WHO Bulletin – Redefining shared sanitation

Redefining shared sanitation. WHO Bulletin, April 2015.

Authors: Thilde Rheinländer, Flemming Konradsen, Bernard Keraita, Patrick Apoya & Margaret Gyapong

Current definitions do not account for the diversity of shared sanitation: all shared toilet facilities are by default classified as unimproved by JMP because of the tendency for shared toilets to be unmanaged and unhygienic. However, we argue that shared sanitation should not be automatically assumed to be unimproved. We also argue that it is necessary to have a new look at how we define shared sanitation and use specific sub-categories including household shared (sharing between a limited number of households who know each other), public toilets (intended for a transient population, but most often the main sanitation facility for poor neighbourhoods) and institutional toilets (workplaces, markets etc.).

This sub-classification will identify those depending on household shared sanitation, which we consider to be only a small step away from achieving access to private and improved sanitation. This sub-category of shared sanitation is, therefore, worth discussing in greater detail. Experiences from Ghana and other sub-Saharan African countries illustrate how household shared sanitation may well fit with culturally acceptable sanitation choices and not necessarily be unhygienic. Indeed, household shared sanitation may be the only realistic option that brings people the important first step up the sanitation ladder from open defecation to a basic level of sanitation.

India sanitation initiative wins prestigious UN prize

Training women in Nadia District, Sabar Shouchagar programme

Training women in Nadia District,. Photo credit: Sabar Shouchagar programme

The UN has awarded one of their prestigious 2015 Public Service Awards to Nadia district in West Bengal for their sanitation initiative Sabar Shouchagar (Toilets for All).

Bordering on Bangladesh,  the rural district has a population of 5.4 million of whom nearly 2 million or 40% practised open defecation in 2013.  This was in sharp contrast with neighbouring Bangladesh, where only 4% of the people practise open defecation. This realisation sparked the district to start pooling available government resources and develop the Sabar Shouchar concept.

Besides pooling government funds, the concept involved mass awareness campaigns, parternships with NGOs, focus on women and children as change agents, rural sanitation marts, transforming district administration and a 10% mandatory user contribution to cost of toilet construction.

All this resulted in Nadia becoming the first Indian district to be declared open defecation free on 30 April 2015.

2015 UNPSA Banner10

Nadia district will receive its award from the United Nations Secretary-General on 23 June 2015 in Medellin, Colombia.

For more information go to: sabarshouchagar.in

Source: Indian Express, 8 May 2015

Toilet humour is serious business [video]

An inspirational (and funny) TEDx talk on the impact of school sanitation on girls in India.

Told by Australian busnessman, Mark Balla whose visit to the world’s largest slum Dharavi changed his life and turned him into a “toilet warrior”.

Mark is the Founder and Director of Community Engagement at We Can’t Wait.

USAID Sanitation Webinar

USAID Sanitation Webinar, April 28, 2015

More than 2.5 billion people lack access to improved sanitation worldwide. In this webinar, USAID’s Jesse Shapiro discusses and responds to participant questions about the impacts of sanitation; critical challenges to improving sanitation; the sanitation ladder and service chain; and programmatic interventions to improve sanitation.

Urban Sanitation in Bo City, Sierra Leone: A Study on Knowledge, Attitude and Practices

A Summary on Urban Sanitation in Bo City, Sierra Leone: A Study on Knowledge, Attitude and Practices, 2015. 

Authors: Bockarie Abdel Aziz Bawoh, Welthungerhilfe M&E Officer; Swaliho Koroma, Bo City Council Waste Officer

Coordinated by Raphael Thurn, Welthungerhilfe Project Advisor

Published in April 2015 by Bo City Council and Welthungerhilfe Bo, Sierra Leone

Contact wash@welthungerhilfe.de to request the full report.

Conclusions and Recommendations
This study has shown that the general level of knowledge of people about proper solid and liquid waste management is in many areas not profound enough to ensure systematically behavioural changes in the future. Furthermore the indiscriminate disposal of solid and liquid waste by local households is common and widespread. It needs to be understood that the existing sanitation facilities
of households are often not meeting minimum standards3. The capacities and infrastructure of the public and private sector to efficiently address these challenges are insufficient to ensure the provision of quality services to the residents of Bo City. There is also very little knowledge and information about concepts like reuse, recycling, waste minimization and separation.

Strategies to improve household solid and liquid waste management in Bo City and its environs are recommended to consider these identified deficiencies. One focus should lie on increasing the knowledge on health and environmental implications of inadequate solid and liquid waste management. It will be prudent to encourage community involvement in waste management whereby the communities have a sense of responsibility towards their own health and environment. Another aspect is to improve government involvement through provision of sufficient funds, equipment (especially for sludge emptying), capacity building and manpower, and to create an enabling environment for private investments in solid and liquid waste management including the waste collection, transportation, trading, reuse and recycling sector. Information needs to be disseminated on methods and practices of reuse and recycling and local markets for waste traders and recyclers need to be further developed. Steps taken in these directions could help to achieve improved sanitary conditions in Bo City and its environs and also reduce the spread of preventable diseases.

Making Sanitation and Hygiene Safer- Reducing Vulnerabilities to Violence

Making Sanitation and Hygiene Safer- Reducing Vulnerabilities to Violence. Frontiers of CLTS: Innovations and Insights, Issue 5, May 2015.

Authors: Sarah House and Sue Cavill.

CLTS aims for total sanitation where no-one practices open defecation, which in itself has potential to reduce vulnerabilities to violence. Concerns over safety, privacy or dignity when using sanitary facilities can however lead to the facilities not being used or only being used during hours of darkness.

Whilst poor design or siting of latrines or hygiene related facilities are not the root cause of violence, these issues can contribute to increased vulnerabilities to violence, as well as fear of violence, which can affect the usage of the facilities and also the ability of communities to become and remain ODF.

This issue of Frontiers of CLTS focuses on the issue of safety and vulnerabilities to violence that women, girls and sometimes boys and men can face which are related to sanitation and hygiene.

It points out areas in which CLTS methodologies, if not used skilfully with awareness and care, can run the potential risk of creating additional vulnerabilities, for example as a by-product of community pressure to reach ODF.

It also looks at good practices within organisations to ensure that those working in the sector know how to programme to reduce vulnerabilities to violence and to ensure that sector actors also do not become the perpetrators of, or face violence.

WASHplus Weekly: Focus on Hygiene

WASHplus Weekly – Issue 190| May 8, 2015 | Focus on Hygiene

This issue focuses on hygiene advocacy, hygiene promotion, and hygiene in emergency settings. Included are webinars; a toolkit; a literature review from the Global Public-Private Partnership for Handwashing; a blog post by Orlando Hernandez, USAID/WASHplus project; IRC and BRAC reports on handwashing promotion; World Health Organization (WHO) hygiene guidelines for Ebola and other emergencies; and other studies and resources. WASHPlus_HTMLbanner_weekly_600x159

WEBINARS

Healing Hands: The Role of Hand Hygiene in Healthcare Globally. May 2015. Global Public-Private Partnership for Handwashing (PPPHW). Link
PPPHW hosted this webinar to discuss the importance of hand hygiene in health care, the challenges of achieving good hand hygiene, and lessons for improving hand hygiene in health care settings. The speakers included Benedetta Allegranzi, the WHO’s Lead for the Clean Care is Safer Care program, Cyrus Engineer, director of the Healthcare Management Program at Towson University, and Robert Aunger from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Handwashing and Global Food Hygiene: A World Health Day Webinar. April 2015. PPPHW. Link
This webinar explores why food hygiene matters for child health in the global context. It includes a case study from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine about a creative food and handwashing behavior change intervention in Nepal; WASHplus’s Julia Rosenbaum talks about small doable actions; and UNICEF discusses the successes and challenges associated with its group handwashing and mid-day meal program in India.

TOOLKITS

Hygiene Advocacy Toolkit, 2015. PPPHW. Link
Developed by PPPHW, in cooperation with the UNICEF/WHO Joint Monitoring Programme’s Advocacy and Communications Group, this hygiene advocacy toolkit is an evidence-based resource that outlines why hygiene must be a priority in the post-2015 development agenda and beyond. The role of hygiene in the global development agenda is misunderstood. This toolkit seeks to address any confusion and provide the necessary facts and talking points to successfully advocate for the inclusion of hygiene in the Post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals.

Community Handwashing Guide: Utilizing Available Resources to Initiate a Handwashing InterventionWorld Med Health Policy, Mar 2014. MP Sandhu. Link (The full text of this article can be downloaded free of charge through May 2015.)
In this article, the current handwashing recommendations and their applicability to hygiene interventions in developing nations were examined. The results of this review suggested that a new handwashing paradigm is needed to address the varying resources available for hand hygiene. Thus, a novel community handwashing guide was developed. This guide emphasizes the importance of increasing access to physical handwashing resources in developing communities, and can be applied to communities regardless of their socioeconomic status. The community handwashing guide promotes sustainable, incremental improvements in hygiene within a community, and is a more feasible approach than previous recommendations.

LITERATURE REVIEWS

Handwashing Research Summary: What We Learned about Handwashing in the First Quarter of 2015.  L McCay, PPPHW. Link
Between January and March 2015, 16 relevant peer-reviewed handwashing studies were published. This review discusses studies on the benefits of handwashing, measurement of handwashing behavior, handwashing “hardware,” and other topics.

Improving Household Food Hygiene in a Development Context, 2015. M Woldt, FANTA. Link
This literature review presents information on foodborne disease and key areas and considerations at the household level to reduce foodborne contaminants in developing countries. Recommendations on potential programmatic and research activities related to foodborne disease are also included.

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