Experts link poor water and sanitation services to a surge in chronic diseases
Fresh evidence linking rising cases of non communicable diseases (NCD) with poor water and sanitation services in Kenya could inform increased international cooperation over the issue at an international summit next week (19 to 20 September 2011).
Data presented by officials from the Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation (MPHS) during the first National Forum on Non Communicable Diseases in Nairobi identified poor water and sanitation delivery as one of leading causes of cardiovascular diseases, cancer and chronic respiratory diseases.
Ruby Cup. Photo: Makit ApS
Danish firm Makit ApS has been awarded a small grant from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) to further develop and market a menstrual cup for the Kenyan market. Makit is one of twelve companies that have been granted funds of up to 20,000 Euros in the first round of the Swedish Innovations Against Poverty programme.
Ruby Cup is a menstrual cup made of medical grade non-allergenic and non-toxic silicone that can be re‐used up to 10 years. Rather than absorbing the menstrual fluid like disposable products, Ruby Cup collects it during the period. When full, it is emptied, washed, and applied again. In order to ensure hygienic use, the cup needs to be boiled and stored between menstrual periods.
Bringing Water to Where It is Needed Most: Innovative Private Sector Participation in Water & Sanitation, 2011. World Bank.
In this Smart Lessons brochure we share an innovative and diverse range of initiatives from across the World Bank Group. The variety of lessons and experiences in this publication is inspiring, ranging from the Water Footprints Network that supports businesses improving their water use efficiency to the innovative financing mechanisms enabling the expansion of rural water access in Kenya.
An article in Time Magazine highlights the collaboration between the Gates Foundation and Germany in finding innovative solutions for sanitation in developing countries.
The Head of Water, Sanitation & Hygiene department at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Frank Rijsberman, talls about new ideas for using human excrement. “Human waste could be a real gold mine”, he jokes.
In a press conference he told journalists that they didn’t talk politics, but discussed the idea of the “ultimate toilet.”
Unilever through its Lifebuoy soap brand has reached 100,000 students in over 80 schools across Nairobi County its hand washing campaign. The “School of Five” campaign aims to get over one million people across Kenya to pledge to the habit of washing their hands with soap on five occasion throughout the day with the help of trained school children and teachers. The campaign is being jointly implemented by Lifebuoy Kenya and Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP).
Lifebuoy School of Five poster
Unilever contracted popular Kenyan singer Esther Wahome, in a two-year “multi-million shilling” deal, to act us brand ambassador for the Lifebuoy School of Five campaign. In line with the campaign. Mrs Wahome has released a handwashing jingle dubbed Osha Mikono (Wash your hands) to accompany the campaign.
A 2010 clean hands study conducted to check the hand washing habits of Kenyans found that only 15 per cent are aware of the proper hand washing techniques.
Visit the Lifebuoy Facebook page
Source: Stanley Njenga, Nairobi Star / allAfrica.com, 09 Jul 2011 ; Hot Secrets, 25 Apr 2011
June 24, 2011 – Healthy schools improve national academic performance
PUPILS WHO STUDY IN SCHOOLS THAT, FOR INSTANCE, PROVIDE WATER AND SOAP ARE MORE LIKELY TO WASH HANDS THAN THOSE IN SCHOOLS THAT DO NOT HAVE THE FACILITIES
NAIROBI (Xinhua) — Schools that promote a healthy learning environment for pupils help to improve their academic performances, a team of researchers has said.
The researchers said such schools, among other things, ensure that the institutions have access to water and sanitation facilities and teachers engage pupils frequently on discussions about health.
This promotes teaching and learning thus increasing student’s chances of excelling in their academics.
The researchers from the Nairobi-based African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC) worked with 22 primary schools in two informal settlements in Nairobi, Kenya under an initiative dubbed Health Promoting Schools ( HPS ).
NAIROBI, Mar 29 (IPS) – Talk about foul foundations: the Katwekera Tosha Bio Centre is built on the stuff that goes into toilets. This community centre in the Nairobi slum of Kibera goes well beyond solving sanitation problems – it is a model for green energy, a meeting place for locals, and turning a profit for its operators.
The dire sanitation systems available to the hundreds of thousands living in Kibera, often called Africa’s biggest slum, has been well-documented.
Less talked about than the infamous flying toilets – bags full of faeces tossed as far as possible, neighbours beware! – is the challenge of household energy for the urban poor.
The high, and rising cost of fuel – kerosene, paraffin, charcoal, firewood – takes an enormous bite out of the income of poor households. The use of polluting energy sources in closed spaces levies an additional charge against the health of the poor; the wider environmental implications of fossil fuels or inefficiently burned biomass completes a glum accounting.
Every challenge an opportunity
“The Umande Trust is a rights-based agency which believes that modest resources, strategically invested in support of community-led initiatives, can significantly improve access to water and sanitation for all,” says Paul Muchire, the Trust’s communication manager.
Kibera, Kenya – Community Turns Garbage Into Energy Source
A community-based organisation in the Kenyan slum area of Kibera set out to clean up garbage and deal with waste water; Ushiriki Wa Safi ended up creating a community cooker that turns waste into an energy source.
Open sewers and piles of garbage are an all too familiar scene in many of Kenya’s poorest urban areas. Local authorities are invisible in most of these slums, and poor public hygiene and the absence of sanitation leaves residents to their own devices to maintain a level of cleanliness and keep diseases like diarrhoea at bay.
But some have seen this as an opportunity to bring about change to communities. Ushirika Wa Safi – (loosely translated, the name means “an association to maintain cleanliness” in Swahili) – a community-based organisation in Kibera, was formed to deal with the garbage problem in Laini Saba, one of the thirteen villages that form Kibera slums, often described as Africa’s largest.
School children at Thirime primary school, Kikuyu, Kenya on Global Handwashing Day. Photo: Thomas Mukoya-Reuters
Close to 20,000 school children and adults took part in a handwashing campaign in an attempt to establish a new Guinness World Record. They gathered at Thirime Primary School in Kikuyu on 15 October 2010 to mark Global Handwashing Day.
Education Permanent Secretary James Ole Kiyiapi announced that 19,352 people, including 18,302 children and 1,050 adults washed their hands during the event. If recognised, this would break the previous record for the most number of people washing hands at a single venue set by 15,150 students in Chennai, India, in 2009. Plan Bangladesh and partners claim to hold the record for the most number of people washing hands at multiple locations, when 52,970 school children gathered across the country in October 2009.