Category Archives: Sanitary Facilities

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.

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.

Extra funding for “breathable membrane” linings for pit latrines

Roof latrine

Roof latrine. Photo: Steve Dentel, University of Delaware

A team at the University of Delaware has received US$ 250,000 in additional funding to continue its research on “breathable membrane” linings for pit latrines.

The breathable fabric helps to prevent groundwater pollution, while also protecting sanitation workers from exposure to pathogens. Heat from biodegradation of the feces or from the sun gradually expels water vapour, but prevents the escape of particulate or dissolved constituents.

Professor Steve Dentel, who leads the research, explained how it all works in webinar held in February 2014. A  write-up of the presentation and discussion was posted on the SuSanA forum.

The first phase of the research (November 2011 – October 2013)  was funded through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Grand Challenges Explorations Fund.

Dentel is piloting the membrane technology in the slums of Kanpur, India, in collaboration with WaterAid. He wants to get them in place before the beginning of the rainy season in June. Since the membrane is reusable, the cost of using susch a sophisticated technology can be reduced.

At the same time, Dentel is working with UD engineering colleagues Daniel Cha and Paul Imhoff to apply the technology in wastewater treatment facilities in the USA and South Korea.

For more information you can follow and take part in a discussion about the research with Prof Dentel on the SuSan Forum.

Source:  Karen B. Roberts, Bacteria fighting fabric, UDaily, 17 Apr 2014

 

 

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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Reinvent the Toilet Fair: India – what’s next?

Several technologies displayed at the Reinvent the Toilet Fair: India “will be field tested in coming months in cities across India and Africa”, writes Doulaye Koné in the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) blog “Impatient Optimists”.

These include reinvented toilet technologies, pit latrine and septic tank emptying technologies, as well as sludge-to-energy processing technologies. Some of the participants at the fair in New Delhi, like the President of the Fecal Sludge Emptying Association from Senegal, wanted to buy some of the technologies on display on the spot. He was very disappointed to learn that we still need to do additional testing to validate their performances before commercialization but we were thrilled about his excitement.

Beside the field testing, the BMGF has announced a collaboration agreement with the South African government on sanitation innovation solutions. The Department of Science and Technology (DST) has committed ZAR 30 million (US$ 2.7 million) to test and promote toilet technologies being developed by BMGF grantees in schools and rural communities in South Africa. BMGF is contributing US$ 1 million to support the testing of technologies selected. South Africa’s Water Research Commission is the implementing agency.

“In terms of rural school sanitation, the technologies will be demonstrated in the Cofimvaba district in the Eastern Cape as part of the Technology for Rural Education Development project,” the department said. “The technologies will also be demonstrated in the 23 district municipalities that have been identified by the government as critical in terms of service delivery.”

More information on BMGF sanitation grantees is avaialable on SuSanA.org.

Source:

  • Doulaye Koné , What Happened at the “Reinvent the Toilet Fair: India” and What’s Next?, Impatient Optimists, 11 Apr 2004
  • South Africa, Gates Foundation to ‘reinvent the toilet’, SouthAfrica.info, 28 Mar 2014

 

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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Modernising urban sanitation in Southern Bangladesh

SNV-Modernising-Urban-SanitationA new project promises to provide one million people in Bangladesh with an improved living environment and access to safe faecal sludge management. The project will also give 250,000 people access to improved sanitation facilities and use market-based solutions to generate biogas from sludge.

SNV Bangladesh and Khulna City Corporation (KCC) launched the “Demonstration of pro-poor market- based solutions for faecal sludge management in urban centres of Southern Bangladesh” project on March 31, 2014. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the UK Department for International Development (DFID) are funding the project.

Launch of SNV project Modernising Urban Sanitation in Bangladesh

Photo: SNV

Currently Khulna has no designated dumping sites or treatment facilities for faecal sludge. The city has an estimated population of 1.6 million, while 1.2 million more people live in the surrounding 36 smaller towns.  By developing faecal sludge management services in KCC, and the two small towns of Khustia and Jhenaidah in Khulna division, the four-year project aims to reform human waste management in Bangladesh.

Read more in the project brochure.

Source: SNV, 4 Apr 2014

 

 

Sanitation Business Matchmaking Estafetta (relay race) 2014

Sanitation Business Matchmaking poster

A group of organisations have launched an initiative to stimulate investment in business proposals that will lead to large-scale sanitation services for the poor. It will involve creating both a virtual marketplace and organising a matchmaking event in Singapore.

The organisations will promote their initiative at three upcoming sector events: the Sanitation and Water for All High Level Meeting, the Money2Water Global Water Investment Summit and the Water and Sanitation Program (WSP) Council meeting.
BoP-World-ConventionThe “Sanitation Business Matchmaking Estafetta” will culminate at the BoP WORLD Convention & Expo in Singapore in 28– 30 August 2014. The results of the Estafetta will  be presented during the 2014 World Water Week in Stockholm.

The organisations that have launched the “Sanitation Business Matchmaking Estafetta” include: Aqua for All, Euromoney Water Events, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Simavi, WSP and Waste in association with IRC and the World Toilet Organization  (WTO).

BoP HUB, the co-organiser of the BoP WORLD Convention & Expo, is the brainchild of WTO founder Jack Sim.

See the Estafetta leaflet for full details.

 

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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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.”