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.

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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

 

Sanitation and Water for All meeting yields promises designed to improve access, bolster growth and reduce inequality

Image

WASHINGTON, D.C., 11 April 2014 – Top international development experts and government finance ministers from nearly 50 developing countries endorsed today a set of commitments designed to speed up access for the 2.5 billlion people lacking improved sanitation and the 748 million people without improved drinking water.

Some 1,400 children die each day from preventable diarrhoeal diseases linked to a lack of safe water, adequate sanitation and hygiene, and countries lose out on billions of dollars of economic growth. Meanwhile, hundreds of millions of women and girls, disabled persons, pastoralists and other poor and marginalized communities are disproportionally affected without services.

The issues grabbed the attention of officials meeting in Washington on Friday, including United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, World Bank Group President Dr. Jim Yong Kim and SWA Chair John Kufuor. At the third biennial Sanitation and Water For All (SWA) High-Level Meeting, they noted the vast health, economic, social and environmental consequences of poor water, sanitation and hygiene, and called their meeting an important step forward.

“At the beginning of this meeting, I challenged the ministers in this room to make concrete and practical commitments,” said Kufuor, the former president of Ghana. “I am now more confident than ever, that our name – Sanitation and Water for All – will become our achievement.”

The SWA partnership is a global coalition of 90 developing country governments, donors, civil society organizations and other partners. It aims to catalyse political leadership and action, improve accountability and use scarce resources more effectively.

The meeting yielded 265 new commitments from 44 countries[1]. Broadly speaking, the commitments aim to improve the use of financial resources and reduce inequality in access, build capacity of institutions charged with delivering water and sanitation services, and coordinate resources more effectively, both from governments and overseas development assistance. 

The High Level Meeting came one day after a preparatory session at the the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO). That meeting brought government water, sanitation and health ministers together with representatives of donor countries, multi-lateral bodies and civil society organisations to review progress against their 2012 commitments and formulate the new promises.

For more information, visit www.sanitationandwaterforall.org.

 

[1]Afghanistan,Angola, Bangladesh, Benin, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, CAR, Chad, Cote d’Ivoire, DRC, Egypt, Ethiopia, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea Conakry, Guinea Bissau, Kenya, Lao PDR, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mongolia, Mozambique, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Paraguay, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Tanzania, Timor Leste, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Two Indian sanitation social ventures receive US$ 50K in funding

A sanitary pad manufacturer and a human waste management company are among the nine winners of the Artha Venture Challenge (AVC) 2013. All of them will receive up to US$ 50,000 (INR 3 million) in funding from the Artha Platform subject to due diligence and investment approval.

Anandi sanitation pad

Photo: Aakar Innovations

Award winner Aakar Innovations is a Delhi-based start-up that supplies raw materials and sanitary pad mini-factories to women’s groups in rural areas. Costing US$ 5,000, each mini-factory can produce 1500-2000 pads per day, which is enough to provide work to 10-30 women. The biodegradable Anandi pads are  made from agri-waste. One pack of 8 pads sells for 20 rupees (US$ 0.33), said to be 40% less than branded mass-market products.

Banka BioLoo is a women led business from Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, providing sustainable solutions for sanitation and wastewater managment based on biotechnology. It manufactures, supplies and installs biodigesters for on-site treatment of human waste.

The Artha Venture Challenge (AVC) is funded by the Artha Platform and its founding organisation Rianta Philanthropy Ltd.  AVC 2013 was inspired by the UK Big Venture Challenge run by UnLtd UK.

The Artha Platform is a members-only online community and network linking impact investors/donors, social entrepreneurs and capacity building support organisations working on or in India.

Source:

  • Anand Rai, A look at the 9 social ventures that will each receive $50K in funding as part of the Artha Venture Challenge 2013, techcircle.in, 11 Apr 2014
  • Cut from a different cloth, Economist, 14 Sep 2013

29 April 2014 – SuSanA/SEI webinar on “Adding missing links in sanitation value chains” with BMGF grantees

The Sustainable Sanitation Alliance (SuSanA) with assistance of a team led by Stockholm Environment Institute is inviting you to the 7th webinar with Gates Foundation sanitation grantees.

  • Topic of the webinar is “Adding missing links in sanitation value chains”
  • Date/Time: Tuesday 29 April 2014, 16:30 – 17:15 (CET – Central European Time; use this time converter to find your local time)
  • Agenda: 16:00 Set-up of connections (you can start entering the virtual meeting room) – 16:30 recording starts – three presentations; each presentation is about 5 minutes long and is followed by around 10 minutes of questions – 17:15 end of webinar.
  • The virtual meeting room can accommodate up to 100 participantsAttendance at this webinar is open to all.
  • Once recorded, the webinar will be put online on the SuSanA Youtube channel in this Playlist together with previous webinars.

Three grantees of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will present their research results:

reyes1 – Is a power auger “Excrevator” a suitable tool to empty pit latrines in South Africa and septic tanks in India? By Francis de los Reyes (North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA)
Previous discussion about this research on the forum

 

yeh2 – A compact water recycling and energy harvesting system for off-grid public toilets in low-income urban areas: The NEWgeneratorTM anaerobic membrane bioreactor ready for field testing in India. By Daniel Yeh (University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida, USA)
Previous discussion about this research on the forum.

herzon3 – Community-scale facility to process faeces and faecal sludge into safe biochar by pyrolysis – field testing this year with Sanergy in Nairobi. By Brian von Herzen and Laura Talsma (Climate Foundation, California, USA)
Previous discussion about this research on the forum.

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Videos of exhibits at Reinvent the Toilet Fair India (21-22 March 2014) provided by SEI & SuSanA now available

Videos of exhibits at Reinvent the Toilet Fair India (21-22 March 2014) provided by SEI & SuSanA now available

Stockholm Environment Institute has announced that videos with grantees about their exhibits that were taken at the Reinvent the Toilet Fair in Delhi, India are now available online. sei

You find them all in this one convenient location, which is a Playlist in the SuSanA Youtube channel. 

The videos include short 5-minute interviews with randomly selected grantees as well as “demo tours” of their innovative toilets/processing exhibits which were on display at the fair.

The first video in this Playlist is a thank you note from Melinda Gates who is thanking all the participants at the fair and is stressing that this kind of work is being valued in the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation at the highest level of leadership.

The second video in the Playlist gives just a visual overview of the exhibits (without sound).

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