Author Archives: WASHplus

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.

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.

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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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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WASHplus Weekly – Focus on Child Feces Disposal

Issue 140 April 4, 2014 | Focus on Child Feces Disposal

A recent blog post by the SHARE project states that the feces of children may be particularly important in fecal-oral transmission since children are more susceptible to diseases such as diarrhea and often defecate in areas where other children could be exposed—the ground of a compound or in the house. This issue contains recent studies on child feces disposal practices in India and articles on child-friendly toilets. Also included are studies and reports on how infants and children are affected by fecal contamination caused by domestic animals.

WEBSITES

WASH Benefits Study/Bangladesh & Kenya - (Website)
The WASH Benefits Study, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, will provide rigorous evidence on the health and developmental benefits of water quality, sanitation, hand washing, and nutritional interventions during the first years of life. The study includes two cluster-randomized controlled trials to measure the impact of the intervention among newborn infants in rural Bangladesh and Kenya. Both will be large in scope and measure primary outcomes after two years of intervention. WASHPlus_HTMLbanner_weekly_600x159

2014 STUDIES/PROTOCOLS

Interventions to Improve Disposal of Child Faeces for Preventing Diarrhoea and Soil-Transmitted Helminth Infection. (Protocol). Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Apr 2014. F Majorin. (Order info)
The objectives of this study are to assess the effectiveness of interventions to improve the disposal of child feces for preventing diarrhea and soil-transmitted helminth infections. The interventions can include the provision of hardware (for example, nappies [diapers], potties, fecal collection devices, cleaning products to hygienically remove feces, child-friendly squatting slabs or latrines used by children), software (for example, promotion of safe disposal practices), or both. It will include interventions that combine the safe disposal of child feces with other interventions, such as hygiene promotion interventions, and employ subgroup analysis to investigate the impact of these additional interventions.

Child Feces Disposal Practices in Rural Orissa: A Cross Sectional StudyPLoS One, Feb 2014. F Majorin. (Link)
This study conducted surveys with heads of 136 households in 20 villages. It describes defecation and feces disposal practices and explores associations between safe disposal and risk factors. Respondents reported that children commonly defecated on the ground, either inside the household for pre-ambulatory children or around the compound for ambulatory children. Twenty percent of pre-ambulatory children used potties and nappies; the same percentage of ambulatory children defecated in a latrine. The study concludes that in the area surveyed, India’s Total Sanitation Campaign has not led to high levels of safe disposal of child feces.

Why is Child Faeces Disposal Important? 2014. SHARE. (Link)
Fiona Majorin of the SHARE project is currently conducting formative research in urban and rural settings in Orissa, India. The findings from this work will lead to the design of an intervention that will aim to improve safe child feces disposal.

Child Feces Disposal. A Presentation at the Handwashing Behavior Change Think Tank, 2014. (Link)
This brief presentation, given by the Water and Sanitation Program (WSP) of The World Bank, explores how to safely manage child feces. WSP and UNICEF are collaborating on 25 country profiles focusing on child feces disposal. The presenter appealed to colleagues at the Think Tank and to the WASH community to share any research, programs, or policies they know of that address child feces disposal by emailing them toerand@worldbank.org.

Toys and Toilets: Cross-Sectional Study Using Children’s Toys to Evaluate Environmental Faecal Contamination in Rural Bangladeshi Households with Different Sanitation Facilities and PracticesTrop Med Intl Health, Mar 2014. J Vujcic. (Abstract)
This study examined fecal contamination in 100 rural households with and without access to toilets/latrines using toys to measure the level of contamination. In rural Bangladesh, improved sanitation facilities and practices were associated with less environmental contamination. Whether this association is independent of household wealth and whether the difference in contamination improves child health merit further study. The variation found was typical for measures of environmental contamination, and requires large sample sizes to ascertain differences between groups with statistical significance.

“Cleaner, Healthier, Happier” Campaign Unveils New Muppet in Bangladesh, India, and NigeriaSesame Workshop India, Mar 2014. (Link)
Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame Street, unveils the world’s newest Muppet friend, Raya, who will engage children with important messages surrounding proper latrine use and sanitation throughout Bangladesh, India, and Nigeria as part of its Cleaner, Healthier, Happier campaign.

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Interventions to improve disposal of child faeces for preventing diarrhoea and STH infection

Interventions to improve disposal of child faeces for preventing diarrhoea and soil-transmitted helminth infection, (Protocol)Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews,  2014, Issue 4. Art. No.: CD011055. DOI:10.1002/14651858.CD011055.

Authors: Majorin F, Torondel B, Ka Seen Chan G, Clasen TF.

Objectives: To assess the effectiveness of interventions to improve the disposal of child feces for preventing diarrhoea and soil-transmitted helminth infections. logo_wide

Interventions: Interventions can include the provision of hardware (for example, nappies (diapers), potties, fecal collection devices, cleaning products to hygienically remove feces, child-friendly squatting slabs or latrines used by children) software (for example, promotion of safe disposal practices), or both. It will include interventions that combine the safe disposal of child feces with other interventions, such as hygiene  promotion interventions, and employ subgroup analysis to investigate the impact of these additional interventions.

Waste not: Egypt’s refuse collectors regain role at heart of Cairo society

Waste not: Egypt’s refuse collectors regain role at heart of Cairo society | Source/complete article: The Guardian, March 27 2014 |

Excerpts - Zabaleen waste pickers are finally being re-integrated into the city’s services, a decade after they were sidelined.

A family at work in the Mokattam area of the Egyptian capital Cairo, where zabaleen collect, separate, sell or reuse rubbish. Photograph: Bernat Armangue/AP

A family at work in the Mokattam area of the Egyptian capital Cairo, where zabaleen collect, separate, sell or reuse rubbish. Photograph: Bernat Armangue/AP

For the waste pickers that have traditionally made a living sifting through the mountain of discarded litter that blights the streets of Cairo, there has been scant cause for celebration these past 10 years. Marginalised by a 2004 Mubarak goverment directive that placed household waste collection in the hands of multinationals, their existence has been one of ever increasing struggle for steadily declining return.

But change is afoot. Government acceptance that the corporatisation of waste disposal in Egypt‘s capital has been a resounding failure has paved the way for the formal integration of the zabaleen – who, for more than half a century, went door to door gathering the vast majority of household waste in Cairo – into the city’s official refuse collection system.

For a community that has served Cairo well, the government’s U-turn offers a deserved chance to change their lives for the better. Before 2004, the zabaleen would take the rubbish they collected back to their homes on the edge of the city, sort through it, and make a living from selling the salvaged materials to factories and wholesalers. The remaining organic waste would be fed to their pigs, whose meat also brought them a steady income.

But 10 years ago, this informal arrangement came to an abrupt end when the Mubarak government contracted four corporate firms to do the work instead – cutting the 65,000 zabaleen out of the process, and wrecking their collective livelihood. The aim was to professionalise the capital’s waste management.

Government officials now admit that approach was flawed from the start, and for the first time are starting to make the zabaleen‘s role official, giving them uniforms and vehicles.

“The others have failed, be they the government or the foreign companies, and now [the zabaleen] should get a turn, having been sidelined for so long,” said Laila Iskandar, Egypt’s environment minister, who has prioritised the issue since her appointment in July. “They are the people who have the longest experience in refuse collection.”

Team Sanivation Wins Best Toilet Award!

From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – Best toilet award goes to…a group of Georgia Tech undergraduate students called Team Sanivation!

The students have been working with our Global WASH team and the nonprofit Sanivation and won the prestigious InVenture Prize for their design of the Safi Choo Toilet.

(Left to right) Jasmine Burton, Brandie Banner and Erin Cobb

(Left to right) Jasmine Burton, Brandie Banner and Erin Cobb

Some say this award is the most esteemed (and hardest to earn) that Georgia Tech has and was presented on live TV on Wednesday. InVenture is an annual contest that rewards undergraduate students for big innovations that aim to solve the world’s problems and attracted 560 students this year.

Team Sanivation received $20,000, a free U.S. patent filing by Georgia Tech’s Office of Technology Licensing, and a spot in this summer’s class of Flashpoint, a Georgia Tech startup accelerator program. They also received the $5,000 People’s Choice Award.

Thanks to Ciara O’Reilly, Jen Murphy and Jamae Morris of CDC for their work with Sanivation.