Category Archives: Africa

Female parliamentarians want free sanitary pads for Uganda’s schoolgirls

Uganda’s female parliamentarians led by controversial Speaker of Parliament Hon. Rebecca Kadaga have called on the government to provide sanitary pads for all schoolgirls in the Universal Primary Education (UPE) programme. Kadaga launched her call at the Annual General Meeting  of the Uganda Women Parliamentary Association (UWOPA) on 16 May 2014.

Cover MHM study UgandaThe call was spurred by IRC’s research with SNV in Ugandan schools, which showed there is a higher likelihood of adolescent girls staying home during their periods. Girls in the 140 schools surveyed reported missing from 8 to 24 school days per year, resulting in lagging behind or some dropping out of school.

In August this year, IRC will present results from the Uganda study at the Menstrual Hygiene Management Conference taking place in Kampala, Uganda. NETWAS Uganda and partners are organising this event to encourage learning about what can be done to improve menstrual management in schools, institutions and communities.

Source:

  • Marielle Snel and Carmen da Silva Wells, Why focus on menstrual hygiene management?, IRC,, 27 May 2013
  • Olive Eyotaru, Include girls’ sanitary pads in UPE pack, Kadaga says, Daily Monitor, 18 May 2014
  • Editorial, Support low-cost sanitary pad drive, Daily Monitor, 20 May 2014
  • Support Uganda’s low-cost sanitary pad drive, SNV Uganda, 23 May 2014

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

Reducing vandalism of water and sanitation infrastructure

Water and sanitation utilities commonly experience vandalism and theft of their
property. These acts of vandalism are widespread in both urban and rural settings and take a number of forms: they include water theft leading directly to a loss of revenue for the utility, and the vandalism and theft of valuable metal pipes, fittings and manhole covers leading to an increase in the utility’s maintenance costs. The extent of vandalism and theft experienced in a project or defined area can have a direct and significant impact on the performance of a utility, and where the service is negatively affected, this will ultimately impact on the well-being of customers. Despite anecdotal evidence of the prevalence of this problem research into the subject remains very limited, with a lack of documentation on interventions to reduce vandalism or the extent to which a reduction in vandalism can lead to improved water and sanitation services.

To explore strategies for combating this issue, WSUP has recently carried out a case study documenting experience in the Copperbelt region of Zambia, where Nkana Water and Sewerage Company (NWSC) are implementing a three-pronged, integrated approach to vandalism reduction.

Want to find out more? For a quick read download our two-page Practice Note. For a more in-depth analysis, see our Topic Brief.

TB013_ReducingVandalism

 

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

 

THE URBAN PROGRAMMING GUIDE: How to design and implement a pro-poor urban WASH programme

Improving water, sanitation and hygiene services to low-income urban areas is a highly challenging and complex task. Traditional approaches have often failed to work. We need new approaches and fresh thinking. We need governments, donors and sector professionals genuinely committed to improving services in slum settlements. It’s challenging but it can be done! This guide offers some solutions based around WSUP’s experience: all you have to do is put them into practice!

The guide provides an introduction to urban WASH programming: how to design and implement a pro-poor urban water, sanitation and hygiene programme.

Urban Programming Guide
Who is this guide for?
This guide is primarily designed for WASH professionals working in governments, development agencies, funding agencies or civil society organisations. It will also be useful for professionals working for service providers including water utilities, local authorities and in the private sector.

How to use this guide
The guide provides an overview of some key strategies and service delivery models. It’s not intended to be encyclopaedic: it’s a rapid-reference document with the following intended uses:

  • To aid the planning, design and implementation of urban WASH programmes.
  • To assist with investment planning by service providers.
  • To point the reader towards further sources of information and guidance.

The guide is free to download from WSUP’s website: http://www.wsup.com/resource/the-urban-programming-guide

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.

Towards total sanitation workshop report – key findings

Cotonu Workshop Key Findings report

How can Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) and other programmatic approaches be  integrated into a service-led rural sanitation delivery? This was the topic that attracted  around 70 practitioners from 16 different countries  to Cotonu, Benin in November 2013 for a Learning and Exchange workshop  “Towards sustainable total sanitation”. The workshop was organised  by IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre in partnership with WaterAid, SNV and UNICEF.

The key findings of the workshop a presented in a new report, which is divided into four categories, covering the four conditions to trigger a service:

  • strengthening the enabling environment
  • demand creation and advocacy to change behaviour
  • strengthening the supply chain, and
  • appropriate incentives and financial arrangements.

Study examines sustainability of CLTS programmes in Africa

Plan-ODF-sustainability-coverDespite the widespread implementation of Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) programs and many claims of success, there has been very little systematic investigation into their sustainability.  A new study, which aims to change that, is creating a stir in the WASH sector.

A study commissioned by Plan International on the sustainability of CLTS programs in Africa revealed that 87% of the households still had a functioning latrine. This would indicate a remarkably low rate of reversion (13%) to open defecation (OD) or “slippage”.

However, if the criteria used to originally award open defecation free (ODF) status to villages are used, then the overall slippage rate increased dramatically to  92%. These criteria are:

  • A functioning latrine with a superstructure
  • A means of keeping flies from the pit (either water seal or lid)
  • Absence of excreta in the vicinity of the house
  • Hand washing facilities with water and soap or soap-substitute such as ash
  • Evidence that the latrine and hand washing facilities were being used

Continue reading

Study Highlights Limited Progress in WASH Access Among Sub-Saharan African Cities

George Washington University Study Highlights Limited Progress in Water and Sanitation Access Among Major Sub-Saharan African Cities | Source: George Washington University, School of Public Health |

Sub-Saharan Africa’s urban population is predicted to nearly triple by 2050, increasing from 414 million to over 1.2 billion. This growth challenges municipalities attempting to provide basic access to water supply and sanitation (WS&S). A new analysis published in BMC Public Health by researchers at the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services (SPHHS) looks at how well cities in sub-Saharan Africa are doing when it comes to providing their urban residents with access to basic public health infrastructure.

Photo credit: Jay Graham

Photo credit: Jay Graham

Mike Hopewell, a recent graduate of the MPH program at SPHHS, and Jay Graham, an SPHHS assistant professor of environmental and occupational health, estimated changes in access to water supply and sanitation in the largest cities across sub-Saharan Africa between 2000 and 2012. They then explored the relationship of city-level and country-level factors to progress or regression in these cities.

The authors found that cities appeared to be making the most progress in gaining access to WS&S along metrics that reflect specified targets of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), global targets for improved wellbeing that countries aim to achieve by 2015. Nearly half of the cities, however, did not make progress in reducing open defecation or the time households spent collecting water. This may reflect a focus on “improved” services that are MDG targets while other measures, potentially more relevant to the extreme poor, are being neglected. This study highlights the need to better characterize access, beyond definitions of improved and unimproved, as well as the need to target resources to cities where changes in WS&S access have stalled, or in some cases regressed.