‘World’s first toilet theme park’ opens in South Korea | Source: BBC News, Nov 8, 2012
The Korean city of Suwon has opened what it says is “the world’s first toilet theme park“.
The Restroom Cultural Park has a museum displaying Roman style loos, European-style bedpans, and ancient Korean flush toilets, as well as fun facts about human waste and a sculpture garden dedicated to squatting figures.
The BBC’s Seoul correspondent Lucy Williamson visited the park to explore South Korea’s fascination with the art and routine of the water closet.
Today, 2.1 billion people in urban areas use non-sewered (or on-site) sanitation facilities. While much of the work in rural areas is focused on creating and sustaining open defecation free communities and generating demand for communities to construct toilets, the downstream activities of collecting and transporting fecal sludge present a unique challenge for urban residents. These services are mostly provided by private operators, and are generally uncontrolled and unregulated. The inadequate disposal of fecal sludge in the environment represents a direct threat to public health and negates the positive outcomes from behavioral change and improvements in sanitation access.
The urban population in developing countries, and in particular the poor, rely on fecal sludge collection and transportation services that are often not affordable. In addition, pit emptying is often done by hand, exposing the operators to serious health risks (see figure below). Often mechanical emptiers, using vacuum trucks, charge excessive fees to customers but do not pay taxes or comply with laws and standards due to a general lack of regulation for these services. This makes it a highly profitable business. For example an emptying service provider in Abuja makes US$ 15,000 per month.
Manual emptier in Senegal, also called Baay Pelles
The Sanitation Marketing (SanMark) Community of Practice is a WASH Reference Group initiative supported by the AusAID Innovations Fund and managed by WaterAid Australia.
The WASH Reference Group is an Australian-based Community of Practice comprising 25 organisations working on water, sanitation and hygiene promotion in developing countries, including NGOs, research organisations and the Australian water industry.
The website provides information on SanMark webinars and in-country training events. Visitors to the website can submit a question (Ask an Expert), contribute a case study, story, experience or photographs to the SanMark blog, and apply online for a SanMark practitioner training. There is also section on resources (links and tools) and news.
Cash Rewards Spur Poor Communities to Pay for Sanitation Projects | Source: by Nicole Wallace, Philanthropy.com – Sept 11, 2012
An international aid charity is taking an unorthodox approach to helping people in Cambodia and Vietnam improve sanitation and hygiene: It asks beneficiaries to help pay for the construction of latrines and hand-washing stations, but then gives them cash rewards when they get results. The effort will now spread, thanks to a $10.9-million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Children try out a new hand-washing station. (Photograph by East Meets West Foundation)
The East Meets West Foundation, in Oakland, Calif., works with local groups to provide hygiene education, train masons to build high-quality latrines, and broker low-cost loans that families can use to install latrines and hand-washing devices. Families receive a $10 rebate to help offset construction costs after an independent group has verified that the latrine is in place.
Communities also get incentives: They receive cash awards to be put toward public-works projects, such as roads and sanitation facilities in schools, when the percentage of households that have latrines and hand-washing devices hits 30 percent, and the communities receive more money when those rates reach 95 percent.
Low Cost Handmade Sanitary Pads! From Design to Production A Step Forward in Menstrual Hygiene Promotion in Pakistan, 2012.
By Hina Israr & Syed Shah Nasir, IRSP-Pakistan
ABSTRACT: “In order to manage the basic phenomena of menstruation, sanitary materials are used by women of all ages, almost from 14 to 45 years of age, though branded material are available in urban areas but difficult in rural, in those areas where such materials are available, they are expensive and difficult to afford and manage as well, so it has been planned by IRSP to introduce MHM specific low cost technologies in Pakistan for not just providing ease in their practices but also for paving way for women empowerment through involving them in large scale sanitary pad production.”
UNDP Chief Helen Clark launches Global Centre for Public Service Excellence with Second Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Transport Lui Tuck Yew. Photo: UNDP
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Singapore government have agreed to set up a global centre to help developing countries strengthen their public services. The Global Centre for Public Service Excellence will be based in Singapore by the end of 2012.
UNDP administrator Helen Clark said the new centre would be a leading research hub, drawing information from think-tanks, universities and on-going policy practice in Singapore and other countries.
The initiative was announced at the World Cities Summit in Singapore on 2 July.
The provision of clean water and sanitation in developing countries were mentioned as two critical focus areas.
Helen Clark said:
“Unfortunately sanitation has had a very low priority in so many places and it’s appalling to think that a significant proportion of human kind still faces open defecation and no access to a proper toilet at all.
“Singapore has so much to share of its own experience since independence of strong non-corrupt effective governance and so we are partnering to put in place here a centre which will be able to do research on this, bring people together, have convening power and really promote best practice in governance.”
Related organisations and programmes:
Source: Wayne Chan, Channel News Asia, 02 Jul 2012 ; UNDP, 02 Jul 2012
This new film shows how composting toilets are helping to address the serious water issues facing Tuvalu.
The tiny Pacific island nation of just 10,500 inhabitants, recently experienced a devastating drought. Existing septic tank systems are polluting the groundwater and destroying the reefs in lagoons, forcing fishermen to spend more on fuel to travel further away to catch fish.
The Global Environment Facility supported Pacific Integrated Water Resources Management project (GEF Pacific IWRM) is working to address these problems by installing composting toilets on the main island of Funafuti. Composting toilets use almost no water and produce compost that so families can plant their own vegetables, making them less dependent on expensive food imports.