Category Archives: Emergency Sanitation

Peepoo toilets in flood emergencies in Sindh, Pakistan and Kisumu, Kenya

Links to WASHplus Weeklies on Sanitation

Below are links to WASHplus Weeklies on sanitation-related topics:

SuSanA – Compilation of 13 factsheets on key sustainable sanitation topics

Compilation of 13 factsheets on key sustainable sanitation topics, 2012.

This factsheet book is a compilation of 13 thematic factsheets which were produced by the eleven SuSanA working groups. What makes these factsheets special is that they are multi-authored by people from different organisations and by free-lance consultants. The factsheets were developed in a long process involving many discussions and review loops which were mostly carried out in public, e.g. at working group meetings, with the working group mailing lists or, since July 2011, also in the open SuSanA discussion forum (http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/6-susana-working-groups).

Table of Contents:

Executive Summary

WG 1: Capacity development
Capacity development for sustainable sanitation
Spuhler, D., McCreary, C., Fogde, M., Jenssen, P.

WG 2: Finance and economics
Financial and economic analysis
Parkinson, J., Hutton, G., Pfeiffer, V., Blume, S., Feiereisen, P.

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The Application of Ecological Sanitation for Excreta Disposal in Disaster Relief

The Application of Ecological Sanitation for Excreta Disposal in Disaster Relief: Experience, Selection and Design; 2012.

Katherine Kinsted. Institute of Wastewater Management and Water Protection.

When responding to an emergency situation, ensuring safe excreta disposal is an urgent priority in the disaster relief effort. Aid organizations typically dig trench or pit latrines, but in some challenging environments, different methods such as ecological sanitation (Ecosan) must be employed. Ecosan is sanitation methods and technologies which promote the safe reuse rather than the disposal of excreta. Currently, Ecosan is mostly implemented in disaster relief for flood-prone areas and locations where excavation is not possible. In addition to meeting the sanitation needs of the affected population, Ecosan can be implemented to allow added benefits such as nutrient recovery, reforestation, and to help begin post-disaster recovery and the transition to peaceful and sustainable development.

Several examples of disaster relief situations where Ecosan methods are employed are investigated. Statistics about these case studies are presented along with successful and challenging aspects of the implementation. Four forms of Ecosan, urine diverting dehydration toilets (UDDT), Arborloo, biodegradable bags and composting toilets are discussed in six countries (Bolivia, Haiti, Chad, Philippines, New Zealand and Bangladesh). UDDTs had the widest extent of implementation and their flexible design makes them a good option for areas where excavation is difficult or there is a high chance of groundwater pollution (such as in flood prone regions). The composting processes offer the best success with reuse of excreta material as compost. Unfortunately though, these processes were quite complicated and do not necessary provide groundwater protection. The Arborloo provided a simpler solution with resource reuse, but this design is unfortunately not appropriate in regions where either excavation is not possible or where high groundwater is present. The Peepoo solution has shown itself to be successful in the preliminary trials, but the design still has many challenges such as cost effectiveness and user-friendliness.

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OXFAM – Hygiene promotion: determining what works

OXFAM – Hygiene promotion: determining what works, 2012. Humanitarian field studies | Cholera response in Haiti

When a massive earthquake struck Haiti in January 2010, followed by a cholera epidemic that broke out in October of that year, Oxfam rushed assistance—clean water, sanitation, and hygiene materials and information—to hard-hit areas to protect public health.

Hygiene promotion is arguably the most important intervention in a cholera epidemic: the route of cholera transmission is fecal-oral, and contaminated hands are often the principal vector. So Oxfam engages in a wide range of hygiene-promotion activities to encourage washing hands—specifically, washing hands with soap at key moments, such as before eating and after defecation.

But which of our interventions have been the most effective, and why? Is it more important to put resources into hygiene-themed theater productions or radio call-in shows? There is little hard evidence to suggest that—in Haiti or in emergencies anywhere—one hygiene-promotion activity works better than another. But lives, not to mention valuable resources, may depend on the answer, so in the spring of 2011, Oxfam engaged Eawag, the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, to study the effectiveness of our hygiene-promotion activities in Haiti.

Humanitarian crises and sustainable sanitation: lessons from Eastern Chad

Latrine at Farchana refugee camp

Latrine at Farchana refugee camp, Eastern Chad. Photo: Flickr/Sustainable sanitation

How important is sanitation during a humanitarian crisis? Why is it important to explore ecological and sustainable sanitation? Groupe URD looks at the case of Eastern Chad, an example of a major long-term crisis. From an acute emergency in 2003, the crisis has gone through a number of phases. The appropriateness of aid mechanisms is currently being questioned, with a particular focus on sanitation. Sustainable sanitation can help to improve the quality of life of refugees and IDPs as well as local populations. From this perspective, what lessons from Eastern Chad could be useful in other contexts?

Groupe URD concludes that the long-term success of alternatives to conventional sanitation in Chad, as elsewhere, does not depend on the application of particular technologies: it depends principally on the participation of the future users (from the design to the follow up) both in the building of the facilities and the re-use of products. Rather than reproducing a design, it is important to understand the principles of ecological sanitation in order to be able to adapt them to a particular context. The key ideas to be retained from the Chadian experience – which can be applied in many other contexts – are participation, awareness-raising, pilot projects, training and lesson sharing.

Read the full article by Julie Patinet of Groupe URD and Anne Delmaire of Toilettes du Monde

Source: Humanitarian Aid on the Move newsletter, no. 9, March 2012

Haiti: lack of proper sanitation is real cause of cholera outbreak, Clinton says

Woman at Leogane camp saying the latrines behind her are full and smell foul. Photo credit: Haiti Grassroots Watch

Haiti should focus on stemming the cholera outbreak that has killed more than 7,000 people since 2010, rather than on levying blame against the source of the disease, UN special envoy to Haiti, Bill Clinton, said. While studies have suggested that the cholera came from a Nepalese soldier serving as a peacekeeper, Clinton pointed out that the country’s lack of proper sanitation was the real cause of the outbreak.

Clinton made the remarks after he toured a new public teaching hospital in Haiti’s Central Plateau that was built by the Boston-based Partners in Health.

In November 2011, the Boston-based Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti (IJDH) filed a demand for hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation from Haitian cholera victims.

Money to empty refugee camp toilets has run out

Clinton’s own foundation, together with UNICEF and USAID, supplied some 11,000 mobile toilets for the refugee camps that emerged after the 2010 Haiti earthquake. The NGOs that distributed the toilets and paid for them to be emptied are now pulling out one by one, leaving overflowing toilets behind, according to an IPS report.

Donor funds are being used to set up excreta treatment centres, one is now in operation in Morne-à-Cabri while a second centre is planned for Titanye, but these are not servicing the remaining refugee camps, home to nearly half a million people.

Source:

  • AP, Former President Clinton urges officials to stem Haiti cholera outbreak, Washington Post, 07 Mar 2012
  • Phares Jerome and Valery Daudier, Money for cleaning toilets in Haiti down the drain? – Part 1, IPS, 07 Mar 2012

Thailand, Bangkok: struggling to clear garbage in flood crisis

Garbage piled up on a flooded street in Bangkok, Thailand

Garbage piled up on a flooded street in Bangkok, Thailand. Photo: Getty Images / WSJ

Industrial parks in Bangkok are being threatened after residents in Bangkok’s northeast demolish government-built levies to release the stagnant, garbage-ridden water that was building up in their neighbourhoods, writes the Wall Street Journal.

Flooded roads are preventing garbage collectors getting to many areas—raising fears over the risk of disease and over the blockage of drains, which is impeding the flow of water into the sea. Bangkok produces about 8,700 tons of rubbish a day—roughly a quarter of Thailand’s total. Added to that figure is the additional trash flowing into the city from northern provinces.

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Harnessing the wisdom of crowds – Open discussion forum helps to answer many sanitation related questions

The idea for this open discussion forum on sanitation came from our experience that when you want to buy a new car or have a question about your baby’s teeth: where do you get advice from? You put your question into a search engine like Google and you end up reading other people’s postings on a discussion forum. Usually, those questions and answers prove to be very helpful.

The same mechanism can hold true for a discussion forum on sanitation issues. This is why the Sustainable Sanitation Alliance (SuSanA) secretariat developed a new discussion forum which was launched in July 2011. The forum is open –  as opposed to some existing closed fora which require a login even just for reading. Today, the SuSanA forum already has 930 registered users, 40 topics, nearly 1000 views for the most popular topics, and some topics have attracted up to 20 replies.

All postings are readable by everyone and searchable by search engines like Google and Yahoo. A broad range of topics are covered such as sanitation systems and technologies, health and hygiene, CLTS, school sanitation, sanitation systems for special conditions, menstrual hygiene management, SuSanA working groups and announcements and many more.

All registered users can contribute to the forum by creating new discussion topics or by responding to the posts of others. The option to create a user profile, including a passport-style photo, is available. The user can also attach additional documents and photos to his or her posts.

For people who like to receive postings via e-mail, it is also possible to subscribe to a daily e-mail alert service of new posts simply by leaving your e-mail address here. Alternatively or in addition, one can subscribe to specific categories or topics after logging in and thereby follow specific discussions.

Here are four examples of very active discussion threads so far:

To view the discussion forum or to obtain your own login for writing on the forum, please click here.

For further information or questions please contact the SuSanA secretariat (susana@giz.de)

WASHplus Weekly – WASH and Humanitarian Assistance

This WASHplus Weekly contains 2010 and 2011 resources about water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) issues in disaster or emergency situations. Please contact WASHplus if you have new or upcoming resources to add to this for future issues. Some of the resources in this Weekly include updates of WHO technical notes for WASH in emergencies, the 2011 SPHERE manual on WASH standards, links to USAID and other relevant websites.