Category Archives: East Asia & Pacific

Asian Development Bank and Gates Foundation set up new sanitation trust fund

Sanitation Financing Partnership Trust Fund infographic

Infographic: ADB and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have set up a joint trust fund to expand non-sewered sanitation and septage management solutions across Asia.

The Gates Foundation will invest US$ 15 million into the new Sanitation Financing Partnership Trust Fund, which will leverage more than US$ 28 million in investments from ADB by 2017.

The Trust Fund will pilot innovations in sanitation and septage management, provide grant funds for innovations in ADB’s sanitation projects, and support polices on septage management and sludge treatment for low-income urban communities who lack access to piped networks or safe wastewater disposal systems.

The Trust Fund will be part of ADB’s Water Financing Partnership Facility (WFPF), which has invested US$ 2.5 billion (out of a total of US$ 8.8 billion) in water supply, sanitation, and wastewater management projects since 2006.

So far the Gates Foundation has funded 85 sanitation research & development projects as part of their grant schemes such as the “Reinvent the Toilet Challenge” and “Grand Challenges Exploration“. An overview of these projects and background information is available on the SuSanA website.

The BRAC WASH II programme in Bangladesh, which is co-funded by the Gates Foundation, includes a component for innovative action research on sanitation and water supply.

Source: ADB, 02 Sep 2013

Thai researcher reinvents toilets for urban poor

Thai researcher reinvents toilets for urban poor | Source: Ishani Bose, dna – Aug 18, 2013 |

Dr Koottatep aims to create a toilet that converts waste water into power, biogas. 

Studies show that while 900 million people in India have access to mobile phones, about 600 million people have no access to proper toilets. This interesting fact set the tone for our conversation with Dr Thammarat Koottatep, who has about 18 years of experience in environmental engineering, waste water treatment and decentralised sanitation technologies and planning.

A researcher in the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), Thailand, Koottatep was in the city on Saturday with regards to his ongoing research on the subject of reinventing the toilets in the countries which received $5 million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Dr Thammarat Koottatep

Dr Thammarat Koottatep

Before coming up with this project, we conducted a study and we realised that there are two fundamental sanitation challenges. First is to expand and improve sanitation without central sewers, because this is by far the most common type of sanitation services used by the poor and the other is to make sanitation services safe and sustainable by addressing the failure to effectively transport, treat and reuse waste captured in on site facilities,” said Koottatep.

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A cross sectional survey of knowledge, attitude and practices related to house flies among dairy farmers

A cross sectional survey of knowledge, attitude and practices related to house flies among dairy farmers in Punjab, Pakistan. Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine 2013, 9:18

Hafiz Azhar Ali Khan. et al.

Background: House flies are of major public health concerns in areas with poor sanitation and hygienic conditions. Unfortunately, sanitation and hygiene have always been ignored in dairy farms particularly in the developing or
low-income countries. Management of these flies mostly depends on the awareness regarding associated hazards and protective measures taken by the people to minimize risks associated with flies. The present study therefore
explores the knowledge, attitude and practices taken by dairy farmers in Punjab, Pakistan against house flies.

Methods: The present study was based on a cross sectional self administered survey to a convenience sample of 173 small scale dairy farmers in four localities – Multan, Lahore, Shorkot and Faisalabad – of Pakistan. The
relationships between socio-demographics, knowledge and preventive practices were investigated through logistic regression analysis and chi-square test of association.

Results: Considerable number of dairy farmers 71/173 (41.04%) had no idea about the problems associated with house flies. Although 77/173 (44.51%) dairy farmers reported house flies as disease transmitters, only 23 (29.87%)
farmers were familiar with diseases and 22 (28.57%) had somewhat idea of the mode of disease transmission. We found a positive association between dairy farmer’s education level and overall knowledge of house flies in multivariate analysis. Farmer’s education level and knowledge of the house flies breeding sites had a positive association with the adoption of house fly prevention practices by the respondents. However, knowledge of the problems associated with house flies and preventive measures had no association with house fly prevention practices.
Conclusion: The present ethnoentomological survey provides information about knowledge, attitude and practices of dairy farmers related to house flies in Punjab, Pakistan. We conclude that the farmers’ education level and knowledge of the breeding sites had a positive association with the adoption of prevention practices against house flies. The study also highlights the need of targeting the lack of knowledge of dairy farmers for the successful management of house flies.

The Economic Returns of Sanitation Interventions in Lao People’s Democratic Republic

Research Brief: The Economic Returns of Sanitation Interventions in Lao People’s Democratic Republic, 2013.

Water and Sanitation Program.

Key Messages

  • Sanitation interventions have very favorable socio-economic returns to households and society, contributing to improved health, clean environment, dignity and quality of life, among many other benefits
  • Economic efficiency of improved sanitation can be optimized by improving program performance, which leads to sustained behavior change
  • Sanitation solutions in urban areas that involve wastewater management are potentially cost-beneficial, despite not all benefits having been included.
  • Improved hygiene and sanitation conditions in institutions, public places and tourist sites are important to attract more businesses and tourists to Lao PDR.

Community-Led Total Sanitation in East Asia and Pacific: Progress, Lessons and Directions

Community-Led Total Sanitation in East Asia and Pacific: Progress, Lessons and Directions, 2013CLTS-cover-resized

UNICEF, Plan, WaterAid and Water and Sanitation Program (WSP).

Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) is a community-wide behaviour change approach to stop open defecation which has been practiced by an estimated 100 million people in this region. Various organizations (i.e. Plan International, UNICEF, WaterAid, Water and Sanitation Program (WSP), Institute of Development Studies (IDS) and the CLTS Foundation, are supporting implementation across 12 countries in the East Asia and Pacific region; more then 50 UNICEF Country Offices across Asia, Africa and Latin America are now supporting implementation of Community Approaches to Total Sanitation.

The publication provides an up-to-date summary of CLTS status, lessons and experiences from the region, and highlights some of the key areas that require further attention and better quality uptake of CLTS at country level, and as such guide in accelerating efforts for reaching open defecation free (ODF) status and overall sanitation and hygiene improvements at scale.

WASH for Life grants for the HappyTap and six other innovations

WaterSHED’s Vietnamese HappyTap. Photo: WaterSHED

The HappyTap, a low-cost handwashing device for the Vietnamese market, is one of seven innovations to receive a grant from the WASH for Life Partnership. This US$ 17 million initiative is co-funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and USAID’s Development Innovation Ventures (DIV).

In 2010, with USAID support, the WaterSHED program teamed with the Water and Sanitation Program (WSP) to develop and market a new handwashing device. The design came from IDEO.org, which itself has received a WASH for Life grant for Clean Kumasi, an digitally-supported approach to Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS). Together with Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP), IDEO.org is working to combat open defecation in Kumasi, Ghana using mobile phones and open-source mapping.

Examples of signs  posted to prompt residents to flash Clean Kumasi. Photo: IDEO.org

Examples of signs posted to prompt residents to flash Clean Kumasi. Photo: IDEO.org

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Kiribati’s North Tarawa declared first open defecation free island in the Pacific

Everyone on North Tarawa now has access to improved sanitation. Photo: ABC Radio Australia / UNICEF Pacific.

North Tarawa in Kiribati is the first island in the Pacific to be declared open defecation free, thanks to the “Kiriwatsan I Project”. The Ministry of Public Works is implementing this project with technical support from UNICEF and funding from the European Union.

North Tarawa is made up of a string of islets with a combined population of 6,102 (2010) and a land area of 15.26 sq.km.  Previously about 64 per cent of people used the beaches and mangroves for defecation and dumping their rubbish.

UNICEF spokeswoman Nuzhat Shahzadi says that diarrhoeal diseases cause 15 per cent of the deaths of children under five in Kiribati.

In March 2013, North Tarawa adopted the Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) approach following a training of trainers course conducted by Dr Kamal Kar. The CLTS pioneer wrote that he had convinced Kiribati President Anote Tong to set December 2015 as the target date for the whole nation to become open defecation free.

The villagers of North Tarawa dig shallow pits and use local materials like brick and coconut leaves to build the toilet superstructure. They keep water and soap in one corner. After using the toilet, the villagers sprinkle ash to stop the smell and flies getting in, and then keep it covered.

Ms Shahzadi said that the women and girls were very happy that no longer have to go out on the beach in the middle of the night if they need to use the toilet.

Source: UNICEF, 11 May 2013 ; Radio New Zealand International, 13 May 2013 ; ABC Radio Australia, 14 May 2013

Educational cartoon boosts worm infection prevention

Cover of the Cartoon “The Magic Glasses.

Cover of the Cartoon “The Magic Glasses.

Educational cartoon boosts worm infection prevention | Source: News-Medical, Apr 29, 2013 |

Researchers in China have found that a health education package targeted at schoolchildren can improve hygiene behaviors and reduce the incidence of soil-transmitted helminth infection.

The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, included 1718 school children aged 9 to 10 years, of whom 893 attended control schools (n=19), and 825 attended intervention schools (n=19). The research was conducted in rural Linxiang City District, Hunan province, where there is a high prevalence of helminth infection but limited awareness or educational activity about the risks.

Both control and intervention schools displayed an awareness poster. However, in the intervention schools, students also took part in an educational package, including a 12-minute cartoon promoting knowledge and prevention awareness, followed by classroom discussions. They also took part in drawing and writing competitions that reinforced the cartoon’s messages, and received a pamphlet summarizing the main points. All students received albendazole treatment at baseline.

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RFP: Research for Hygiene Behavioural Change among School Children in the Philippines

UNICEF has issued a request for proposal for “Research for Hygiene Behavioural Change among School Children in the Philippines”.

The aim of the consultancy to “craft a simple, scalable and sustainable strategy, program and tools based on the EHCP [Essential Health Care Program] that would lead to improved and sustained hygiene practice and toilet use”.

The EHCP is the Department of Education’s “flagship national health program for promoting group handwashing with soap, group toothbrushing with toothpaste and biannual deworming in public elementary schools”.

The consultancy will build on the findings of the Sustainable Sanitation in Schools Project, which was launched in 2011 by UNICEF, GIZ and Fit for School.

The main research question is: “Does daily group hand washing with soap in school result in the independent practice of hand washing with soap at critical times, particularly after using the toilet in school and before eating/handling food?”

Project Duration: 12 months (May 1, 2013 – April 30, 2014)

Deadline for submission: 10:00 am (GMT) on Monday, 15 April 2013

For more information read the full RFP.

Jay Graham – Selling toilets in Cambodia: WaterSHED style