by Sarah Bramley, WASHplus Project, CARE
Photo credit: PATH
On World Water Day, a day on which people around the world joined together to recognize the importance of safe drinking water, adequate sanitation and hygiene education (WASH), I spent the morning thinking about the number of children who do not have access to these basic necessities at school. Therese Dooley, Senior WASH Advisor for UNICEF once said, “Currently, investment [in schools] can be quite low, and sometimes WASH in schools falls between the cracks…we just need to make sure there is funding allocated and that it does get priority.”
Addressing improvements to water and sanitation in schools has been elevated on the global stage in the last several years. However, more often than not, theseconversations have been missing a key component: key stakeholders in the education sector. The creation of silos between WASH and education has been occurring for years due to funding. All too often grants are awarded with so many guidelines they can only be used for either improvements in WASH or for educational development, which make program collaboration difficult. There are often stipulations that educational funding can’t be used to improve water and sanitation services at school.
In support of World Water Day 2010, publisher Routledge is offering free access to over 100 research articles related to sustaining healthy ecosystems, increasing water quality, access to clean water and contemporary challenges in water management. These articles are available free until the 23rd April 2010.
Journal titles include: Water International, International Journal of Water Resources Development, Development in Practice, Hydrological Sciences Journal, Third World Quarterly, Environmental Politics, Gender & Development (special issue on Water), Knowledge Management for Development Journal (special issue on Learning for the Water Sector) and International Journal on Environmental Studies (special issue on Greywater)
See the full listing.
A world record for the length of a toilet queue was set Sunday when 756 people, including Belgium’s former tennis champion and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Justine Henin, lined up for a latrine in central Brussels to raise awareness for the need for clean water on World Water Day [ 22 March 2009]. The event was organised by the United Nations children’s agency UNICEF. “The latrine was of the same design as we use in third world countries — a dry latrine — and we formed the longest queue this morning,” UNICEF spokesman Benoit Melebeck said. “The Guinness Book of Records told us we needed to get at least 500 people in the queue to get the record,” he said.
Source: Jan Strupczewski, Reuters, 23 Mar 2009
UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Justine Henin. Photo: REUTERS/Sebastien Pirlet
On 12 April students from the capital Thimphu performed dances and skits with the theme “Sanitation Matters” to observe International Sanitation Day/World Water Day. Even though water and sanitation are government priorities and coverage levels have increased, water-related diseases are still among the leading causes of child mortality in Bhutan. The World Food Programme (WFP) is channeling funds to UNICEF for school sanitation. SNV Netherlands Development Organisation plans to implement a Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) programme.
Read more: Source South Asia, 1 May 2008
On World Water Day, 22 March 2008, more than 100 thousand signatures collected from 35 districts of the country were handed over Nepal’s Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala calling for increased funding and a national master plan for sanitation. The signatures were submitted by representatives of WaterAid Nepal, Nepal Water for Health (NEWAH), NGO Forum for Urban Water & Sanitation, Federation of Drinking Water and Sanitation Users’ Nepal, Lumanti Support Group for Shelter and Guthi campaign. The signature campaign was coordinated by the End Water Poverty Campaign secretariat.
PM Koirala said he committed to take necessary steps immediately if concrete suggestions are presented before him for the improvement of sanitation.
Sources: NGO Forum, 24 Mar 2008 ; The Rising Nepal / NGO Forum, 14 Mar 200
To mark World Water Day, members of the End Water Poverty coalition published an open letter in The Times newspaper to the UK Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, calling on his government to commit to making 2008 the year to change the lives of billions of people in the developing world.
Read the open letter here
BANGKOK, Mar 20 (IPS) – New technology, religion and the market must be harnessed to secure basic toilet facilities for Asia’s rural and urban poor, sanitation experts from the region said here Thursday.
Currently, over 2.6 billion people across the world have no access to an organised system of toilets, of which some 1.5 billion people live in the Asia-Pacific region, states Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), a regional U.N. body based in Bangkok, which hosted a conference on sanitation.
And every year, over 200 million tonnes of human waste go uncollected and untreated globally, adds ECSAP. This not only fouls the environment and spreads diseases, but forces the people with no access to toilets to ‘’live in deeper poverty and indignity.’’
‘’If you want to solve the problem, you have to talk about the appropriate technology that works,’’ said Bindeshwar Pathak, founder of India’s Sulabh Sanitation and Social Reform Movement, in a keynote address. ‘’In many developing countries, due to lack of affordable sanitation technology, sanitation coverage was far below the level of satisfaction.’’
Read More – IPS
The Federal Government has expressed willingness to support the construction of one million latrines throughout the country.
In his welcome address at the celebration of the 2008 World Water Day, the Minister of Agriculture and Water Resources, Dr. Sayyadi Abba Ruma, said the ministry will collaborate with other relevant agencies in the sanitation sub-sector to attain the International Year of Sanitation targets which include hand washing campaign as well as building one million latrines.
Read more: Misbahu Bashir, Daily Trust / allAfrica.com, 20 Mar 2008