WASHTech: Supporting the vision of sustainable water, sanitation and hygiene services

WASHTech aims to facilitate cost effective investments in technologies for sustainable water, sanitation and hygiene services. The WASHTech Technology Assessment Framework is a tool for identifying blockages to sustainability and scalability.

IDEO.org Challenge – How might we establish better recycling habits at home?

Recycling is something in which we all have a role to play. It’s one of the easiest ways we can contribute to protecting our environment. When it comes to recycling at home, there often seems to be a mismatch between our good intentions and our actions and in many countries around the world, less than a third of us recycle at home. ideo

How can we nudge people to incorporate better recycling habits into their daily routines at home? What tools, campaigns or services might we design to support habit changes that stick? Together with Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) – one of the world’s largest independent bottlers of Coca-Cola products – we’re asking the OpenIDEO community to help us find creative ways to encourage people to recycle at home.

#Cricket4WASH: sanitation & hygiene promoted at major global sports event

Photo: WASH United

Photo: WASH United

Handwashing and menstrual hygiene were promoted at a major global sports event, thanks to a partnership between WASH United and the International Cricket Council (ICC).

WASH United raked in Indian cricket superstar Suresh Raina to become their brand ambassador at the ICC World Twenty20 Cricket World Cup, which was held from 16 March to 6 April, 2014, in Bangladesh.

 Suresh Raina and tournament mascot Happy the Hand-washing Tige

Suresh Raina and tournament mascot Happy the Hand-washing Tiger vow to “bowl ou diarrhoea”. Photo: WASH United

Continue reading

Shared Sanitation versus Individual Household Latrines: A Systematic Review of Health Outcomes

Shared Sanitation versus Individual Household Latrines: A Systematic Review of Health Outcomes. PLoS One, April 2014.

Authors: Marieke Heijnen, Oliver Cumming, Rachel Peletz, Gabrielle Ka-Seen Chan, Joe Brown, Kelly Baker, Thomas Clasen.

Background: More than 761 million people rely on shared sanitation facilities. These have historically been excluded from international sanitation targets, regardless of the service level, due to concerns about acceptability, hygiene and access. In connection with a proposed change in such policy, we undertook this review to identify and summarize existing evidence that compares health outcomes associated with shared sanitation versus individual household latrines.

Methods and Findings: Shared sanitation included any type of facilities intended for the containment of human faeces and used by more than one household, but excluded public facilities. Health outcomes included diarrhoea, helminth infections, enteric fevers, other faecal-oral diseases, trachoma and adverse maternal or birth outcomes. Studies were included regardless of design, location, language or publication status. Studies were assessed for methodological quality using the STROBE guidelines. Twenty-two studies conducted in 21 countries met the inclusion criteria. Studies show a pattern of increased risk of adverse health outcomes associated with shared sanitation compared to individual household latrines. A meta-analysis of 12 studies reporting on diarrhoea found increased odds of disease associated with reliance on shared sanitation (odds ratio (OR) 1.44, 95% CI: 1.18–1.76).

Conclusion: Evidence to date does not support a change of existing policy of excluding shared sanitation from the definition of improved sanitation used in international monitoring and targets. However, such evidence is limited, does not adequately address likely confounding, and does not identify potentially important distinctions among types of shared facilities. As reliance on shared sanitation is increasing, further research is necessary to determine the circumstances, if any, under which shared sanitation can offer a safe, appropriate and acceptable alternative to individual household latrines.

Extra funding for “breathable membrane” linings for pit latrines

Roof latrine

Roof latrine. Photo: Steve Dentel, University of Delaware

A team at the University of Delaware has received US$ 250,000 in additional funding to continue its research on “breathable membrane” linings for pit latrines.

The breathable fabric helps to prevent groundwater pollution, while also protecting sanitation workers from exposure to pathogens. Heat from biodegradation of the feces or from the sun gradually expels water vapour, but prevents the escape of particulate or dissolved constituents.

Professor Steve Dentel, who leads the research, explained how it all works in webinar held in February 2014. A  write-up of the presentation and discussion was posted on the SuSanA forum.

The first phase of the research (November 2011 – October 2013)  was funded through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Grand Challenges Explorations Fund.

Dentel is piloting the membrane technology in the slums of Kanpur, India, in collaboration with WaterAid. He wants to get them in place before the beginning of the rainy season in June. Since the membrane is reusable, the cost of using susch a sophisticated technology can be reduced.

At the same time, Dentel is working with UD engineering colleagues Daniel Cha and Paul Imhoff to apply the technology in wastewater treatment facilities in the USA and South Korea.

For more information you can follow and take part in a discussion about the research with Prof Dentel on the SuSan Forum.

Source:  Karen B. Roberts, Bacteria fighting fabric, UDaily, 17 Apr 2014

 

 

WASHplus Weekly: Focus on Sanitation and Water for All High Level Meeting

Issue 142 April 18, 2014 | Focus on Sanitation and Water for All
High Level Meeting

This issue features the April 2014 Sanitation and Water for All High Level Meeting (HLM). Major commitments at the HLM included over 260 concrete actions by over 50 countries to strengthen institutions, improve planning, and increase domestic spending and donor investment in water and sanitation. Seventeen countries committed to end open defecation by 2030 or earlier, while over 20 countries went even farther and pledged to achieve universal access to water and sanitation within the same period. Other March and April 2014 WASH sector events and resources featured in this issue are a sanitation webinar, an online course on WASH policy, an update on WASH indicators and a study on geographical inequalities in the use of improved drinking water supply and sanitation across Africa.

EVENTS

April 11, 2014 – Sanitation and Water for All (SWA) High Level Meeting. | Meeting webcast | Meeting website with key documents | UNICEF press release |
The meeting was attended by Ministers of Finance from developing country partners, accompanied by their ministers responsible for water, sanitation and hygiene, and by ministers of development cooperation from donor countries, plus senior representatives from development banks, foundations and civil society. At the HLM developing countries, donors and development banks will report on the progress made on commitments tabled at the 2012 HLM and table new and more ambitious commitments for the period up to 2016.

March 24-28, 2014 – WASH for Everyone Everywhere 2014 Conference, Brisbane.(Conference presentations) | (Conference homepage) |
This conference was organized by the WASH Reference Group. The WASH Reference Group is a community of practice of non-governmental organizations and research institutions who are working together to enhance Australian-based sanitation and water initiatives overseas. The conference program included featured speakers from UNICEF, World Bank, the University of North Carolina and others. The conference presentations discussed multiple issues under the sub-themes of equitable access, universal services; achieving health outcomes with WASH; and sustaining services and outcomes.

April 29, 2014 – SuSanA/SEI Webinar on “Adding Missing Links in Sanitation Value Chains” with BMGF Grantees(Link)
The Sustainable Sanitation Alliance (SuSanA), with assistance of a team led by Stockholm Environment Institute, is conducting its 7th webinar with Gates Foundation sanitation grantees. Three grantees of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will present their research results.

Continue reading

Reinvent the Toilet Fair: India – what’s next?

Several technologies displayed at the Reinvent the Toilet Fair: India “will be field tested in coming months in cities across India and Africa”, writes Doulaye Koné in the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) blog “Impatient Optimists”.

These include reinvented toilet technologies, pit latrine and septic tank emptying technologies, as well as sludge-to-energy processing technologies. Some of the participants at the fair in New Delhi, like the President of the Fecal Sludge Emptying Association from Senegal, wanted to buy some of the technologies on display on the spot. He was very disappointed to learn that we still need to do additional testing to validate their performances before commercialization but we were thrilled about his excitement.

Beside the field testing, the BMGF has announced a collaboration agreement with the South African government on sanitation innovation solutions. The Department of Science and Technology (DST) has committed ZAR 30 million (US$ 2.7 million) to test and promote toilet technologies being developed by BMGF grantees in schools and rural communities in South Africa. BMGF is contributing US$ 1 million to support the testing of technologies selected. South Africa’s Water Research Commission is the implementing agency.

“In terms of rural school sanitation, the technologies will be demonstrated in the Cofimvaba district in the Eastern Cape as part of the Technology for Rural Education Development project,” the department said. “The technologies will also be demonstrated in the 23 district municipalities that have been identified by the government as critical in terms of service delivery.”

More information on BMGF sanitation grantees is avaialable on SuSanA.org.

Source:

  • Doulaye Koné , What Happened at the “Reinvent the Toilet Fair: India” and What’s Next?, Impatient Optimists, 11 Apr 2004
  • South Africa, Gates Foundation to ‘reinvent the toilet’, SouthAfrica.info, 28 Mar 2014