Learning cloud gives a glimpse of the future of WASH in Asia
Which issues will sanitation and hygiene practitioners focus on in Asia? This was the question posed to the more than 50 professionals attending the 3rd Asia Regional Sanitation and Hygiene Practitioners Workshop which ends today in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Based on the above “learning cloud”, sludge management appears to be a major concern.
Mumbai, 13 October 2011, www-wsscc-global-forum.org
Chair, ladies and gentlemen, colleagues and friends,
That great moral beacon of our times, Nelson Mandela, invites us to judge the importance of an issue not by how glamorous or attractive it is but by how much good it does for how many people. On that basis, sanitation is one of the most important issues in the world. As our Forum draws to a close, I would like to share with you some observations about the subject and some thoughts for the future.
This is an exciting time to be working in sanitation. Historically, sanitation and hygiene have been neglected and underfunded topics characterized by inconsistent approaches and policies, fragmentation and unclear responsibilities. In recent years this has started to change: the United Nations have formally recognized access to safe drinking water and sanitation as a human right, more organizations have become engaged in sanitation and hygiene, and new networks and initiatives have started. Media and political decision-makers are beginning to understand the huge benefits of improved sanitation.
LUSAKA, 11 August 2011 (IRIN) – Charity Muyumbana, 45, has spent her entire adult life contending with recurrent flooding, poor drainage, and a lack of toilets in Kanyama, the sprawling Lusaka township where she lives.
“Most of the people use plastic bags to relieve themselves during the night. They find it more convenient because some toilets are up to 200m away from the house,” she told IRIN.
Photo: Charles Mafa/IRIN
The situation in Kanyama represents a countrywide problem. According to a 2008 study by local NGO the Water and Sanitation Forum, only 58 percent of Zambians have access to adequate sanitation and 13 percent lack any kind of toilet.
While the government has improved water and sanitation in urban areas, this is not the case in unplanned, high density peri-urban settlements like Kanyama where residents complain that lack of space and poor soil make it difficult to construct latrines, and a haphazard road network has contributed to a serious drainage problem.