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SCA and WSSCC partner to break silence around menstruation

Geneva, 17 November 2014 – SCA, a leading global hygiene and forest products company, and the Geneva-based Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC), the only United Nations body devoted solely to the sanitation and hygiene needs of vulnerable and marginalized people, have today entered into an innovative new partnership to break the silence around menstruation for women and girls around the world. SCA and WSSCC will jointly work to educate on menstrual issues and the importance of good hygiene.

The parties announced the partnership in Cape Town, South Africa, in connection with Team SCA’s first stop-over in the Volvo Ocean Race round the world competition. During the Cape Town stop-over, Team SCA attended a menstrual hygiene workshop with girls and women from the townships of Khayelitsha and Gugaletu, where experts from WSSCC, the Volunteer Centre (a Cape Town NGO), and SCA led a training session and discussion of the challenges the women face in managing their periods.

The partnership will include actions during, and between, the race stopovers until June 2015. These include Brazil (Itajai), China (Sanya), New Zealand (Auckland), Portugal (Lisbon), South Africa (Cape Town), Sweden (Gothenburg), The Netherlands (The Hague), United Arab Emirates (Abu Dhabi) and the USA (Newport).

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My toilet: global stories from women and girls

You are invited to view an exciting new exhibition by WSUP, launched to mark World Toilet Day.

My Toilet documents women and girls and their toilets to build a visual representation of the day to day reality and the effect this has on their lives, both positive and negative.

Keyla, 4, by her toilet in Bolivar, Ecuador. Photography Karla Gachet. Panos Pictures for WSUP.

Keyla, 4, by her toilet in Bolivar, Ecuador. Photo: Karla Gachet, Panos Pictures for WSUP.

The images and stories show that, although the type of toilet changes from country to country, the impacts have recurring themes. Having can mean a better chance of education, employment, dignity, safety, status and more. Wherever you are in the world, a toilet equals far more than just a toilet.

Get involved on social media!
Help spread this message by sharing a picture of yourself holding up a sign with the hashtag #ToiletEquals followed by a word, or a few words, to describe what having a toilet equals for you and for millions of others around the world. All the tweets and pictures will be shown on the My Toilet website.

Visit the exhibition!
Images from 20 countries, spanning every continent, will be exhibited at The Royal Opera Arcade Gallery, London SW1Y 4UY. The gallery is open to the public from 17 – 22 November 2014, 10am – 5pm daily. Entry is free. We hope to see you there!

WaterAid – Best toilet joke for World Toilet Day

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