Category Archives: Dignity and Social Development

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.”

Preventing violence linked to WASH: practitioners’ toolkit

WeCan Campaign poster used in an IDP camp in Batticoloa, Sri Lanka to help respond to and prevent violence against women

WeCan Campaign poster used in an IDP camp in Batticoloa, Sri Lanka to help respond to and prevent violence against women

Poorly designed and located water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) interventions can increase people’s vulnerability to violence. This can range from sexual harassment when practicing open defecation or collecting water, to staff demanding sexual favours in exchange for access to WASH facilities.<

With this in mind, WaterAid/SHARE have published a toolkit  [1] to help practitioners make water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) safer for the most vulnerable.

The toolkit consists of briefing notes, a checklist of actions based on the ten key principles for reducing vulnerability to WASH-related violence, and a range of tools including case studies of good practice.  It is relevant for both humanitarian and development contexts. The materials also include videos, scenarios for training and tools for use with communities, key extracts from international human rights instruments and a folder of additional supporting information

Any actor working in humanitarian, development or transitional contexts can request free access to the materials by sending an email to gbv@wateraid.org.

[1] House, S., Ferron, S., Sommer, M. and Cavill, S. 2014. Violence, gender and WASH : a practitioner’s toolkit : making water, sanitation and hygiene safer through improved programming and services. London, UK, WaterAid/SHARE.

For more information:

  • House, S. et al., 2014. Violence, gender and WASH : a practitioner’s toolkit : making water, sanitation and hygiene safer through improved programming and services. Humanitarian exchange magazine, no. 60, February 2014. Available at: <http://washurl.net/5as6s3>
  • Violence and vulnerability: making WASH safe. Hygiene promotion in emergencies newsletter, no. 5, March 2014, Available at: <http://washurl.net/8k5b0a>
  • SHARE: Equity

In 2012 WaterAid America released “1 in 3“, a video highlighting the impact of the lack of sanitation on women.

Why women’s involvement in water and sanitation development is important

Women in WASH

Last week on March 8 was International Women’s Day (IWD). This year’s theme was “Inspiring Change”.  Four women inspiring change in the WASH sector came together during the World Water Week in Stockholm, Sweden, in September last year. They were Water For People’s Kate Fogelberg; IRC’s Vida Duti and Jane Nabunnya Mulumba, and Alice Bouman, President of the Women for Water Partnership. They talked about the role of women in the WASH sector.

Women leadership in WASH is needed and should be actively promoted. This was one of the main outcomes of the panel discussion on Women and WASH led by the four women mentioned above. The discussion highlighted the role of women leaders in WASH, the question of why more focus on the role of women is so important, and what lack of access to improved water and sanitation services means for women in rural areas in different country contexts.

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International conference on public services in the global South

Protesters  in Cape Town, June 2013, demanding better service delivery

Protesters in Cape Town, June 2013, demanding better service delivery. Photo: yazkam.wordpress.com

Cape Town, the city where “poo has become a politcial issue“, is hosting an international conference on “Putting Public in Public Services: Research, Action and Equity in the Global South” from 13-16 April  2014 .

Organised by the Municipal Services Project, the conference  brings together researchers, activists, labour representatives, development practitioners and policy makers from around the world working to promote progressive public services,  including water and sanitation.

The following presentations focus specifically on sanitation:

  • Dieter Wartchow (Brazil) – National sanitation laws in Brazil: An opportunity lost?
  • Melanie Samson (South Africa) – Including the informal, transforming the public: Insights from innovations in the waste sector
  • Federico Parra (Colombia) – Recognition of the ‘recicladores’ as public managers of waste in Colombia
  • Poornima Chikarmane (India) – Of users, providers and the state: Solid waste management in Pune, India
  • Mary Galvin (South Africa) – Dealing with shit in sub-Sahara Africa: The impact of “new” approaches to sanitation on human rights
  • Julieta del Valle (Argentina) – Guaranteeing access to public water and sanitation: ‘Acompañamiento social’ in Buenos Aires

Read more in the full programme.

Registration is free for observers but priority wil be given to people with a demonstrated interest in conference themes.

Registration deadline: 14 March 2014

Those unable to attend can follow debates via video streaming, podcasts and social media.

Conference websitemunicipalservicesproject.org/about-conference

Cairo: Finding its own way in waste collection

Cairo: Finding its own way in waste collection – Danish Architecture Centre | Source/complete article: Sustainable Cities, Jan 2014

Excerpts – For decades, much of Cairo’s waste has been resourcefully collected and reused by a poor working class known as the Zabbaleen. After a failed attempt to modernise and sanitize this system by bringing in foreign waste-collecting companies, some major advantages to developing a sustainable, economically logical and uniquely Cairo waste-collecting system have become clear.

Skraldebyen Ezbet El Nakhl, Af Creap, 9. maj 2005, Flickr, Creative Commons, Foto # 13067241

Skraldebyen Ezbet El Nakhl, Af Creap, 9. maj 2005, Flickr, Creative Commons, Foto # 13067241

Since the 1950′s, a group of lower class garbage collectors known as the Zabbaleen have wandered the city of Cairo, Egypt, using donkey carts to pick up waste left on the streets. After bringing this waste to their homes that collectively make up Cairo’s “garbage city” the waste it is sorted and eventually turned into quilts, rugs, pots, paper, livestock food, compost, recycled plastic products such as clothes hangers, and much more. Reusing and recycling about 85% of all waste that they collect, the Zabbaleen have far surpassed the efficiencies of even the best Western recycling schemes, which, under optimal conditions, have only been able to reuse 70% of all material.

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WSP promoted CLTS approach in Indonesia criticised

A highly critical article in Development and Change argues that the Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) approach, which the Water and Sanitation Program (WSP) has promoted in Indonesia, is not only “inadequate” but also “echoes coercive, race-based colonial public health practices”.

Susan Engel

Dr Susan Engel, University of Wollongong, Australis

Authors Dr Susan Engel and Anggun Susilo reveal striking similarities between developments in Indonesian sanitation in the 1920s and the 1990s. In both eras the focus changed from “the provision of hardware to [...] participation and social mobilization” to encourage “individuals and communities to construct and maintain their own sanitation facilities”.

In the 1920s, the Rockefeller Foundation led the change, 70 years later it was WSP. In both cases the approaches are said to have met resistance because they were coercive and humiliating for the poorest, who also had to pay for latrines they couldn’t really afford.

Engel and Susilo found no evidence that the CLTS approach in Indonesia was sustainable. They conclude that government involvement, not just self-help CLTS approaches, is essential for successful sanitation.

Engel, S, and Susilo, A., 2014. Shaming and sanitation in Indonesia : a return to colonial public health practices?. Development and change, 45, 1, pp. 157-178. DOI: 10.1111/dech.12075

See also:

  • India, Madhya Pradesh: sanitation campaign humiliates women, say critics, Sanitation Updates, 24 Dec 2014
  • WASHplus Weekly: Community-Led Total Sanitation, Sanitation Updates, 13 Dec 2013
  • Topic: CLTS and human rights: Should the right to community-wide health be won at the cost of individual rights?, SuSanA Forum

 

Assessment of Beliefs and Practices Relating to Menstrual Hygiene of Adolescent Girls in Lebanon

Assessment of Beliefs and Practices Relating to Menstrual Hygiene of Adolescent Girls in Lebanon. International Journal of Health Sciences and Research (IJHSR), 2013; 3(12): 75-88.

Authors: Tania Santina, Nancy Wehbe, Fouad M. Ziade, Mona Nehme.

Abstract
Introduction: Poor menstrual hygiene prevents achieving the several Millennium Development Goals. The aim of this study was to assess menstrual hygiene practices based on sociocultural beliefs of adolescent girls in Lebanon.

Methods: A community-based cross-sectional survey was conducted, in 2010, among 389 post-menarcheal adolescent girls aged 13 to 19 years, at five high schools in Sidon city and suburbs, using a cluster randomized sampling and self-completed questionnaires. Collected data was analyzed by using descriptive and inferential statistics.

Results: Of 389 participants, 89.5% did not follow all menstrual hygiene practices recommended, they adopted menstrual practices based on the dominant sociocultural beliefs found in the Lebanese society about these matters: 66.9% and 16.5%, respectively, did not shower in the first three days of menstruation or during all days of menstruation, and activity restrictions included physical (70.3%) and social (18.2%) activity and diet (35.5%).

A significant association was found between describe menstrual hygiene practices based on sociocultural beliefs and type of school, religion, both parents’ education levels, as well as family monthly income. Logistic regression analyses indicated that significant variables predicting describe menstrual hygiene practices based on sociocultural beliefs were mother level education (OR = 2.8; P < 0.001), and religion (OR = 0.7; P = 0.002).

Conclusion: Findings indicate the need for health school education programs during puberty; they also can help design appropriate intervention strategies.

A ‘Losing Prospect’ Argument for Changing Sanitation Behaviour

A ‘Losing Prospect’ Argument for Changing Sanitation Behaviour |

Excerpts: 

  • Fact #1: One in six people still defecate in the open.
  • Fact #2: Most of them are not entirely convinced that a toilet does any good.
  • Fact #3: Many of the recent toilet adopters still like to go in the open.

I don’t mean to be alarmist, but these signal a need for a shift in thinking about the complex problem of addressing behaviour change with respect to toilet adoption. bd-blog-latrine-customer

With a myriad missing links to sustainable sanitation uptake, I’ll stick my neck out and say that the stickiest issue in sanitation today is not one of lack of investment, nor political commitment or markets. Clearly, the governments understand the wide-ranging impacts of sanitation on health, environment, and economy, and have committed billions of dollars to increasing sanitation coverage. Recently, the Government of India quadrupled its investment in rural sanitation in the current planning period (2012 – 2017) to US$ 6 billion through its ambitious Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan program. Moreover, there seems to be robust enthusiasm in the private sector for the ‘ready for take-off’sanitation market in low-and-middle income countries with low coverage. The continually baffling dilemma is in some ways an age-old one – that of changing mindsets.

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WASHplus Weekly: Focus on Inclusive WASH

Issue 127 December 20, 2013 | Focus on Inclusive WASH

Many thanks to Shamila Jansz from WaterAid who contributed many of the reports, training materials, etc. to this issue on inclusive water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH). The resources fall under the following categories: fact sheets, stories from the field, training resources, reports, journal articles, conference papers, and websites. Reports and videos from Ethiopia, Kenya, Mali, Nepal, Uganda, and other countries are also included.

If you haven’t done so already, the WASHplus Knowledge Management (KM) team would appreciate your comments and suggestions about WASHplus KM services. The link to the KM survey is https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/3G7SH7C.

FACT SHEETS/BRIEFING NOTES

Briefing Note on WASH and People with Disabilities and Leprosy, 2013. WaterAid/Ethiopia. (Link)
Using case studies from a WaterAid/Ethiopia-supported project, this briefing note discusses the links between WASH and disability and leprosy.

Factsheet: WASH and HIV, 2013. WaterAid; StopAIDS Coalition. (Link)
This fact sheet sets out to explain the connection between WASH and HIV and AIDS, and provides recommendations on how HIV interventions can integrate WASH into their programming.

Inclusive WASH Development: Technology Adaptations for Persons with Disabilities, 2013. N Kamban. (Link)
It is the objective of this briefing paper to describe the findings, recommendations, and guidelines for inclusive WASH development gleaned from experience with the Africa WASH & Disabilities Study.

STORIES FROM THE FIELD

A Difficult Journey to Toilet, 2013. WaterAid/Nepal. (Video)
In Nepal more than 500,000 people live with disability. This video tells the story of the 350,000 disabled who do not have access to toilets. For example, in Kathmandu, no public toilets are designated disabled-friendly.

Kenya: Four Stories from the Field, 2013. WASHplus.
String, Jug, & a Bucket | Community Volunteers | Simple Actions | Innovative Solution |
WASHplus is helping communities in Kenya make the connection between healthy hygiene habits and improved sanitation and positive outcomes for people living with HIV and AIDs and their families.

Undoing Inequity: Inclusive Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Programmes that Deliver for All, 2013. WaterAid; SHARE. (Video)
This video discusses the cost of inclusive WASH service delivery in Uganda. A SHARE-funded WaterAid project reaches out to all community members who struggle to use standard WASH facilities—persons with disability, the elderly, and the chronically ill— in hopes of moving them up the sanitation ladder along with the rest of their neighbors.

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India, Madhya Pradesh: sanitation campaign humiliates women, say critics

Controversial illustration from Madya Pradesh sanitation campaign booklet

Controversial illustration from Madya Pradesh sanitation campaign booklet

A government campaign to stop open defecation in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh has been criticised for using humiliation to change behaviour. Journalist M. Poornima writes that the ambitious scheme called ‘Maryada Abhiyan’ (Hindi for dignity), “gives little of it to women”.

From catcalls to publishing names to photographing the people caught — the government booklet [1] suggests a number of measures meant to humiliate people. That it would hit women the hardest is not a thought that appears to have occurred to the authorities.

The criticism is backed up by WaterAid programme officer Binu Arickal, who called whistling at or photographing women practising open defecation “foolish”. This reflects a discussion started at the beginning of this year on community-led total sanitation (CLTS) and human rights in the SuSanA Forum, which was sparked by a journal article [2] by Jamie Bartram and others.

UNICEF contributed to the Maryada campaign booklet. The campaign’s brand ambassador is Anita Narre, the bride from a Madhya Pradesh who  sparked a “sanitation revolution” in her village by forcing her husband to build a toilet in their home.

[1] Madhya Pradesh. State Water and Sanitation Mission (2012?). Maryada Abhiyan: guideline. Available at: <http://washurl.net/42kkyn>

[2] Bartram, J. … [et al.] (2012). Commentary on community-led total sanitation and human rights: Should the right to community-wide health be won at the cost of individual rights?. Journal of water and health, 10(4), pp. 499–503. doi: 10.2166/wh.2012.205. Available at: <http://washurl.net/56qm77>

Related web sites:

Source: M. Poornima, No ‘maryada’ for women in MP govt’s sanitation drive, Hindustan Times, 24 Dec 2013