Category Archives: Sanitary Facilities

The business case for Base of the Pyramid sanitation

Ready for Funding: Innovative  sanitation businesses cover

The Sanitation Business Matchmaking Estafetta initiative has published a guide to business opportunities for sanitation in small towns and peri-urban areas in upcoming economies.

The sanitation sector offers long term, slow and stable return on investments and this can be a pearl in your portfolio. Moreover, sanitation services create social benefits which may be of interest for impact investors. The challenge of the sanitation industry is to access to the  right blend of financial products. Investors are invited to guide the sanitation industry in creating the conditions needed to realize ventures that prove to be attractive investment opportunities.

The guide targets investors, intermediaries and the private sector. It covers both household and public sanitation, as well as emptying & collection services, smart small sewerage, and treatment & reuse. Using Ghana as a case study, the guide presents a market analysis for sanitation investment opportunities for each of the before mentioned sanitation components and services.

Download Ready for Funding: Innovative sanitation businesses

WHO/UNICEF – Progress on sanitation and drinking-water – 2014 update

Progress on sanitation and drinking-water – 2014 update.  WHO/UNICEF

JMP_report_2014_webEng-1This 2014 update report of the World Health Organization (WHO)/United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Joint Monitoring Programme for Water
Supply and Sanitation, known as the JMP, is split into three sections. The first section presents the status of and trends in access to improved drinking
water sources and sanitation. The second section provides a snapshot of inequalities in access to improved drinking water sources and sanitation.

The final section presents efforts to strengthen monitoring of access to safe drinking water and sanitation services under a post-2015 development
agenda, as well as the challenges associated with these efforts. Annexes
at the back of the report provide supplementary information on the JMP method, MDG regional groupings, data tables and trend figures.

Check out this Sanitation Music Video!

by Dr. Michael Frishkopf, University of Alberta, Canada and Shadow’s Entertainment. | Link on YouTube |




WASHplus Weekly-Focus on Information and Communications Technology (ICT)

Issue 145 | May 9, 2014 | Focus on Information and Communications Technology (ICT)

This issue contains recent reports, videos, and blog posts on WASH (water, sanitation, and hygiene) and ICT. Organizations working in WASH are using ICT to improve data on WASH services and improve the evidence of the impacts of WASH projects. Resources in this issue include a useful summary of WASH and ICT conference presentations, a video of a text messaging system in Uganda for reporting water supply problems, and examples of country applications from Burkina Faso, Ghana, Kenya, Nepal, and Zimbabwe.

The May 9 and May 16 issues of the Weekly will focus on cookstoves and menstrual hygiene management, respectively, so please contact WASHplus if you have recent studies or resources that can be featured on these topics


ICT & WASH: A Synthesis of Conference Presentations for Mobile Technology in the Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Sector, 2013. B Mann, Tetra Tech. (Link)
ICT is quickly changing relationships in the WASH sector. Distances are becoming shorter and ICTs are now being used to facilitate the measurement and monitoring of interventions with data from customers, operators, and government. Using these new rich sources of data promises to guide equitable decision making for WASH services.

Can Mobile Data Improve Rural Water Institutions in Rural Africa? 2014. P Thomson, University of Oxford. (Link)
In 2013 Oxford University conducted a 12-month smart hand pump trial in rural Kenya that tested a new pump maintenance service model. The trial in Kyuso District in eastern Kenya, covering 66 hand pumps (corresponding to around 15,000 water users, depending on season) showed that near real-time, mobile-enabled data significantly improve operational performance. This data also have the potential to promote financial sustainability and are a mechanism that can enable institutional redesign of rural water services.

Changing Relationships: ICT to Improve Water Governance, 2013. WaterAid. (Link)
ICT is quickly changing relationships, facilitating the measurement and monitoring of interventions, and enabling practitioners at a local level to use evidence to guide decision making for the equitable and sustainable extension of WASH services. Despite this promising outlook, several challenges exist to achieve the full potential of ICT.

WASH: Lessons from Three Field Pilots, 2013. M Ball. (Link)
The application of ICT to support the delivery of water and sanitation services is a growing area of interest in the WASH sector. To study how these tools might be incorporated into existing management structures, the authors conducted field pilots of a mobile phone based application for transmitting water quality data in three distinct water supply structures: a large provincial utility in Vietnam, rural NGO operations in Cambodia, and district health authorities in Mozambique.

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IIED presents SHARE-funded City-Wide Sanitation Project findings

May 6, 2014 – IIED presents SHARE-funded City-Wide Sanitation Project findings at the 11th International Conference on Urban Health at the University of Manchester | Source: SHARE website

SHARE partner IIED presented its findings on the challenges and opportunities of different models for improving sanitation in deprived communities at the 11th International Conference on Urban Health at the University of Manchester. iied

The work presented was published last year in a paper entitled “Overcoming obstacles to community-driven sanitary improvement in deprived urban neighbourhoods: lessons from practice”. Sanitary improvement has historically been central to urban health improvement efforts. Low cost sanitation systems almost inevitably require some level of community management, and in deprived urban settlements there are good reasons for favouring community-led sanitary improvement.

It has been argued that community-led sanitary improvement also faces serious challenges, including those of getting local residents to act collectively, getting the appropriate public agencies to co-produce the improvements, finding improvements that are acceptable and affordable at scale, and preventing institutional problems outside of the water and sanitation sector (such as tenure or landlord-tenant problems) from undermining improvement efforts. This paper examines these sanitary challenges in selected cities where organizations of the urban poor are actively trying to step up their work on sanitary issues, and considers they can best be addressed. 

DFID pledges €28 million to SNV for multi-country sanitation programme

More funding for a local government-led approach introduced in 2008 by SNV and IRC to scale up sanitation from community to district level.

The UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) has awarded SNV Netherlands Development Organisation a €28 million (US$ 32 million) service contract to fund the Sustainable Sanitation & Hygiene for All (SSH4A) Results Programme. Introduced by SNV and IRC in 2008 in Nepal, Bhutan, Cambodia, Viet Nam and Laos, SSH4A is a comprehensive, local government-led approach to scale up sanitation from community to district level.

With funding from the DFID Results Fund, the SSH4A Results Programme will provide improved sanitation to more than 2 million people in nine countries: Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Nepal, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. The programme will also reach out to over 2.7 million people with hygiene promotion, make 1,200 communities Open Defecation Free (ODF), ensure that 400,000 people practice hand washing with soap at critical times, assist the preparation of district sanitation plans and improve local governments’ capacity for steering improved sanitation.

SSH4A diagram

SSH4A programmes have been implemented with rural communities in 15 countries across Asia and Africa. In Asia, more than 2.2 million rural people have been reached, of whom 700,000 received improved sanitation.

More information:


SourceSNV, 28 Apr 2014

Overview of the Blue Diversion sanitation system

The Blue Diversion Toilet is an appealing, affordable and safe urine diverting toilet. It is designed for a sustainable sanitation value chain and zero discharge, recovering all resources. The Blue Diversion Toilet is the centrepiece of a market-based approach to sanitation that will be attractive for profit-seeking entrepreneurs. 

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