Author Archives: WASHplus

Global Handwashing Day Planner’s Guide, 3rd Edition

Global Handwashing Day Planner’s Guide, 3rd Edition. 2014.

In addition to background information, the top five facts about handwashing you should know, and insights from the latest in handwashing research, the Planner’s Guide features:

  • Detailed celebration ideas designed to help religious organizations, schools, healthcare centers and more plan effective messaging and events.
  • An event checklist that helps planners organize and make sure their event planning is on track.
  • Spotlights on:
    • Sustainability (p. 17)
    • Small Doable Actions (p. 20)
    • Social Norms (p. 22)
  • And much more!

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

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.

Uganda – 1st National Conference on Menstrual Hygiene Management, 2014

The theme of the conference was Break the Silence on Menstruation, Keep the Girls in School. menstruation_health_book-2

Author: Netwas Uganda

The conference had 4 objectives; a) to raise awareness on the impact of poor menstrual management, b) advocate for policy review, c) develop strategies for operationalizing existing policy, d) demonstrate sustainable good practices on menstrual management. The overall aim was to explore how best the School Health Policy can ensure girls get all the support they need to complete school and reach their full potential.

An update from Sanivation in Kenya

sanivation

Below are updates from Sanivation, check out the latest newsletter for more information on Sanivation projects and activities. sanivation_model

One thing we believe in our bones is the customer is king. Over the past couple months, we have been sharing meals, asking questions, and collecting feedback from customers on both toilets and fuel. We have captured some inspiring quotes and wanted to share them with you. This month we will be introducing each short update in this newsletter with a quote from one of our customers.

Learnings from Kakuma: “Two people came and commented positively on my new latrine. One person came, a Somali lady, and asked me if I could sell it to her.” 

We’re currently processing (and soon to be publishing!) all of our learnings from Kakuma. From initial glances, the refugees were not only were satisfied but became promoters of the approach.After an initial review of feedback, we found that the refugees were not only satisfied but also became promoters of the approach. Already, one of our big lessons has been in the power of instituting quick feedback loops and a customer service approach to toilets. We feel honored to have worked with such great partners and are looking forward to continuing work with UNHCR, NRC, and CDC on how to bring this approach to even more refugees. The US Embassy Nairobi made an awesome video of our work. Check it out!

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Composting latrine vs. flush toilet: A crowd-funded study

Composting latrine vs. flush toilet: A crowd-funded study | Source: by Rob Goodier, EngineeringForChange, Aug 2014 |

Excerpt: What we know is that composting toilets have clear ecological and economical advantages over flush toilets. They turn waste into compost, and the compost can fertilize crops, completing a circle of nutrients that saves soils and saves money. They save money in the costs of sewage and in fertilizer. Importantly, they also require much less water.

In this composting pit latrine design, when waste has filled the first pit, the latrine is moved over the second pit. The first pit converts to compost and can be emptied to fertilize fields. Credit: E4C Solutions Library

In this composting pit latrine design, when waste has filled the first pit, the latrine is moved over the second pit. The first pit converts to compost and can be emptied to fertilize fields. Credit: E4C Solutions Library

Those arguments for composting latrines are well documented and have been made for years, but how do they compare in hygiene and how do they fare within the cultures of the different people who use them? Do they limit the spread of disease as well as a flush system with a septic tank or a sewer might? And do they feel as comfortable for families to use? Are they as accessible? And are they really the most sustainable solution in global sanitation?

To answer these questions, Jeff Deal the director of health studies at the water and sanitation engineering non-profit Water Missions International, is raising money through the site that crowdfunds scientific research, experiment.com. The goal is $22,000, which Water Missions International will match to pay for the study.

Kenya – Ministry alarmed by ‘long calls’ along highways, to build toilets along Nairobi-Nakuru highway

Kenya – Ministry alarmed by ‘long calls’ along highways, to build toilets along Nairobi-Nakuru highway | Source: by Antony Gitonga, Standard Digital, Aug 8, 2014 |

NAKURU COUNTY: The ministry of health has expressed its concern over the high number of people who defecate in the open mainly along the main highways in the country. Following the revelation, Nakuru County has announced plans in major centres along the Nairobi-Nakuru and Naivasha-Mai Mahiu road to construct public toilets. According to the department of health, the open defecation was one of the leading causes in the increase in the number of typhoid and diarrhoea cases in the county.

Nakuru County director of health Dr Benedict Osore with county public health officer Samuel King’ori and USAID's WASHplus project manager Evelyn Makena examine some chairs used for defecation for the disabled at Longonot village in Naivasha. He said that around 300 of the 1,949 villages in the county had been declared open defecation free.  [PHOTO: ANTONY GITONGA/STANDARD]

Nakuru County director of health Dr Benedict Osore with county public health officer Samuel King’ori and USAID’s WASHplus project manager Evelyn Makena examine some chairs used for defecation for the disabled at Longonot village in Naivasha. He said that around 300 of the 1,949 villages in the county had been declared open defecation free. [PHOTO: ANTONY GITONGA/STANDARD]

This emerged during celebrations in Longonot Primary school in Naivasha where Longonot was declared as the first Open Defecation Free (ODF) village in Nakuru County. According to Nakuru County director of health Dr Benedict Osore, open defecation on the highways was a major problem which needed to be addressed urgently.

He said that the county in conjunction with other partners was planning to construct public toilets along the highway which would come in handy for motorists and passengers. “The centres will also offer other services like HIV testing and counselling and the public toilets will help deal in containing cases of diarrhoea and typhoid,” he said. He said that the county was committed to eradicating communicable diseases in the next five years and was working on how to dispose pampers which had turned out to be public nuisance.

On his part, Nakuru county public health officer Samuel King’ori said that around 300 of the 1,949 villages in the county had been declared open defecation free. King’ori said the campaign aimed at sensitizing residents on proper hygiene and had seen the number of sanitation related diseases drop significantly. “So far we have trained 235 public health officers who are tasked with training residents on the use of sanitation as one way of eradication communicable diseases,” he said. “Through ODF we have been able to reduce diarrhoea and typhoid cases by 75 percent and we seek to have them eliminated in the county,” said King’ori.

The campaign which is targeting various villages in the county as one way of reducing disease burden has been funded by USAID Washplus and FHI360. During the celebrations a natural leader Pauline Nduta expressed her concern over the number of passengers defecating along the highways while traveling to their destinations. Nduta said they had formed a group of villagers who were monitoring the situation and sensitizing the passengers on the need to use latrines instead of defecating in the open. “We have seen a drop in the number of typhoid cases amongst our school going children thanks to this campaign against open defecation,” she said.

Rose George – What is life like when your period means you are shunned by society?

What is life like when your period means you are shunned by society? by Rose George, WaterAid Blog, July 2014 |

Journalist Rose George reports on her visit to WaterAid Nepal, where she saw the impact of menstrual taboos on women and girls.

Excerpts – For Radha dinner is served at 7. She crouches down behind a shed, a good distance from her house, then waits.

She knows what the menu will be: boiled rice, the same as yesterday and the day before. She knows that it will be her little sister who serves it, throwing the rice onto her plate from a height, the way you would feed a dog.

Radha Bishwa Karma serving food behind the toilet. Credit: WaterAid/Poulomi Basu

Radha Bishwa Karma serving food behind the toilet.
Credit: WaterAid/Poulomi Basu

In Jamu, Radha’s village in western Nepal, her status is lower than a dog’s, because she is menstruating.

She is only 16, yet, for the length of her period, Radha can’t enter her house or eat anything but boiled rice. She can’t touch other women – not even her grandmother or sister – because her touch will pollute them. If she touches a man or a boy, he will start shivering and sicken.

If she eats butter or buffalo milk, the buffalo will sicken too and stop milking. If she enters a temple or worships at all, her gods will be furious and take their revenge, by sending snakes or some other calamity.

Here, menstruation is dirty, and a menstruating girl is a powerful, polluting thing. A thing to be feared and shunned.