniques undertaken by an interdisciplinary team of students involved in aid work. The focus of this evaluation is on Presence/Absence testing.

The evaluation examines usability, accuracy, cost, speed of results, and ease of explaining results to the local population. Advantages and disadvantages of each technique have been identified and discussed. The purpose of this paper is to provide guidance that will aid in the selection of a suitable rapid fecal coliform field test. The team performed their assessments of the five techniques in the United States under controlled situations, as well as during an evaluation trip to Belize.

All of the evaluations were conducted under the oversight of a professional engineer with experience in water quality assessments and water treatment design. This study and paper is of value to aid groups involved in the assessment of water projects in the developing world.

Household Water Quantity and Health: A Systematic Review

28 May 2015 15:12 (America/New_York)

Household Water Quantity and Health: A Systematic Review. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(6), 5954-5974

Authors: Rachel D. Stelmach and Thomas Clasen

While the quantity of water used in the home is thought to be an important determinant of health, much of the evidence relies on using water access as a proxy for quantity. This review examines the health effects of household water quantity using studies that directly measured water quantity.

We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, the Cochrane Library, Web of Science, and article reference lists. Eligible studies included experimental and observational studies that measured a difference in water quantity and quantified an association between water quantity and health outcomes. 21 studies, divided into six of the many possible water-quantity associated outcomes, met the eligibility criteria. Due to heterogeneity in designs, settings, methods, and outcomes, a meta-analysis was inappropriate.

Overall results showed a positive association between water quantity and health outcomes, but the effect depended on how the water was used. Increased water usage for personal hygiene was generally associated with improved trachoma outcomes, while increased water consumption was generally associated with reduced gastrointestinal infection and diarrheal disease and improved growth outcomes.

In high-income countries, increased water consumption was associated with higher rates of renal cell carcinoma and bladder cancer but not associated with type II diabetes, cardiac-related mortality, or all-cause mortality.

USAID WASH & Nutrition Webinar

28 May 2015 15:08 (America/New_York)

USAID WASH and Nutrition Webinar, May 2015

Overcoming undernutrition is a great challenge that will require both WASH and nutrition interventions. 

USAID’s Elizabeth Jordan and Katherine Dennison discuss the connection between undernutrition and lack of access to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services and highlight opportunities for integrated programming to achieve better health outcomes.

E. coli from dishcloths as an indicator of hygienic status in households

27 May 2015 15:47 (America/New_York)

E. coli from dishcloths as an indicator of hygienic status in households. Journal of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for Development In Press, 2015 | doi:10.2166/washdev.2015.119

Authors: V. Keshav, A. Mathee, N. Naicker, A. Swart and T. G. Barnard

E. coli is routinely used as an indicator of fecal pollution although some strains are capable of causing diarrhea. E. coli was used as a model organism for this study to assess the possibility that dishcloths used in households could contribute to the occurrence of diarrhea. Dishcloths (n = 424) were collected from five suburbs in Johannesburg (South Africa) as part of a larger Health, Environment & Development (HEAD) study. Results for the total coliforms indicated that on average 81% of the samples analyzed had total coliform counts of more than 1,000 cfu/100 ml per 25 cm2 cloth.

The E. coli results indicated that 40% of the samples had culturable E. coli present with 17% of the samples showing the presence of >1,000 cfu/100 ml per 25 cm2 cloth. Except for the samples from Bertrams all the pathogenic E. coli genes could be detected in various combinations in the different samples. Since all the diarrheagenic E. coli strains detected can be accepted as culturable due to the enrichment step, there is a clear danger of contamination of food and surfaces exposed to the contaminated dishcloths. The results indicated that there is a need for public education regarding hygiene in the households, especially if the same dishcloth is used for various tasks.

Effect of common rooftop materials as support base for solar disinfection (SODIS) in rural areas under temperate climates

27 May 2015 15:41 (America/New_York)

Effect of common rooftop materials as support base for solar disinfection (SODIS) in rural areas under temperate climates. Solar Energy, May 2015.

Authors: M. Vivaa, M. Fuentes, J. Castro, R. García-Pacheco

Highlights

  • Metal roofing and bamboo vegetable cover were studied as support materials for SODIS.
  • Metal covers enhance SODIS due to high reflectivity & heat transfer properties.
  • Maximum water temperatures differences in the bottles were of about 2.5 °C.
  • SODIS processes starting at midday achieved faster inactivation.

Two common rooftop materials easily found in rural areas – zinc-coated metal sheet and bamboo cover – were studied to analyse their possible influence in the solar disinfection process by affecting the received UV radiation and water temperature in SODIS plastic bottles. The objective is to use available local materials to enhance the process while reducing the extra energy usage required for the manufacturing of new ad-hoc systems.

Experiments were conducted at a temperate climate, 40 °N latitude, over different seasons of the year. Escherichia coli and total coliforms disinfection processes were studied. Results show that in most cases the bottles over the zinc-coated metal roofing material reached an inactivation level of 1-log higher than those on the bamboo cover. Maximum water temperatures differences in the bottles over the two materials were of about 2.5 °C in the best case. Higher inactivation in the zinc-coated metal sheet when water temperature is below 40 °C should be attributed to better material reflectivity. At water temperatures around 40 °C, the 2.5 °C difference can be significative and accelerate the disinfection process.

Material heat transfer characteristics have been also found to be essential, especially when the solar disinfection starts at mid-day instead of early in the morning. In this case, as the support materials are already at higher temperatures because of solar irradiance absorption, the water temperature in the bottles increases more rapidly, contributing to the water disinfection process when it rises above 40 °C.

Eliminating Diseases by Investing in WASH

18 May 2015 13:53 (America/New_York)

Eliminating Diseases by Investing in WASH. Huffington Blog, May 2015.

Author: Neeraj Mistry, anaging Director for the Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases.

At the turn of the century, world leaders came together at the United Nations in New York to develop the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), a set of eight ambitious goals and targets meant to significantly reduce poverty by the year 2015. As the window to achieve these goals closes this year, we reflect on progresses made and look ahead to the sustainable development goals (SDGs) that will shape the development agenda for the next 15 years.

A number of MDG targets have already been met, including efforts to reduce cases of HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases (MDG 6) and improving access to safe drinking water (MDG 7). Moving forward, addressing neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) will be a critical component when working toward meeting both of these goals. NTDs are bacterial, parasitic and viral infections that affect the most marginalized communities across the world and are often the result of inadequate water supply, limited access to sanitation facilities and poor hygiene. Areas with stagnant water are breeding grounds for insects that carry NTDs, notably mosquitoes which transmit malaria, but also dengue fever, lymphatic filariasis and chikungunya. By promoting integrated vector management and improved water control measures in endemic countries, we can simultaneously work to combat HIV/AIDS and malaria, while also working to control and eliminate NTDs.

Since 2000, there has been significant advancement in the fight against HIV/AIDS, particularly by increasing access to life-saving antiretroviral therapy (ART) for people living with HIV. The United Nations estimates that ART has saved 6.6 million livessince 1995. As with malaria, there are additional opportunities for integration that not only have the potential to reduce rates of HIV infection but also significantly improve water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) conditions. For example, in many developing countries, women remain disproportionately vulnerable to HIV infection due to greater social safety issues, such as lacking access to safe and accessible latrines. By not having access to a safe lavatory, women are forced to use public spaces to openly defecate and manage their menstrual needs, making them increasingly susceptible to infections as well as sexual violence. Globally, more than two billion people lack access to a proper toilet. Many common, poor hygiene practices, such as open defecation and failure to wash one’s hands, promote the spread of disease. These factors combined perpetuate the cycle of NTD infections and other serious infections.

The proposed SDGs currently consist of 17 goals with 169 targets that aim to end poverty and hunger, improve health and education, make cities more sustainable, combat climate change, and protect oceans and forests. Goal 3 encompasses a number of health-related objectives and targets, including ending the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, NTDs and water-borne diseases by 2030. Meeting these targets will go hand-in-hand with Goal 6 — achieving access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all, ending open defecation, and paying special attention to the needs of women and girls and those in vulnerable situations.

There are many ways that enhancing WASH conditions unswervingly leads to NTD control and elimination. For example, by improving access and quality of water, sanitation and hygiene, we can significantly reduce the number of people suffering from trachoma, an infectious eye disease and leading cause of preventable blindness, which results from limited access to clean water and proper sanitation. By simply providing access to clean water, we can reduce the number of trachoma cases by 27 percent. Similarly, having better sanitation in place can decrease cases of schistosomiasis, a parasitic disease carried by fresh water snails infected with parasites. Women are especially vulnerable, given that cases of female genital schistosomiasis (FGS) result in three times greater chances of contracting HIV. It is estimated that at least 16 million women may be infected with FGS in Africa.

It is evident that WASH interventions have a multiplier effect and positively impact other health issues and development goals. As the window to achieve the MDGs comes to a close this year and we grow closer to confirming the goals and targets that will shape the next 15 years, we must emphasize the important synergies between WASH and the control and elimination of NTDs.

This blog post is part of the “WASH and the MDGs: The Ripple Effect” blog series, in partnership with WASH Advocates, addressing the importance of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) to global development. To see all the other posts in the series, click here. To learn more about WASH, visit the WASH Advocates website, and for more information about the Millennium Development Goals, click here.

 

 

Handwashing before drawing water: a sixth critical time?

18 May 2015 13:47 (America/New_York)

Handwashing before drawing water: a sixth critical time? Waterlines, Apr 2015.

Author: Sally Sutton

The promotion of critical times for handwashing has done much to improve knowledge on hygiene, even if rather less on the practice. However while there has long been a recognition of the need to wash hands before preparing food, there has never been any mention of taking the same precautions before drawing water.

With almost half of rural Africa still taking water either by bucket and rope or by scooping water from surface and shallow ground water, lack of handwashing can not only lead to contamination of the water being carried home, but also of the source itself, as demonstrated by source water quality monitoring detailed in this paper.

Even for those taking water from better protected sources, dirty hands can lead to contamination of collected water, especially where bowls and buckets are the main vessels for water transport. Handwashing before water collection is proposed as an additional barrier to faecal-oral contamination, to make a sixth critical time.

Association of Supply Type with Fecal Contamination of Source Water and Household Stored Drinking Water in Developing Countries: A Bivariate Meta-analysis

18 May 2015 13:43 (America/New_York)

Association of Supply Type with Fecal Contamination of Source Water and Household Stored Drinking Water in Developing Countries: A Bivariate Meta-analysis. Env Health Perspec, May 2015.

Authors: Katherine F. Shields, Robert E.S. Bain, Ryan Cronk, Jim A. Wright, and Jamie Bartram

Background: Access to safe drinking water is essential for health. Monitoring access to drinking water focuses on water supply type at the source, but there is limited evidence on whether quality differences at the source persist in water stored in the household.

Objectives: To assess the extent of fecal contamination at the source and in household storedwater (HSW) and explore the relationship between contamination at each of these sampling points and water supply type.

Methods: A bivariate random-effects meta-analysis of 45 studies, identified through asystematic review, that reported either the proportion of samples free of fecal indicator bacteria and/or individual sample bacteria counts for source and HSW, disaggregated by supply type.

Results: Water quality deteriorated substantially between source and stored water. Mean percentage of contaminated samples (noncompliance) at the source was 46% (95% CI: 33, 60%) while mean noncompliance in HSW was 75% (95% CI: 64, 84%). Water supply type was significantly associated with noncompliance at the source (p < .001) and in HSW (p = 0.03). Source water (OR = 0.2; 95% CI: 0.1, 0.5) and HSW (OR = 0.3; 95% CI: 0.2, 0.8) from pipedsupplies had significantly lower odds of contamination when compared to non-piped water,potentially due to residual chlorine.

Conclusions: Piped water is less likely to be contaminated compared to other water supply typesat both the source and in HSW. A focus on upgrading water services to piped supplies may helpimprove safety, including for those drinking stored water.

Accuracy, precision, usability, and cost of free chlorine residual testing methods

18 May 2015 13:39 (America/New_York)

Accuracy, precision, usability, and cost of free chlorine residual testing methods. Journal of Water and Health Vol 13 No 1 pp 79–90 © IWA Publishing 2015 doi:10.2166/wh.2014.195.

Authors: Anna Murray and Daniele Lantagne

Chlorine is the most widely used disinfectant worldwide, partially because residual protection is maintained after treatment. This residual is measured using colorimetric test kits varying in accuracy, precision, training required, and cost. Seven commercially available colorimeters, color wheel and test tube comparator kits, pool test kits, and test strips were evaluated for use in low-resource settings by: (1) measuring in quintuplicate 11 samples from 0.0–4.0 mg/L free chlorine residual in laboratory and natural light settings to determine accuracy and precision; (2) conducting volunteer testing where participants used and evaluated each test kit; and (3) comparing costs.

Laboratory accuracy ranged from 5.1–40.5% measurement error, with colorimeters the most accurate and test strip methods the least. Variation between laboratory and natural light readings occurred with one test strip method. Volunteer participants found test strip methods easiest and color wheel methods most difficult, and were most confident in the colorimeter and least confident in test strip methods. Costs range from 3.50–444 USD for 100 tests. Application of a decision matrix found colorimeters and test tube comparator kits were most appropriate for use in low-resource settings; it is recommended users apply the decision matrix themselves, as the appropriate kit might vary by context.

Microbial quality of domestic water: following the contamination chain in a rural township in Kenya

18 May 2015 13:36 (America/New_York)

Microbial quality of domestic water: following the contamination chain in a rural township in Kenya. Journal of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for Development Vol 5 No 1 pp 39–49 © IWA Publishing 2015 doi:10.2166/washdev.2014.070

Authors: Pauline W. Macharia, Paul T. Yillia, Wairimu A. Muia, Denis Byamukama and Norbert Kreuzinger

A study was undertaken in Njoro Township, Kenya to evaluate the extent to which drinking water was subjected to post-collection faecal contamination in low-income and high-income households. Boreholes were the main drinking water sources, accounting for roughly 70% singular access. The microbial quality of drinking water from the boreholes deteriorated from the point-of-collection through conveying containers of small-scale water vendors to household storage containers, irrespective of their income status.

The densities of Escherichia coli (EC) were relatively low at the point-of-collection – median (M): 18 CFU/100 mL, range (R): 0–220, n = 60 – increasing considerably in the containers of water vendors (M: 290 CFU/100 mL, R: 30–350) and slightly (M: 360 CFU/100 mL, R: 0–520) between vendors and low-income households, many of whom used the services of vendors unlike high-income households who relied on a piped system on premises (M: 40 CFU/100 mL, R: 0–500). Post-collection contamination was high in low-income households compared to high-income households but differences were not significant between the two household categories with and without household water treatment (HWT).

Different HWT methods in the two household categories significantly reduced faecal contamination, but unhygienic handling and poor storage practices afterwards caused recontamination. HWT and behavioural change measures need not selectively target household groups solely on the basis of their income status.

Development of improved low-cost ceramic water filters for viral removal in the Haitian context

18 May 2015 13:33 (America/New_York)

Development of improved low-cost ceramic water filters for viral removal in the Haitian contextJournal of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for Development Vol 5 No 1 pp 28–38 © IWA Publishing 2015 doi:10.2166/washdev.2014.121.

Authors: L. Guerrero-Latorre, M. Rusiñol, A. Hundesa, M. Garcia-Valles, S. Martinez, O. Joseph, S. Bofill-Mas and R. Girones

Household-based water treatment (HWT) is increasingly being promoted to improve water quality and, therefore, health status in low-income countries. Ceramic water filters (CWFs) are used in many regions as sustainable HWT and have been proven to meet World Health Organization (WHO) microbiological performance targets for bacterial removal (2–4 log); however, the described viral removal efficiencies are insufficient to significantly reduce the associated risk of viral infection. With the objective of improving the viral removal efficiencies of ceramic water filters, new prototypes with different oxide compositions and firing atmospheres have been developed and evaluated.

For removal efficiencies human adenoviruses, MS2 bacteriophage and Escherichia coli were quantified in all prototypes. A new model of CWF that was fired in a reductive atmosphere presented virus and bacteria removal efficiencies greater than 3.0 log and 2.5 log, respectively, which would fulfill the viral targets that are recommended by the WHO. Ceramic characterization of the selected filters, which were fired in a reductive atmosphere, showed that a larger specific surface area than those of control filters and higher fraction of a positive Z-potential fraction are the most likely explanations for this increase in virus removal.

Fouling in hollow fiber membrane microfilters used for household water treatment

18 May 2015 13:30 (America/New_York)

Fouling in hollow fiber membrane microfilters used for household water treatmentJournal of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for Development In Press, Uncorrected Proof © IWA Publishing 2015  |  doi:10.2166/washdev.2015.206

Authors: Anna Murray, Mario Goeb, Barbara Stewart, Catherine Hopper, Jamin Peck, Carolyn Meub, Ayse Asatekin and Daniele Lantagne

The Sawyer PointOne hollow fiber membrane microfilter is promoted for household water treatment in developing countries. Critical limitations of membrane filtration are reversible and irreversible membrane fouling, managed by backwashing and chemical cleaning, respectively. The PointOne advertised lifespan is 10 years; users are instructed to backwash as maintenance. Owing to reduced turbidity and bacterial removal efficiencies, six PointOnes were removed from Honduran homes after 23 months of use. In the laboratory, we tested sterile water filtrate for turbidity and bacterial presence before and after backwashing and chemical cleaning. Sterile water filtrate from uncleaned filters had turbidity of 144–200 NTU and bacteria counts of 13–200 CFU. Cleaned filter effluent was positive for total coliforms.

On one new and one used, cleaned filter, we imaged membranes with scanning electron microscopy and characterized surface elemental compositions with spectroscopy. Images and spectroscopy of the used, cleaned membrane revealed a dense, cake fouling layer consisting of inorganic metal oxides, organic material, and biofouling. Burst fibers were visually observed. This PointOne was thus irreversibly fouled and non-functional after <2 years of use. Further research is recommended to determine: impacts of source water quality on PointOne performance, a cleaning regimen to manage fouling, and an appropriate filter lifespan.

Short- and Medium-Term Impacts of Household Water Supply and Sanitation on Diarrhea in Rural India

7 May 2015 10:59 (America/New_York)

The Short- and Medium-Term Impacts of Household Water Supply and Sanitation on Diarrhea in Rural India, April 2015. Maryland Population Research Center Working Paper.

Authors: Esther Duflo, Michael Greenston, Raymond Guiteras, Thomas Clasen.

Poor water quality and sanitation lead to severe health problems in developing countries, yet there is little evidence on the effectiveness of at-scale, infrastructure-based solutions for the rural poor. This paper estimates the impact of an integrated water and sanitation improvement program in rural India that provided household-level water connections, latrines, and bathing facilities to all households in approximately 100 villages. We employ an interrupted time-series analysis with multiple units to estimate the short- and medium-term impacts of the intervention on episodes of diarrhea for which treatment was received. The estimates suggest that the intervention was effective, reducing such episodes by 30-50%. These results are evident in the short term and persist for 5 years or more. The annual cost is approximately US$60 per household, as compared to annual household consumption of approximately US$740.

Susan Murcott: Getting the Right Products to Scale: Technology Evaluation for Water Filters

7 May 2015 10:49 (America/New_York)

Getting the Right Products to Scale: Technology Evaluation for Water Filters, By Susan Murcott, CITE Suitability Lead, MIT DUSP Research Engineer & D-Lab Instructor. Source: D-Lab, April 29, 2015.

Low-income consumers aspire to a better life that humanitarian products offer. International aid agencies, non-governmental organizations, governments and social entrepreneurs promote and disseminate millions of humanitarian products to alleviate poverty. But many of these products fail to deliver—either they fail to perform consistently, or if they survive in the marketplace, they fail to reach scale.

Rigorous product evaluations that are trusted, affordable and comprehensible are important preconditions to impact, sustained use, and scale. To meet this need, MIT launched the Comprehensive Initiative on Technology Evaluation(CITE), a five-year, USAID-funded project to develop a 3S Methodology, examining products’ suitability, scalability, and sustainability. This methodology has now guided two product evaluations to completion, one on solar lanterns in Uganda and another on household water filters in India.

In a recent session at the MIT Scaling Development Ventures conference, we presented our household water filter research in order to explore the challenges of rigorous product evaluation as well as the benefits and opportunities that it can create for development practitioners, users, and entrepreneurs to bring the best products to scale.

Our focal city for the evaluation was Ahmedabad, India, a city of 6 million people, comprised of all income classes, and the target populations were the poor, many of whom have been relocated in Ahmedabad from slums to subsidized, government-built, low-cost housing. This is a unique situation in which the poor have access to an “improved” water source, but it is of mixed water quality.

 

Infant and Young Child Faeces Management: Potential enabling products for their hygienic collection, transport, and disposal in Cambodia

1 May 2015 11:07 (America/New_York)

Infant and Young Child Faeces Management: Potential enabling products for their hygienic collection, transport, and disposal in Cambodia, 2015. WaterSHED; London School of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

Authors: Molly Miller-Petrie, Lindsay Voigt, Lyn McLennan, Sandy Cairncross, Marion Jenkins

Background – Despite evidence that children’s faeces play a major role in diarrheal disease transmission through the contamination of the household environment, relatively little priority has been given to research and interventions in this area. In Cambodia, only 20% of children’s faeces were disposed of in an improved sanitation facility according to the 2010 Demographic and Health Survey. This study explores current practices and the role that enabling products may play in increasing hygienic management practices.

Methods – A household survey was conducted in 130 houses in 21 villages and two provinces in Cambodia. Four focus group discussions were conducted, two in each province. Households were restricted to those with an improved sanitation facility and at least one child under five. Results were analysed using STATA13 and explanatory variables were tested individually and using logistic regression to control for child age. Focus group results were analysed qualitatively.

Results – Main place of defecation, method of moving faeces, and main place of disposal differed depending on child age, with children under two least likely to have their faeces disposed of hygienically. Overall, 62.7% of households reported using a hygienic main disposal site while 35.7% reported doing so consistently. Factors associated with hygienic disposal included the number of years a household had owned a latrine, the age of the caregiver, the consistency of adult latrine use, and the presence of tools for child faeces management in the latrine.

Discussion – The results demonstrate a need for interventions targeting the hygienic management of faeces of children under five in Cambodia, and particularly for children under two. The technologies most likely to facilitate hygienic disposal for these age ranges include reusable diapers, potties, and potentially latrine seats. Design features should ensure child safety, time-savings, cost-savings, ease of disposal, and ease of cleaning. Product marketing will also need to address hygiene behaviours related to child cleaning and caretaker hand washing to ensure reduction of disease transmission.

Factors Determining Water Treatment Behavior for the Prevention of Cholera in Chad

1 May 2015 11:01 (America/New_York)

Factors Determining Water Treatment Behavior for the Prevention of Cholera in Chad. Am Jnl Trop Med Hyg, Apr 2015.

Authors: Jonathan Lilje, Hamit Kessely and Hans-Joachim Mosler

Cholera is a well-known and feared disease in developing countries, and is linked to high rates of morbidity and mortality. Contaminated drinking water and the lack of sufficient treatment are two of the key causes of high transmission rates. This article presents a representative health survey performed in Chad to inform future intervention strategies in the prevention and control of cholera. To identify critical psychological factors for behavior change, structured household interviews were administered to N = 1,017 primary caregivers, assessing their thoughts and attitudes toward household water treatment according to the Risk, Attitude, Norm, Ability, and Self-regulation model.

The intervention potential for each factor was estimated by analyzing differences in means between groups of current performers and nonperformers of water treatment. Personal risk evaluation for diarrheal diseases and particularly for cholera was very low among the study population. Likewise, the perception of social norms was found to be rather unfavorable for water treatment behaviors. In addition, self-reported ability estimates (self-efficacy) revealed some potential for intervention. A mass radio campaign is proposed, using information and normative behavior change techniques, in combination with community meetings focused on targeting abilities and personal commitment to water treatment.

 

CO2 and H2O: Understanding Different Stakeholder Perspectives on the Use of Carbon Credits to Finance Household Water Treatment Projects

1 May 2015 10:54 (America/New_York)

CO2 and H2O: Understanding Different Stakeholder Perspectives on the Use of Carbon Credits to Finance Household Water Treatment Projects. PLoS One. 2015 Apr 30.

Summers SK1, Rainey R2, Kaur M3, Graham JP1.

1Department of Global Health, Milken Institute School of Public Health, The George Washington University, Washington, D.C., United States of America.
2United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Washington D.C., United States of America.
3Berkeley Air Monitoring Group, Berkeley, California, United States of America.

BACKGROUND: Carbon credits are an increasingly prevalent market-based mechanism used to subsidize household water treatment technologies (HWT). This involves generating credits through the reduction of carbon emissions from boiling water by providing a technology that reduces greenhouse gas emissions linked to climate change. Proponents claim this process delivers health and environmental benefits by providing clean drinking water and reducing greenhouse gases. Selling carbon credits associated with HWT projects requires rigorous monitoring to ensure households are using the HWT and achieving the desired benefits of the device. Critics have suggested that the technologies provide neither the benefits of clean water nor reduced emissions. This study explores the perspectives of carbon credit and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) experts on HWT carbon credit projects.

METHODS: Thirteen semi-structured, in-depth interviews were conducted with key informants from the WASH and carbon credit development sectors. The interviews explored perceptions of the two groups with respect to the procedures applied in the Gold Standard methodology for trading Voluntary Emission Reduction (VER) credits.

RESULTS: Agreement among the WASH and carbon credit experts existed for the concept of suppressed demand and parameters in the baseline water boiling test. Key differences, however, existed. WASH experts’ responses highlighted a focus on objectively verifiable data for monitoring carbon projects while carbon credit experts called for contextualizing observed data with the need for flexibility and balancing financial viability with quality assurance.

CONCLUSIONS: Carbon credit projects have the potential to become an important financing mechanism for clean energy in low- and middle-income countries. Based on this research we recommend that more effort be placed on building consensus on the underlying assumptions for obtaining carbon credits from HWT projects, as well as the approved methods for monitoring correct and consistent use of the HWT technologies in order to support public health impacts.

Contextual and sociopsychological factors in predicting habitual cleaning of water storage containers in rural Benin.

29 April 2015 12:08 (America/New_York)

Contextual and sociopsychological factors in predicting habitual cleaning of water storage containers in rural Benin. Water Resour Res, March 2015.

Authors: Andrea Stocker and Hans-Joachim Mosler

Recontamination of drinking water occurring between water collection at the source and the point of consumption is a current problem in developing countries. The household drinking water storage container is one source of contamination and should therefore be cleaned regularly. First, the present study investigated contextual factors that stimulate or inhibit the development of habitual cleaning of drinking water storage containers with soap and water. Second, based on the Risk, Attitudes, Norms, Abilities, and Self-regulation (RANAS) Model of behavior, the study aimed to determine which sociopsychological factors should be influenced by an intervention to promote habitual cleaning.

In a cross-sectional study, 905 households in rural Benin were interviewed by structured face-to-face interviews. A forced-entry regression analysis was used to determine potential contextual factors related to habitual cleaning. Subsequently, a hierarchical regression was conducted with the only relevant contextual factor entered in the first step (R2 5 6.7%) and the sociopsychological factors added in the second step (R2 5 62.5%).

Results showed that households using a clay container for drinking water storage had a significantly weaker habit of cleaning their water storage containers with soap and water than did households using other types of containers (b 5 20.10). The most important sociopsychological predictors of habitual cleaning were commitment (b 5 0.35), forgetting (b 5 20.22), and self-efficacy (b 5 0.14). The combined investigation of contextual and sociopsychological factors proved beneficial in terms of developing intervention strategies. Possible interventions based on these findings are recommended.

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