Tag Archives: IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre

How much does it cost to build a traditional latrine?

A new video by IRC’s WASHCost project examines the full costs of building traditional latrines in Mozambique.

Cost data is essential for planning by the governments. In Mozambique, this is done by local authorities. There are many challenges in getting the right data. One of them is getting data on sanitation and the investments made by households themselves, in particular when latrines are constructed with local materials.

WASHCost Mozambique managed to calculate the estimated total costs for building a traditional latrine. The cost data shows that families are massively contributing to improving public health. The data also shows that promotion of hygiene and sanitation is really worth the effort.

When there is promotion, families build latrines and spend money on them.

For more on the life-cycle costs of sanitation and hygiene read:

For more on sanitation in Mozambique read:

Full-chain sanitation services that last

Full-Chain-Sanitation-cover2.6 billion people are waiting for a toilet and the faecal sludge of an additional 1.5 billion people never gets treated.  In the face of these indeed formidable challenges, the sanitation sector seems to have forgotten to celebrate the growing sense that we are getting a grip on how to tackle the problem of non-sewered sanitation.  A new IRC paper [1] is an invitation to everyone to contribute by commenting on the framework and by sharing lessons learnt.

The framework presented for non-sewered sanitation is based on a few key principles:

  • Sanitation is a public good and hence, national and local governments have a key responsibility to ensure that sanitation services that last are provided to all.
  • The parameters for a sustainable sanitation service need to be built around access and use; operation and maintenance and safe faecal sludge management.
  • The framework identifies political and individual commitment as a key condition for sustainable sanitation services.
  • In addition, a sanitation service contains the following components: the enabling environment, the creation of demand, the supply chains, and well aligned financial arrangements and incentives.
  • With increasing sanitation coverage, the focus of a sanitation service needs to shift from increasing access to and use of latrines (getting onto the sanitation ladder) to O&M and the safe disposal or productive uses of faecal sludge.

The framework serves as a starting point for the development of a functioning sanitation service.  However, the main argument of the framework is not towards a certain approach for demand creation or sanitation marketing but towards including and interlinking all four components and to consciously create political support for sanitation – creating a sustainable service that lasts.

We welcome your feedback and comments to further improve the framework and we are especially keen on learning from you how different components of sanitation framework can and are being operationalized and interlinked.

Most of all we want this framework to support the improvement of our collective impact so that the long wait for 1.6 billion can end.

Looking forward to hear from you,

Joep Verhagen

[1] Verhagen, J. and Carrasco, M., 2013. Full-chain sanitation services that last : non-sewered sanitation services. The Hague, The Netherlands: IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre. 14 p. : 2 boxes, 1 fig., 2 tab. 13 ref. Available at: <http://www.irc.nl/page/79976>

Call for abstracts: West Africa Workshop “Towards sustainable total sanitation”:

West Africa Learning and Exchange Workshop “Towards sustainable total sanitation”

Cotonou, Benin, 12-14 November 2013

Organised by: IRC, UNICEF, WaterAid and SNV

This workshop targets sanitation practitioners that have hands-on experience with the implementation of Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) programmes and projects and aims to bring together professionals working on rural sanitation in West Africa, particularly practitioners, researchers, policy makers, and people from government agencies, donors and media.

It will emphasise the role of CLTS, with a geographical focus on West Africa; the roles of hygiene/sanitation behaviour change and the enabling environment around CLTS and other sanitation improvement approaches.

The workshop will build on the sanitation life cycle framework as developed by IRC and also reflect on methodological experience from IRC’s past learning and sharing exchanges and workshops in the field of Sanitation & Hygiene.

The participation fee is free although participants must take care of their own travel and accommodation costs.

Abstract deadline: 23 August 2013

More information at: www.irc.nl/page/79226

Read the First Announcement and Call for Abstracts

Sustaining sanitation – Pan European Networks interviews Joep Verhagen

Joep-Verhagen-PEN-interviewIn an interview with Pan European Networks, IRC Senior Sanitation Specialist Joep Verhagen explains how sanitation efforts need to begin to increase their focus on sustainability.

EU aid for water and sanitation hit a record €1.6bn in 2009, but in March 2012 the EU announced plans to redirect development to ‘the world’s neediest nations’ with fears that this could harm sanitation efforts in Latin America, Asia and possibly some sub-Saharan African countries. Joep Verhagen shares his thoughts on the EU plans and on how knowledge-sharing partnerships and research are helping to provide sustainable solutions to existing rural and urban sanitation problems.

Read the full interview

International Women’s Day in Asia: celebrating women in sanitation

In a new video, Mayadevi and Kaman (Nepal),  Toan and Thinh (VietNam) and  Tshering, Drukda, Tashi and Deschen (Bhutan) share stories about women’s participation, leadership and their changing roles in promoting sanitation and hygiene in  Nepal, Bhutan and Viet Nam.

The video is from SNV’s Sustainable Sanitation and Hygiene for All Programme (SSH4A), which has been implemented by local governments and partners in 17 districts across Nepal, Bhutan, Laos, Viet Nam and Cambodia since 2008. It aims to provide one million people with access to improved hygiene and sanitation facilities by the end of 2015. As the approach aims at addressing access to sanitation for all, addressing gender issues and inequalities is key.

SSH4A is a partnership between SNV, the Governments of the Netherlands, Nepal, Bhutan, Laos, Viet Nam and Cambodia in Asia and the IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre with support from AusAID and DFID.

Learn more about SSH4A at www.snvworld.org/node/3779 and www.irc.nl/ssh4a

In Bangladesh, IRC is supporting BRAC  to measure behavioural change in the   BRAC  WASH II programme. Christine Sijbesma of IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre and Mahjabeen Ahmed of the BRAC share their thoughts and experiences with monitoring sanitation and hygiene behaviour of women in the programme in a recent blog post [1].

The QIS monitoring system that is being used gives special attention to gender and sanitation. First because many of the indicators differentiate between women and men. Secondly because data collection for each sample is duplicated by a male and a female monitoring team.  Interestingly, preliminary results show that virtually all the male and female monitoring teams members gave the same scores for the gender indicators.

[1] Bangladeshi women catch up on sanitation, IRC, 08 March 2013

Innovative monitoring tools such as the Qualitative Information System (QIS), sanitation ladders and SenseMaker® are being used in a programme that seeks to provide sustainable sanitation and hygiene services to almost 55 million people in Bangladesh.

A field tool for sanitation marketing surveys in Bangladesh

Consultant-led sanitation marketing surveys typically take months to produce a thick report with largely impractical recommendations.

The IRC International Water and Sanitation is developing a field tool that delivers, within just one week, a one-page overview matching sanitation supply and demand.

The tool, a sanitation marketing dashboard, was tested in two unions in one of the upazilas (sub-districts) covered by the BRAC WASH II programme.

Preliminary results revealed for instance that the quality of construction and hygiene promotion needed improvement.

An updated version of the tool will be used in six to nine representative upazilas in the BRAC WASH II programme.

For more information contact: Erick Baetings or Ingeborg Krukkert at IRC.

IRC-BRAC WASH II
Sanitation Demand and Supply Study

Source: Erick  Baetings, IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre

Source: Erick Baetings, IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre

Renewed research call for low-cost sanitation technologies in Bangladesh [deadline18 Feb 2013]

IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre announces a renewed research call for:

Low-cost sanitation technologies for areas with high water tables

This call is part of the BRAC WASH II programme in which EUR 1.5 million will be used for innovative research, tendered to consortia of leading European and Bangladeshi research organisations.

The planned duration of the research project will be 18 months.

The anticipated cost of the project is EUR 325,000. In addition there is EUR 50,000 available for piloting. (Separate budget needs to be included for this).

Download the BRAC Call Applicants Guide

Download the Application form

Application forms should be sent to bracactionresearch@irc.nl

The deadline for submission of full proposal application forms is: 18 February 2013.

Future research calls will focus on low-cost water supply technologies; Geo-referenced database for monitoring; menstrual hygiene management; and saline intrusion.

Please do not send requests for information or applications to the Sanitation Updates blog.

WASH in Schools e-debate results feed into key international working groups

WinS-e-debate-2

From September to November 2012, IRC hosted three e-debates around topics inspired by the SWASH+ Project, an action-research school WASH project in Kenya.

The results from the debates have infiltrated key international working groups. These include the JMP Post-2015 Working Groups, the Sustainable Sanitation Alliance (SuSanA) and the UNICEF WASH in schools working group.

The three e-debates attracted 27 participants who submitted 31 arguments in total.

The e-debate questions were:

  • Are the JMP Post-2015 indicators on WASH in schools a step in the right direction?
  • Does external funding for WASH in Schools undermine national & local commitment?
  • Will local governments ever be able to meet policy obligations?

Read the full summary report at:  http://www.washinschools.info/page/2396