Household Drinking Water Quality Updates

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The use of indigenous plant species for drinking water treatment in developing countries

1 October 2014 13:37 (America/New_York)

The use of indigenous plant species for drinking water treatment in developing countries: a review. Journal of Biodiversity and Environmental Sciences (JBES), Sept 2014.

Moa Megersa, Abebe Beyene, Argaw Ambelu, Bizuneh Woldeab. Department of Environmental Health Science and Technology, Jimma University, Jimma, Ethiopia

Although universal access to safe and piped water is an important long-term solution, it is very expensive and challenging to implement in developing countries in the short term. Hence, improving both physicochemical and microbiological quality of drinking water at a household level is believed to be effective in preventing infectious diarrhea. There are a number of household water treatment technologies proven to be effective in coagulation and disinfection. At present, a number of effective coagulants and disinfectants have been identified of plant origin.

Of the large number of plant materials that have been used over the years, the seeds from Moringa oleifera have been shown to be one of the most effective primary coagulants for water treatment, especially in ruralcommunities. In addition, indigenous knowledge indicates that there are several plant species that can be used as a coagulant and disinfectant. Out of which seeds of Prosopis juliflora, Dolichos lablab and leaves of Opuntia ficus indica showed effectiveness in coagulation. Although, plant species have enormous advantage in water treatment, they also have limitation. The major limitation is the release of organic matter and nutrients to apply at large scale. From these review, it can be concluded that plant species have the potential to serve as a complementary water treatment agent especially in rural areas.

Coliform Bacteria as Indicators of Diarrheal Risk in Household Drinking Water: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

1 October 2014 11:58 (America/New_York)

Coliform Bacteria as Indicators of Diarrheal Risk in Household Drinking Water: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. PLoS ONE, Sept 2014.

Authors: Joshua S. Gruber, Ayse Ercumen, John M. Colford Jr.

Background – Current guidelines recommend the use of Escherichia coli (EC) or thermotolerant (“fecal”) coliforms (FC) as indicators of fecal contamination in drinking water. Despite their broad use as measures of water quality, there remains limited evidence for an association between EC or FC and diarrheal illness: a previous review found no evidence for a link between diarrhea and these indicators in household drinking water.

Objectives – We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to update the results of the previous review with newly available evidence, to explore differences between EC and FC indicators, and to assess the quality of available evidence.

Methods – We searched major databases using broad terms for household water quality and diarrhea. We extracted study characteristics and relative risks (RR) from relevant studies. We pooled RRs using random effects models with inverse variance weighting, and used standard methods to evaluate heterogeneity and publication bias.

Results – We identified 20 relevant studies; 14 studies provided extractable results for meta-analysis. When combining all studies, we found no association between EC or FC and diarrhea (RR 1.26 [95% CI: 0.98, 1.63]). When analyzing EC and FC separately, we found evidence for an association between diarrhea and EC (RR: 1.54 [95% CI: 1.37, 1.74]) but not FC (RR: 1.07 [95% CI: 0.79, 1.45]). Across all studies, we identified several elements of study design and reporting (e.g., timing of outcome and exposure measurement, accounting for correlated outcomes) that could be improved upon in future studies that evaluate the association between drinking water contamination and health.

Conclusions – Our findings, based on a review of the published literature, suggest that these two coliform groups have different associations with diarrhea in household drinking water. Our results support the use of EC as a fecal indicator in household drinking water.

Synthetic organic water contaminants in developing communities: an overlooked challenge addressed by adsorption with locally generated char

23 September 2014 12:14 (America/New_York)

Synthetic organic water contaminants in developing communities: an overlooked challenge addressed by adsorption with locally generated char. Journal of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for Development, Vol 4 No 3 pp 422–436 © IWA Publishing 2014 doi:10.2166/washdev.2014.073

Joshua P. Kearns, Detlef R. U. Knappe and R. Scott Summers

Department of Civil, Environmental, & Architectural Engineering, University of Colorado-Boulder, 1111 Engineering Dr, ECOT 441, UCB 428, Boulder, CO 80309, USA E-mail: joshua.kearns@colorado.edu
Department of Civil, Construction, & Environmental Engineering, North Carolina State University, 2501 Stinson Dr, Campus Box 7908, Raleigh, NC 27695, USA

Chemical contamination of drinking water sources is a worldwide problem. However, few locally managed, sustainable, and low-cost on-site treatment technologies are available in rural, remote, and emergency/disaster relief/humanitarian crisis situations. Char filter-adsorbers have been used to treat drinking water for thousands of years and are still widely used today. Our studies show that some chars produced by traditional means from a range of feedstocks develop favorable sorption properties for uptake of 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D), a prevalent herbicide and water contaminant.

However, more energy efficient, environmentally sustainable and scalable production of consistent highly sorptive chars can be accomplished with biomass gasification. Our laboratory studies demonstrate that locally produced char adsorbents derived from surplus agricultural and forestry biomass are effective for adsorbing 2,4-D. A year-long study of field-scale application of chars in Thailand is also presented. Based on these studies we present design recommendations for integrating char adsorbers into low-cost, multi-barrier treatment trains for on-site water provision.

A compact point-of-use water purification cartridge for household use in developing countries

23 September 2014 12:11 (America/New_York)

A compact point-of-use water purification cartridge for household use in developing countries. Journal of Water and Health, In Press, Uncorrected Proof © IWA Publishing 2014 | doi:10.2166/wh.2014.111

Rajshree A. Patil, Dilshad Ahmad, Shankar B. Kausley, Pradeep L. Balkunde and Chetan P. Malhotra

TCS Innovation Labs – TRDDC, 54B, Hadapsar Industrial Estate, Pune – 411013, India E-mail: rajshree.patil@tcs.com

Simple, low-cost household interventions are known to be effective in lowering the incidence of waterborne diseases in developing countries. However, high costs along with operational and maintenance issues have prevented the successful adoption of these interventions among the affected communities. To address these limitations, a cost-effective, gravity-driven water purification cartridge has been developed by employing the synergistic disinfection action of low concentrations of silver and chlorine on bacteria and viruses.

The silver and chlorine treatment components within the cartridge have been developed using inexpensive materials and integrated with a life indicator and auto-shut-off-mechanism within a compact form factor. The antibacterial as well as antiviral performance of the cartridge was tested by using ground water spiked with Escherichia coli and MS2 bacteriophage. The results show that, although individually, the silver and chlorine treatment systems were unable to inactivate the test strains, the integrated cartridge inactivates both bacteria as well as viruses up to the log reduction requirement of the USEPA guide standard for microbiological water purifiers over its designated life of 2,000 liters.

Factors involved in sustained use of point-of-use water disinfection methods: A field study from Flores Island, Indonesia

23 September 2014 12:06 (America/New_York)

Factors involved in sustained use of point-of-use water disinfection methods: A field study from Flores Island, Indonesia. Journal of Water and Health, In Press, Uncorrected Proof © IWA Publishing 2014 | doi:10.2166/wh.2014.109

E. Roma, T. Bond and P. Jeffrey
Cranfield University, Water Science Institute, Cranfield, MK430AL, UK E-mail: elisa.roma@lshtm.ac.uk
Environmental Health Group, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, WC17HT, London, UK
Civil and Environmental Engineering, Skempton Building, Imperial College, London, UK

Many scientific studies have suggested that point-of-use water treatment can improve water quality and reduce the risk of infectious diseases. Despite the ease of use and relatively low cost of such methods, experience shows the potential benefits derived from provision of such systems depend on recipients’ acceptance of the technology and its sustained use. To date, few contributions have addressed the problem of user experience in the post-implementation phase.

This can diagnose challenges, which undermine system longevity and its sustained use. A qualitative evaluation of two household water treatment systems, solar disinfection (SODIS) and chlorine tablets (Aquatabs), in three villages was conducted by using a diagnostic tool focusing on technology performance and experience. Cross-sectional surveys and in-depth interviews were used to investigate perceptions of involved stakeholders (users, implementers and local government).

Results prove that economic and functional factors were significant in using SODIS, whilst perceptions of economic, taste and odour components were important in Aquatabs use. Conclusions relate to closing the gap between factors that technology implementers and users perceive as key to the sustained deployment of point-of-use disinfection technologies.

Strategies for building resilience to hazards in water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) systems: The role of public private partnerships

11 September 2014 9:46 (America/New_York)

Strategies for building resilience to hazards in water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) systems: The role of public private partnerships. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, 15 July 2014.

Authors: Ase Johannessen, Arno Rosemarin, Frank Thomall, Asa Gerger Swartling, Thor Axel Stenström, Gregor Vulturius.

The aim of this paper is to enhance understanding of how the resilience of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) systems to hazards can be improved. In turn, this aims to inform different strategies for public and private partnerships (PPPs). In a new approach, to acknowledge the multi levelled nature of resilience; risk at the relevant levels are taken into account, (regional/river basin, urban area, and individual). For these levels, we first describe the different components of risk, vulnerability and resilience of the WASH system that influence people׳s exposure to hazards. We illustrate these components using examples from case studies in the literature.

Using a social learning lens – a crucial ingredient of resilience – we examine opportunities for reducing risks through improving public–private engagement. These are presented as strategies which could guide investment decisions: As pressures from climate change and development add up, businesses must become aware of the risks involved in operating and investing without considering ecosystem health, both in terms of the services they provide for mitigating floods and droughts, as well as in terms of the development approaches that define how ecosystems are managed (e.g. “making space” for, rather than controlling water). There is a need to develop an institutional culture that strives towards greener and more resilient urban environments with the help of various quality assurance methods. Partnerships must reach the poorer customer base, encourage informal small entrepreneurs, and boost financial mechanisms (e.g. micro-insurance, micro-finance) to support the most vulnerable in society.

 

The effect of increasing grain size in biosand water filters in combination with ultraviolet disinfection

11 September 2014 9:33 (America/New_York)

The effect of increasing grain size in biosand water filters in combination with ultraviolet disinfection. Journal of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for Development, Vol 4 No 2 pp 206–213

This paper is in the public domain: verbatim copying and redistribution of this paper are permitted in all media for any purpose, provided this notice is preserved along with the paper’s original DOI. Anyone using the paper is requested to properly cite and acknowledge the source as Journal of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for Development 4(2), 206–213. doi:10.2166/washdev.2013.171

Authors: Timothy E. Frank, Matthew L. Scheie, Victoria Cachro and Andrew S. Muñoz
2354 Fairchild Drive Suite 6J-117, USAF Academy, CO 80840, 01-719-660-6903, USA E-mail: tefrank18@gmail.com

With sand less than 0.70 mm often difficult to source in the field, it is of interest to study larger grained sand for use in biosand water filters (BSF). This study examined how sand grain size affects biological sand water filtration and how the combination of biological sand filtration and ultraviolet (UV) disinfection affects drinking water quality. Two BSFs were built: a control with maximum grain size, dmax = 0.70 mm and an experimental with grain sizes ranging from 0.70 mm to dmax = 2.0 mm. Untreated water was passed through each BSF daily. Results show Escherichia coli and turbidity removal characteristics of the control and experimental BSFs were not significantly different from one another. Both BSFs produced water that met World Health Organization (WHO) drinking water guidelines for turbidity, and although E. coli reduction was over 98% for each BSF, a high initial bacteria concentration resulted in effluent levels above WHO guidelines. Subsequently, effluent from each BSF was placed in clear plastic bottles under UV light, after which water from each BSF met E. coli guidelines. The data yielded promising results for using larger sand in BSFs, but longer duration studies with more data points are needed.

Where There Is No Toilet: Water and Sanitation Environments of Domestic and Facility Births in Tanzania

11 September 2014 9:26 (America/New_York)

Where There Is No Toilet: Water and Sanitation Environments of Domestic and Facility Births in Tanzania. PLoS One, Sep 2014.

Authors: Lenka Benova, Oliver Cumming, Bruce A. Gordon, Moke Magoma, Oona M. R. Campbell

Background – Inadequate water and sanitation during childbirth are likely to lead to poor maternal and newborn outcomes. This paper uses existing data sources to assess the water and sanitation (WATSAN) environment surrounding births in Tanzania in order to interrogate whether such estimates could be useful for guiding research, policy and monitoring initiatives.

Methods – We used the most recent Tanzania Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) to characterise the delivery location of births occurring between 2005 and 2010. Births occurring in domestic environments were characterised as WATSAN-safe if the home fulfilled international definitions of improved water and improved sanitation access. We used the 2006 Service Provision Assessment survey to characterise the WATSAN environment of facilities that conduct deliveries. We combined estimates from both surveys to describe the proportion of all births occurring in WATSAN-safe environments and conducted an equity analysis based on DHS wealth quintiles and eight geographic zones.

Results – 42.9% (95% confidence interval: 41.6%–44.2%) of all births occurred in the woman’s home. Among these, only 1.5% (95% confidence interval: 1.2%–2.0%) were estimated to have taken place in WATSAN-safe conditions. 74% of all health facilities conducted deliveries. Among these, only 44% of facilities overall and 24% of facility delivery rooms were WATSAN-safe. Combining the estimates, we showed that 30.5% of all births in Tanzania took place in a WATSAN-safe environment (range of uncertainty 25%–42%). Large wealth-based inequalities existed in the proportion of births occurring in domestic environments based on wealth quintile and geographical zone.

Conclusion – Existing data sources can be useful in national monitoring and prioritisation of interventions to improve poor WATSAN environments during childbirth. However, a better conceptual understanding of potentially harmful exposures and better data are needed in order to devise and apply more empirical definitions of WATSAN-safe environments, both at home and in facilities.

Cholera at the Crossroads: The Association Between Endemic Cholera and National Access to Improved Water Sources and Sanitation

11 September 2014 9:21 (America/New_York)

Cholera at the Crossroads: The Association Between Endemic Cholera and National Access to Improved Water Sources and Sanitation. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2014 Sep 8. pii: 14-0331.

Authors: Nygren BL1, Blackstock AJ2, Mintz ED2. 1Division of Foodborne, Waterborne and Environmental Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia bnygren@cdc.gov.
2Division of Foodborne, Waterborne and Environmental Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia.

We evaluated World Health Organization (WHO) national water and sanitation coverage levels and the infant mortality rate as predictors of endemic cholera in the 5-year period following water and sanitation coverage estimates using logistic regression, receiver operator characteristic curves, and different definitions of endemicity. Each was a significant predictors of endemic cholera at P < 0.001. Using a value of 250 for annual cases reported in 3 of 5 years, a national water access level of 71% has 65% sensitivity and 65% specificity in predicting endemic cholera, a sanitation access level of 39% has 63% sensitivity and 62% specificity, and an infant mortality rate of 65/1,000 has 67% sensitivity and 69% specificity. Our findings reveal the trade off between sensitivity and specificity for these predictors of endemic cholera and highlight the substantial uncertainty in the data. More accurate global surveillance data will enable more precise characterization of the benefits of improved water and sanitation.

Researchers create novel water purifying filter

27 August 2014 10:12 (America/New_York)

Researchers create novel water purifying filter – Source: SciDevNet, Aug 25, 2014

[CAPE TOWN] A team of researchers have developed a membrane-based water filter that can provide up to 300 litres of clean drinking water.

The WHO says about 780 million people worldwide, especially those in Sub-Saharan Africa, lack access to improved water source.

The researchers from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETHZ) in Switzerland announced last month (22 July) that DrinkPure filter, which they have developed, is based on a simple screw-top design that fits onto any plastic bottle.

Wendelin Stark, a professor of functional materials engineering at ETHZ, who helped create the innovation, says: “It requires no manual, no electricity, and no additional tools or training needs. You simply screw it on, and you drink [the water].”

The researchers say they used a novel porous polymer membrane developed though  nanotechnology, thus making  DrinkPure allow the filtration of particles as small as 90 nanometres, including bacteria and protozoa, at rate of up to one litre a  minute.

They add that the innovation which weighs less than 100 grams, with a target cost of less than US$20 a filter, has two pre-filtration components — a capture filter that separates large particles and an activated charcoal layer that removes odour and chemical contaminants.

“One DrinkPure water filter provides enough drinking water for one person for one year, after which the membrane and activated carbon can be replaced over and over again,” explains Jeremy Nussbaumer, leader of the project and a research assistant, in a release.

In order to fund the tools to manufacture the filters, the researchers launched a crowdfunding campaign last month (17 July) with a goal of raising US$40,000 by this week (26 August), but have as of today raised more than US$71,000.

Nussbaumer says they plan to have the first filters completed and sent to project supporters for distribution by January 2015 in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Nussbaumer adds that Water & pH soluces, a Swiss NGO that works to provide sustainable, affordable access to safe water and sanitation to communities in Sub-Saharan Africa, plans to distribute DrinkPure for testing in five villages in Mali.

Stark tells SciDev.Net: “The aim is to develop partnerships with partners and local companies who can develop the membranes themselves”.

The researchers say DrinkPure water filter could be used as part of relief efforts following natural disasters, such as tsunamis. “We would like to see these membranes and filters used …in places experiencing environmental issues,” says Christop Kellenberger, a member of the DrinkPure research team.

Nonhlanhla Kalebaila, a research manager of drinking water treatment and quality at the South Africa-based Water Research Commission, says the use of small-scale water purification systems in Africa is increasing rapidly. “Water quality and supply in Africa as a whole is a very touchy subject and has been the topic of strikes and protests in South Africa in the last few years,” she says.

But Kalebaila adds that independent research is needed to ensure the accuracy of water filtration devices and the safety of water that flows from such tools.

Measuring the Safety of Excreta Disposal Behavior in India with the New Safe San Index: Reliability, Validity and Utility

27 August 2014 9:59 (America/New_York)

Measuring the Safety of Excreta Disposal Behavior in India with the New Safe San Index: Reliability, Validity and Utility. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(8), 8319-8346.

Marion W. Jenkins 1,2,*, Matthew C. Freeman 3 and Parimita Routray 2
1 Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California Davis, One Shields Ave., Davis, CA 95616, USA
2 Environmental Health Group, Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Keppel Street, London WC1E 7HT, UK
3 Department of Environmental Health, Rollings School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.

Abstract: Methods to assess household excreta disposal practices are critical for informing public health outcomes of efforts to improve sanitation in developing countries. We present a new metric, the Safe San Index (SSI), to quantify the hygienic safety of a household’s defecation and human feces disposal practices in India, where behavioral outcomes from on-going public expenditures to construct household sanitation facilities and eliminate open defecation are poorly measured. We define hygienic safety of feces disposal as capture in a hygienic sanitation facility.

The SSI consists of 15 self-report items and two sub-scales, Latrine Use Frequency and Seven-Day Open Defecation Rate. Households are scored on a standardized scale from 0 (no defecation safely captured) to 100 (all defecation safely captured). We present results of a pilot study in Odisha, India to apply the Index to assess excreta disposal behaviors among rural households and evaluate the reliability and validity of the Index for estimating the rate of correct and consistent sanitation facility usage of household with an improved latrine.

Diarrhoea prevalence in children under five years of age in rural Burundi: an assessment of social and behavioural factors at the household level

27 August 2014 9:55 (America/New_York)

Diarrhoea prevalence in children under five years of age in rural Burundi: an assessment of social and behavioural factors at the household level. Glob Health Action. 2014 Aug 21;7(1):24895. doi: 10.3402/gha.v7.24895.

Authors: Diouf K1, Tabatabai P2, Rudolph J3, Marx M4.
1Institute of Public Health, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany; Katharina.Diouf@gmx.de.
2Institute of Public Health, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany; Department of Gynaecology and Obstetrics, Heidelberg University Hospital, Heidelberg, Germany.
3Programme Sectoriel Eau – German Development Cooperation/Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH, Bujumbura, Burundi.
4Institute of Public Health, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany.

BACKGROUND: Diarrhoea is the second leading cause of child mortality worldwide. Low- and middle-income countries are particularly burdened with this both preventable and treatable condition. Targeted interventions include the provision of safe water, the use of sanitation facilities and hygiene education, but are implemented with varying local success.

OBJECTIVE: To determine the prevalence of and factors associated with diarrhoea in children under five years of age in rural Burundi.

DESIGN: A cross-sectional survey was conducted among 551 rural households in northwestern Burundi. Areas of inquiry included 1) socio-demographic information, 2) diarrhoea period prevalence and treatment, 3) behaviour and knowledge, 4) socio-economic indicators, 5) access to water and water chain as well as 6) sanitation and personal/children’s hygiene.

RESULTS: A total of 903 children were enrolled. The overall diarrhoea prevalence was 32.6%. Forty-six per cent (n=255) of households collected drinking water from improved water sources and only 3% (n=17) had access to improved sanitation. We found a lower prevalence of diarrhoea in children whose primary caretakers received hygiene education (17.9%), boiled water prior to its utilisation (19.4%) and were aged 40 or older (17.9%). Diarrhoea was associated with factors such as the mother’s age being less than 25 and the conviction that diarrhoea could not be prevented. No gender differences were detected regarding diarrhoea prevalence or the caretaker’s decision to treat.

CONCLUSIONS: Diarrhoea prevalence can be reduced through hygiene education and point-of use household water treatment such as boiling. In order to maximise the impact on children’s health in the given rural setting, future interventions must assure systematic and regular hygiene education at the household and community level.

The Drivers of Non-Revenue Water How Effective Are Non-Revenue Water Reduction Programs?

21 August 2014 11:18 (America/New_York)

The Drivers of Non-Revenue Water How Effective Are Non-Revenue Water Reduction Programs? 2014

Caroline van den Berg, World Bank.

This paper applies a panel data analysis with fixed effects to determine the major drivers of non-revenue water, which is define as the volume of water losses per kilometer of network per day. The analysis uses data from the International Benchmarking Network for Water and Sanitation Utilities, covering utilities in 68 countries between 2006 and 2011. The analysis finds that non-revenue water is driven by many factors. Some of the most important drivers are beyond the control of the utility, such as population density per kilometer of network, the
type of distribution network, and the length of the network, which are largely the result of urbanization and settlement patterns in the localities that the utility serves. The opportunity costs of water losses are also key in explaining what drives non-revenue water. The paper finds that very low opportunity costs of water losses have an adverse effect on the reduction of non-revenue water. Country fixed effects turn out to be important, meaning that the environment in which the utility operates has an important impact on non-revenue water levels. An important conclusion is that the design of non-revenue water reduction programs should study the main drivers of non-revenue water to provide utility managers with a better understanding of what can be achieved in terms of non-revenue water reduction and whether the benefits of these reductions exceed their costs.

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Conditions in Kenyan Rural Schools: Are Schools Meeting the Needs of Menstruating Girls?

20 August 2014 12:19 (America/New_York)

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Conditions in Kenyan Rural Schools: Are Schools Meeting the Needs of Menstruating Girls? Water 2014, 6(5).

Kelly T. Alexander, et al. Email: kel4@cdc.gov

Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) programs in African schools have received increased attention, particularly around the potential impact of poor menstrual hygiene management (MHM) on equity for girls’ education. This study was conducted prior to a menstrual feasibility study in rural Kenya, to examine current WASH in primary schools and the resources available for menstruating schoolgirls. Cross-sectional surveys were performed in 62 primary schools during unannounced visits. Of these, 60% had handwashing water, 13% had washing water in latrines for menstruating girls, and 2% had soap. Latrines were structurally sound and 16% were clean. Most schools (84%) had separate latrines for girls, but the majority (77%) had no lock. Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) supported WASH in 76% of schools. Schools receiving WASH interventions were more likely to have: cleaner latrines (Risk Ratio (RR) 1.5; 95% Confidence Intervals [CI] 1.0, 2.1), handwashing facilities (RR 1.6, CI 1.1, 2.5), handwashing water (RR 2.7; CI 1.4, 5.2), and water in girls’ latrines (RR 4.0; CI 1.4, 11.6). Schools continue to lack essential WASH facilities for menstruating girls. While external support for school WASH interventions improved MHM quality, the impact of these contributions remains insufficient. Further support is required to meet international recommendations for healthy, gender-equitable schools.

Improving performance of WASH actors: Capacity Self-Assessments of SHAW partner NGOs

20 August 2014 12:12 (America/New_York)

Improving performance of WASH actors: Capacity Self-Assessments of SHAW partner NGOs, 2014. IRC.

Implementing large-scale water, sanitation and hygiene programmes requires expert technical and management skills to ensure that programme goals and targets are realised. Capacity self-assessments help organisations deepen their understanding of their existing capacities and future capacity needs and enable them to formulate capacity development action plans. These plans guide them in the continuous strengthening of their capacities. This paper describes IRC’s experience and lessons learned in conducting Capacity Self-Assessment workshops as part of the SHAW programme.

CSAs can be a powerful tool to help organisations take responsibility for improving individual skills as well as organisational capabilities. A well-designed, flexible and guided workshop enables participants to embrace change towards their own capacity development. Impact of the CSA is heavily dependent on quality facilitation and follow up support after the initial assessment workshop.

Designing Programme Implementation Strategies to Increase the Adoption and Use of Biosand Water Filters in Rural India

18 August 2014 10:13 (America/New_York)

Designing Programme Implementation Strategies to Increase the Adoption and Use of Biosand Water Filters in Rural India. Water Alternatives, 7(2) 2014.

Authors: Tommy K.K. Ngai. Centre for Affordable Water and Sanitation Technology (CAWST), Calgary, Alberta, Canada; tngai@cawst.org

Richard A. Fenner. Centre for Sustainable Development, Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, England; raf37@cam.ac.uk

Abstract: Low-cost household water treatment systems are innovations designed to improve the quality of drinking water at the point of use. This study investigates how an NGO can design appropriate programme strategies in order to increase the adoption and sustained use of household sand filters in rural India. A system dynamics computer model was developed and used to assess 18 potential programme strategies for their effectiveness in increasing filter use at two and ten years into the future, under seven scenarios of how the external context may plausibly evolve. The results showed that the optimal choice of strategy is influenced by the macroeconomic situation, donor funding, presence of alternative options, and the evaluation time frame.

The analysis also revealed some key programme management challenges, including the trade-off between optimising short- or long-term gains, and counter-intuitive results, such as higher subsidy fund allocation leading to fewer filter distribution, and technology advances leading to fewer sales. This study outlines how an NGO can choose effective strategies in consideration of complex system interactions. This study demonstrated that small NGOs can dramatically increase their programme outcomes without necessarily increasing operational budget.

Two CAWST reviews on biosand filter design

18 August 2014 10:04 (America/New_York)

Chapter 42: Global review of the adoption, use, and performance of the biosand filter
Chapter 43: Recent advances in household biosand filter design

Authors: Tommy Ngai and Derek Baker, CAWST.

Impact studies: The importance of safe drinking water at the point of consumption

13 August 2014 14:34 (America/New_York)

Impact studies: The importance of safe drinking water at the point of consumption; Impact on diarrhoeal diseases for children under 5 and school absence rates for children between 6 to 12, 2014. 1001Fontaines.

1001fontaines, a non-profit organisation created in 2004, contributes to the global effort of international solidarity improving access to safe drinking water in small rural communities. It aims to improve the health of these populations by enabling them to meet their needs for safe drinking water in a sustainable manner and without any specific infrastructure or expertise.The major objective of these studies was to measure to what extent the health of the beneficiaries of the 1001fontaines services were improved by such services.

More specifically, two populations were observed:- Children between 6 and 12, where attendance at school (School study) was measured;- Children under 5, within their families (Cohort study), for whom episodes of diarrhoeal diseases were reported and correlated to the water source used by the family.

For the School study, attendance rates were extracted from the attendance reports of each school.These groups were observed during a 6 month period, during which each family of the Cohort study was visited twice a month in order to record potential diarrhoeal diseases.

Mobile phones, rent-to-own payments & water filters: Evidence from Kenya

13 August 2014 14:19 (America/New_York)

Mobile phones, rent-to-own payments & water filters Evidence from Kenya, 2014.

Authors: Jill E. Luoto and David I. Levine. RAND Labor & Population.

Uptake of safe water products remains low, in spite of modest cost. We experimented with a sales offer that combined a free trial and rent-to-own payments for durable filters. Purchase rates doubled under this sales offer to 31% compared to a traditional lump-sum sales contract. To lower transaction costs we collected payments using Kenya’s vast mobile banking network, MPESA. Mobile repayment rates were low; many filters were paid only when a vendor came in-person to request payment, which adds social pressure. While the rent-to-own offer is attractive, more work is needed to reduce transaction costs in rural and peri-urban Kenya.

Heterogeneous Effects of Information on Household Behaviors to Improve Water Quality

13 August 2014 14:13 (America/New_York)

Heterogeneous Effects of Information on Household Behaviors to Improve Water Quality. Working Paper EE 14-July 2014.

Authors: Joe Brown*Amar Hamoudi‡ Marc Jeuland§ Gina Turrini†

*Faculty of Infectious Disease & Tropical Medicine, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine; joe.brown@lshtm.ac.uk‡Sanford School of Public Policy & Department of Economics, Duke University; amar.hamoudi@duke.edu§Sanford School of Public Policy & Department of Economics, Duke University; marc.jeuland@duke.edu†Department of Economics, Duke University; gina.turrini@duke.edu

Providing information about health risks only sometimes induces protective action. This raises questions about whether and how risk information is understood and acted upon, and how responses vary across contexts. We stratified a randomized experiment across two periurban areas in Cambodia, which differed in terms of socioeconomic status and infrastructure. In one area, showing households specific evidence of water contamination altered their beliefs about health risk and increased their demand for a treatment product; in the other area, it had no effect on these outcomes. These findings highlight the importance of identifying specific drivers of responses to health risk information.

 

 

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