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WSSCC Appoints David Shimkus to Lead Global Sanitation Fund

Geneva, 1 October 2014 – The Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) announced today that David Shimkus has joined the Global Sanitation Fund as its new Programme Director, bringing to the Fund over fifteen years of experience in international health and development.  He will oversee the Fund’s ongoing efforts to support community-led sanitation programmes in developing countries, including resource mobilization, financial management, capacity building and programme monitoring and evaluation.

“We are thrilled to have David Shimkus at the helm of WSSCC’s Global Sanitation Fund,” said WSSCC Executive Director Chris Williams. “He is a proven manager, leader and facilitator with a deep understanding of empowerment and community development.  I am confident that under his leadership, the Fund and its partners will help end open defecation and bring sanitation equity to millions more people in the developing world.”

Mr. Shimkus joins WSSCC from the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS), where he served as Senior Manager of Global Health Partnerships. In that role, Mr. Shimkus provided financial and programmatic oversight for collaborations between UNOPS and major global health organizations.  Prior to joining UNOPS, Mr. Shimkus was the Director of Business Development for Pathfinder International, where he led global planning and resource mobilization for HIV/AIDS prevention, care and treatment and maternal and child health.

“I believe that sanitation is the crossroads of development – the focal point where wise investments can have a catalytic impact on all aspects of a community’s growth, from health to education to economic opportunity,” said Shimkus. “I’m looking forward to working with my colleagues at WSSCC and our many partners to build on the Fund’s strong foundation and expand our reach in the years to come.”

About the Global Sanitation Fund
The Global Sanitation Fund is the financing arm of WSSCC, providing targeted investments to sanitation programmes in the world’s most vulnerable communities.  It is the first and only international fund devoted solely to sanitation.  With a focus on sustainable, community-led initiatives, GSF helps fill the funding gap in countries where sanitation policies are in place but have not been fully implemented due to financial limitations.  Since its launch in 2010, the Fund has helped 3.7 million people in 14,000 communities stop defecating in the open.  Today, the Fund supports programmes in 11 countries with commitments totaling USD 97 million.

Ending Open Defecation in Rural Tanzania: Which Factors Facilitate Latrine Adoption?

Ending Open Defecation in Rural Tanzania: Which Factors Facilitate Latrine Adoption? Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health,  2014, 11(9), 9854-9870; doi:10.3390/ijerph110909854

Authors: Stephen Sara and Jay Graham. Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, School of Public Health and Health Services, George Washington University, 2100 M St., NW Suite 200, Washington, DC 20037, USA

Diarrheal diseases account for 7% of deaths in children under five years of age in Tanzania. Improving sanitation is an essential step towards reducing these deaths. This secondary analysis examined rural Tanzanian households’ sanitation behaviors and attitudes in order to identify barriers and drivers to latrine adoption. The analysis was conducted using results from a cross-sectional study of 1000 households in five rural districts of Tanzania. Motivating factors, perceptions, and constraints surrounding open defecation and latrine adoption were assessed using behavioral change theory.

Results showed a significant association between use of improved sanitation and satisfaction with current sanitation facility (OR: 5.91; CI: 2.95–11.85; p = 0.008). Livestock-keeping was strongly associated with practicing open defecation (OR: 0.22; CI 0.063–0.75; p < 0.001). Of the 93 total households that practiced open defecation, 79 (85%) were dissatisfied with the practice, 62 (67%) had plans to build a latrine and 17 (18%) had started saving for a latrine. Among households that planned to build a latrine, health was the primary reason stated (60%).

The inability to pay for upgrading sanitation infrastructure was commonly reported among the households. Future efforts should consider methods to reduce costs and ease payments for households to upgrade sanitation infrastructure. Messages to increase demand for latrine adoption in rural Tanzania should integrate themes of privacy, safety, prestige and health. Findings indicate a need for lower cost sanitation options and financing strategies to increase household ability to adopt sanitation facilities.

Video: 7 journalists win prestigious media awards for excellence in reporting on critical water, sanitation and hygiene issues

IRC WASH – The ideal WASH sustainability tool

If you could start from scratch and design a new WASH sustainability tool, what would it look like?

Participants from the 2014 WASH Sustainability Forum share their ideas on the principles of their ideal WASH sustainability tool.

The 2014 WASH Sustainability Forum brought together over 150 participants from nearly 30 countries to discuss concrete approaches to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Sustainability. The Forum took place in Amsterdam, on 30 June and 1 July. 2014. More info: http://www.ircwash.org/news/5th-wash-…and #WASH2014

With inputs from:
Charles Yeboah (Safe Water Network), Barbara Evans (University of Leeds), Chaitaili Chattopadhyah (WSSCC), Prakhar Goel (Control Union), Joanne McGriff (Center for Global Safe Water, Emory University), Jose Gesti Canuto (UNICEF), Guy Norman (WSUP), Julia Rosenbaum (USAID/WASHplus), Naabiah Ofosuh-Amaah (Global Environment & Technology Foundation).

Interview: Cor Dietvorst.
Camera: Thomas Hurkxkens

Pacific Love (Unofficial Peace Corps Anthem) – Poop in a Hole

Seven journalists win prestigious media awards for excellence in reporting on critical water, sanitation and hygiene issues

WMA-Winners

Geneva/Stockholm, 5 September 2014 – Seven journalists were named today as winners of the “2014 WASH Media Awards” competition for their excellence in reporting on water, sanitation and hygiene-related (WASH) issues.

 The journalists, their winning entries, and the award categories are:

  • Marcelo Leite (Brazil):The Battle of Belo Monte” (Category: Water and Energy)
  • Natasha Khan (Canada) and Ketaki Gokhale (USA) No Menstrual Hygiene For Indian Women Holds Economy Back(Category: Equity and Inclusion in Water, Sanitation and Hygiene)
  • Seun Aikoye (Nigeria):Lagosians shun public toilets as open defecation continues(Category: Ending Open Defecation)
  • Mbali Chiya (South Africa):Human Rights to Water and Sanitation (Category: The Human Right to Water and Sanitation)
  • Umaru Sanda Amadu (Ghana): “Water Wahala(Category: WASH in the Future: The Post-2015 Development Agenda)
  • Dilrukshi Handunnetti (Sri Lanka): “Sri Lankan Girls Miss out on Sanitation Gains(Category: Monitoring WASH Commitments)

The winning entries can be viewed here: http://www.wsscc.org/media/wash-media-awards/2012-2014. A high resolution photograph and summary video can also be found there or at the World Water Week page.

The winners received their awards today during a ceremony at the closing plenary session of the annual World Water Week in Stockholm.  In Stockholm this week, the journalists shared their experiences with leading water, sanitation, environment and development experts. The week concluded with a 2014 Stockholm Statement on Water, a collection of films and papers calling for a Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) on Water.

Journalists are key partners for sanitation, hygiene and water sector professionals in their awareness raising, advocacy and behaviour change work. Journalists play a central role in the highlighting of water and gender related issues and positioning of women as environmental leaders. They greatly contribute to bringing in the spotlight the too often neglected issues of the necessity of toilets and hand washing for a dignified, safe and healthy life for billions of people.

The biannual WASH Media Awards competition is sponsored by the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC, www.wsscc.org) and the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI, www.siwi.org). More than 100 entries from 30 countries were evaluated by a Mr. Mark Tran, a notable international correspondent for The Guardian, UK.

New results report from the WSSCC Global Sanitation Fund

GSF Logo 15kb (EN)According to its latest Progress Report update, national programs supported through the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) Global Sanitation Fund (GSF) show consistent strong growth and have made significant progress in eradicating the practice of open defecation.

Almost six million people now live in open-defecation free (ODF) communes, villages and districts. This is two million more than six months ago The total number of 3.1 million people with an improved latrine as a result of GSF-funded programs is around double the number reported a year ago.

As of 1 July 2014, the Global Sanitation Fund supports work actively in Cambodia, Ethiopia, India, Madagascar, Malawi, Nepal, Nigeria, Senegal, Tanzania, Togo and Uganda. In those countries, more than 140 sub-grantees have raised awareness of sanitation and hygiene nationally and in a number of regions. As a result of their work, more than three million people have access to improved toilets, among other leading indicators of progress.

The total number of 3.1 million people with an improved latrine as a result of GSF-funded programs is around double the number reported a year ago (1.6 million in June 2013). It is encouraging that the number of people in ODF environments and the number of people with improved latrines has continued to increase.

It suggests that efforts by WSSCC in the initial years to build consultative processes, introduce new systems and familiarize sub-grantees and local governments with methods of community-led total sanitation were a sound investment.

This mid-year progress update presents the on-going results of GSF program implementation.

To download a copy of the report, click here.