Author Archives: dietvorst

Deprived of water and sanitation in Gaza

We don’t want another catastrophe besides the one we already have. Fatma (43) mother of 9 children

Since the start of the Israeli assault on Gaza on 7 July 2014, codenamed “Protective Edge”, the water and wastewater infrastructure in Gaza has been heavily affected by Israeli airstrikes and shelling.

Main water supply and wastewater as well as electricity infrastructure has been hit. As a result services have been cut or severely disrupted, affecting the entire population in Gaza.

Up to 25 per cent of Gaza’s population were displaced. The 1.8 million people in Gaza, living in homes and shelters have extremely restricted access to water and sanitation.

Fatma, 45, was displaced with her family and sought shelter at a school in Ash Shuja’iyeh. She speaks in a Thirsting for Justice campaign video about the problems with water, sanitation and hygiene that her family faces amongst the many other displaced.

Photo: EWASH

Thirsting for Justice is an initiative of EWASH, the Emergency Water Sanitation and Hygiene group in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

The Bangladesh Paradox: exceptional health and sanitation advances despite poverty

Dr. Mushtaque Chowdhury from BRAC on the Bangladesh public health miracle, aid or trade, arsenic, floating latrines and the post-2015 development agenda.

Dr. Mushtaque Chowdhury from BRAC presents the "Bangladesh Paradox", International Water House, The Hague, Yje Netherlaands, 30 July 2014

Dr. Mushtaque Chowdhury from BRAC presents the “Bangladesh Paradox”, International Water House, The Hague, The Netherlands, 30 July 2014

By Cor Dietvorst and Vera van der Grift, IRC
Originally posted on the IRC web site, 01 August 2014

Bangladesh has made tremendous progress in the fields of health and sanitation. With a population of 149 million, it now has the highest life expectancy; the lowest fertility rate and the lowest mortality rate of children under five in South Asia (excepting Sri Lanka), although it spends less on health care than most neighbouring countries. Only 10% of the population in Bangladesh practices Open Defecation (OD) compared to 50% in India.

It is one of only six countries that are on track to achieve Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5 on reducing child mortality and improving maternal health.

Emerging from the war of liberation in 1971, Bangladesh embraced a new more liberal identity, which manifested itself in a change in societal attitudes towards women, and girls’ education in particular.

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India: Big push for small cities

By Prakhar Jain (email) and Aditya Bhol

The run-up to elect a new government brought sanitation to the fore of public conversation in India. Last month, Prime Minister Modi declared sanitation as a national priority, announcing ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’, a sanitation programme dedicated to creating clean India by 2019 as a tribute to Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary. Whether or not this plan succeeds may depend on whether it is simply a repackaged programme such as the ‘Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan’ that was focused entirely on building toilets in rural India, or a renewed commitment to improve sanitation in both the rural and urban areas.  As India urbanizes, demand for effective and sustainable sanitation services will increase. India, with 11% of the world’s urban population currently, accounts for 46% of global urban open defecation [i]. While other developing countries like China, Vietnam, and Peru have already achieved open defecation free (ODF) status in urban areas, India still lags behind. The situation is particularly abysmal in small cities (population below a million) where close to 17% of the population defecates in the open as compared to 4% in large cities (population greater than a million) [ii]. The 2011 national census has shown that these small cities represent more than 91% of total urban open defecation in the country. If we are to catch up, the key is to immediately turn our attention towards small and medium-sized cities.

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August 15 is World Portable Sanitation Day

World Portable Sanitation Day logo and photo

We already had World Toilet Day on November 19. Now, starting in 2014, we have World Portable Sanitation Day (WPSD), initiated by the Portable Sanitation Association International (PSAI), on August 15.

The aim of the celebration is to raise awareness about the need to expand access to sustainable sanitation. The PSAI estimates that portable sanitation can save 125 million gallons (470 million litres) of fresh water daily, as well as have a significant impact on productivity and fuel savings at construction sites.

PSAI Decal

 

The PSAI has over 550 portable restroom organisations in 34 countries around the world as members. The majority of members are from the USA, where the PSAI is based.

Web site: http://psai.org/world-portable-sanitation-day/

You too can become a poo!

Miraikan-Toilet-Exhibition-logo

You can dress up as a poo and get flushed down a gigantic toilet in Tokyo’s Miraikan science museum. The toilet is the centre piece of an exhibition on human excrement and the search for the ideal loo. At the end of the exhibition, visitors are thanked by a choir of toilets.

Children climbing into giant toilet

Photo: Japan Times

The exhibition, sponsored by the LIXIL Corporation, runs from 2 July until 5 October 2014 and costs 1200 yen (around US$ 11 ).

Web site: Miraikan – Special Exhibition “Toilet!? – Human Waste & Earth’s Future” English | Japanese

 

AfricaSan 4 dates and venue confirmed!

AfricaSan_Conference

The African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW) and the Government of Senegal are pleased to announce the dates and venue of the fourth AfricaSan conference, AfricaSan 4.
Date: 8 – 10 October 2014
Location: Dakar, Senegal (King Fahd Hotel)

Registration website: coming soon, watch this space!

Solid Waste Management in the Pacific

Tibar dumpsite, Timor-Leste

Tibar dumpsite, Timor-Leste. Photo: M. Iyer/ADB

The Asian Development Bank has published a series of snapshots of the solid waste management situation in each of ADB’s 14 Pacific developing member countries. The series assesses solutions and challenges associated with the management of solid waste in the region, with a focus on financing, institutional arrangements and solid waste management technologies.

The series is one of the outputs of a US$ 450,000 ADB techical assistance project 45051-001, which aimed to improve the delivery of solid waste management in the Pacific region.

Overview reports

Solid Waste Management in the Pacific: Appropriate Technologies June 2014
Solid Waste Management in the Pacific: Financial Arrangements June 2014
Solid Waste Management in the Pacific: Institutional Arrangements June 2014

Country snapshots

Solid Waste Management in the Pacific: Cook Islands Country Snapshot June 2014
Solid Waste Management in the Pacific: Fiji Country Snapshot June 2014
Solid Waste Management in the Pacific: Kiribati Country Snapshot June 2014
Solid Waste Management in the Pacific: The Marshall Islands Country Snapshot June 2014
Solid Waste Management in the Pacific: The Federated States of Micronesia Country Snapshot June 2014
Solid Waste Management in the Pacific: Nauru Country Snapshot June 2014
Solid Waste Management in the Pacific: Palau Country Snapshot June 2014
Solid Waste Management in the Pacific: Papua New Guinea Country Snapshot June 2014
Solid Waste Management in the Pacific: Samoa Country Snapshot June 2014
Solid Waste Management in the Pacific: Solomon Islands Country Snapshot June 2014
Solid Waste Management in the Pacific: Timor-Leste Country Snapshot June 2014
Solid Waste Management in the Pacific: Tonga Country Snapshot June 2014
Solid Waste Management in the Pacific: Tuvalu Country Snapshot June 2014
Solid Waste Management in the Pacific: Vanuatu Country Snapshot June 2014