Tag Archives: children

Focusing Attention on the Critical Role of Gender in Water and Sanitation

In Nepal, reducing the time it takes to fetch water by just one hour could increase girls’ school enrollment by 30%.

While women’s lives around the world have improved dramatically, gaps remain in many areas, including water and sanitation. For example, a recent study in 44 developing countries found that women carry water more often than men by a ration of nearly 2 to 1. Time is but one cost. There are many. How can we draw more attention to gender issues in water and sanitation ? Perhaps through drawings.

The World Bank/WSP 2012 Calendar combines illustrations,  humor, and data to focus attention on the role of gender in developing countries’ ability to ensure improved water and sanitation services for all citizens.  Gender is also the focus of the World Bank’s 2012 World Development Report on Gender Equality and Development .

Take a look. Images are worth a thousand words– and they can speak on behalf of billions.

Comments and feedback on the calendar are welcome at wsp@worldbank.org.

See Related Content:

Africa – Poor sanitation claimed some 780,000 children last year

Accra, July 6, GNA – Some 780,000 African children, under age five, died of diarrhoea last year due to inadequate access to safe water and sanitation, WaterAid research has shown.

It estimates a yearly 15 billion-dollar economic cost to the continent if the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) targets for water and sanitation are not met.

In a press release received by GNA on Monday, Mr Stephen Ntow, Country Representative of WaterAid, Ghana, expressed disquiet over the fact that African leaders had failed to act upon a pledge to address the situation at last year’s African Union Summit.

“Last year’s Summit marked a breakthrough as African leaders raised water and sanitation to the top of the political agenda by signing the Sham El-Sheik and eThekwini commitments to accelerate progress towards the water and sanitation goals,” he said, but expressed shock that little action had been done to address the situation.

Mr Ntow said the number of children that died of diarrhoea were a stark indication of the human cost of insufficient investment and called for immediate and pragmatic steps to reverse the sad trend.

“Diarrhoea is a major health crisis facing Africa. It is the second biggest killer of under-fives, yet neither governments nor donors are paying enough attention to this deadly disease,” he said.

“African leaders must implement and independently monitor the Sham El-Sheik and eThekwini commitments on water and sanitation as well as collaborate with international counterparts including the G8 in order to mobilize international efforts to support African commitments especially in areas that border on water and sanitation,” Mr Ntow said.

Source – Modern Ghana

Bangladesh: Community-Led Total Sanitation – breaking a dirty old habit in Bangladesh

Dinajpur district residents have stopped defecating in the open because of the children’s total sanitation campaign that follows a radical community-led approach.

A procession of children march through a village in Dinajpur demanding an end to open defecation. Photo: Pal Bangladesh

A procession of children march through a village in Dinajpur demanding an end to open defecation. Photo: Pal Bangladesh

Whistle blowing is a favorite pastime among children in the villages of Dinajpur district in northern Bangladesh. They would blow their whistles when they spot fellow villagers, often adults, defecating in the open, chasing the surprised offenders who would then pull their pants up and attempt to escape the noise and humiliation. […] Within 6 months, they shamed some 250 people from different villages. Besides the whistling and flag-marking, the children also march around villages, chanting slogans against open defecation (OD), sending a direct message to all villagers about the dirty old habit.

The children’s involvement in this direct action against OD is part of the Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS), “an integrated approach to achieving and sustaining open defecation free status.” The children know that their efforts help protect their own and their communities’ health, and adults include them in community decision-making.

[…] Designed by social development specialist Dr. Kamal Kar, CLTS was introduced by Plan, an international development agency, to some 200 villages in Dinajpur in 2004.

[…] In CLTS, hands-off facilitation is important. The rule of thumb for social development facilitators is to trigger self-realization, and not to lecture. Instant provision of hardware-latrines or toilets-are also discouraged. Villagers have to realize first that the problem is staring at them right in the face. The CLTS approach helps communities recognize that they need such sanitation facilities, that they should mobilize themselves to build their own toilets, and that everyone in the village should contribute to achieve “total sanitation.”

[…] Today, most Dinajpur villages have achieved “open defecation free” (ODF) status and, thanks to Plan’s efforts, a number of villages in several districts have also adopted the CLTS approach.

The children’s campaign is the just the beginning. CLTS allows villagers to generate their own ideas for improvement, take control of development processes and decision-making, and manage and sustain the activities. Often, CLTS has led to improving latrine designs, adopting hygienic practices, managing solid waste and wastewater, protecting drinking water sources, and other environmental activities.

Some villagers, however, can prove to be more difficult than others. Ferdousi said, “Two years to convert everyone is not enough, but we will keep on raising awareness.”

Plan now promotes CLTS in other countries in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. A CLTS Handbook, published in 2008, is also available for social development facilitators.

Related web site: Community-led Total Sanitation – Bangladesh

See also: Whistle blowers put a stop to open defecation, Plan Bangladesh, 28 Mar 2008

Source: Cezar Tigno, ADB, Jan 2009

South Africa – Women still face raw deal

A damning report has highlighted horrific shortfalls in the provision of water and sanitation and the failure to end violence against women and children in some of South Africa’s poorest provinces.

The report by the Presidential Working Group on Women (PWGW) comes as women and gender rights groups yesterday called for stronger political leadership in the fight to stop violence against women.

President Thabo Mbeki, who addressed the PWGW in Pretoria on Tuesday, has also come down hard – giving the group a four-week deadline to expand their organisation to see what is needed to be done to alleviate the plight of women and children.

More – IOL/South Africa

Sierra Leone – Moa Wharf Faces Poor Sanitation

Moa wharf is home to an estimated population of seven thousand people, many of them children. Many of these children are affected illness due to the poor sanitation of the community.

Many of the children of Moa wharf do not attend school, as they are too busy working as fisherman.

These young children, between the ages of nine and sixteen, consider fishing as a lucrative job for them to get money to support their family, as some are the sole bread winners of their families.

Life in Moa wharf, as in many Sierra Leonean slums, is difficult and unhealthy. Hundreds of thousands of people suffer in conditions too poor to sustain a healthy life.

Read More – allAfrica

Africa: Unicef Reports Five Million Child Deaths Every Year

Stephanie Nieuwoudt 

(…) The report, “The State of Africa’s Children 2008,” was launched on May 28 at the Fourth Tokyo International Conference on African Development in Japan.

(…)  The facts are shocking. Although Africa accounts for only 22 percent of births globally, half of the 10 million child deaths annually occur on the continent. Africa is the only continent that has seen rising numbers of deaths among children under five since the 1970s.  Many of these children die of preventable and curable diseases. UNICEF’s report says malaria is the cause of 18 percent of under-five deaths in Africa. Diarrhoeal diseases and pneumonia — both illnesses that thrive in poor communities where sanitation is severely compromised, and where residents are often undernourished and exposed to pollution — account for a further 40 percent of child deaths. Another major killer is AIDS. (…)

Read all ipsnews.net

More at UNICEF Newsline (including Press Release and the Report itself)

Cameroon – Diarrhea: a rampant disease among children below 5?

Most kids in Cameroon battle diarrhea from time to time, but the good news is that it’s often caused by infections that don’t last long and usually are more disruptive than dangerous.

Still, it’s important to know what to do to relieve and even prevent diarrhea. In an interview conducted by Elvis Teke, Dr. Serge EMALEU paints a picture of the disease and how it can be controlled.

Elvis Teke: What are the most common causes of Diarrhea?

Dr. Serge EMALEU: Diarrhea — frequent runny or watery bowel movements (poop) — is usually brought on by gastrointestinal (GI) infections caused by viruses, bacteria, or parasites.

The specific germs that cause diarrhea can vary among geographic regions depending on their level of sanitation, economic development, and hygiene. For example, in our country with poor sanitation and where human waste is sometime used as fertilizer often have outbreaks of diarrhea when intestinal bacteria or parasites contaminate crops or drinking water.

Read More – Cameroon RT