Duncan Mara – The elimination of open defecation and its adverse health effects: a moral imperative for governments and development professionals

The elimination of open defecation and its adverse health effects: a moral imperative for governments and development professionalsJournal of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for Development, February 2017. 1.cover-source

In 2015 there were 965 million people in the world forced to practise open defecation (OD). The adverse health effects of OD are many: acute effects include infectious intestinal diseases, including diarrheal diseases which are exacerbated by poor water supplies, sanitation and hygiene; adverse pregnancy outcomes; and life-threatening violence against women and girls.

Chronic effects include soil-transmitted helminthiases, increased anaemia, giardiasis, environmental enteropathy and small intestine bacterial overgrowth, and stunting and long-term impaired cognition. If OD elimination by 2030 is to be accelerated, then a clear understanding is needed of what prevents and what drives the transition from OD to using a latrine.

Sanitation marketing, behaviour change communication, and ‘enhanced’ community-led total sanitation (‘CLTSþ ’), supplemented by ‘nudging’, are the three most likely joint strategies to enable communities, both rural and periurban, to become completely OD-free and remain so.

It will be a major Sanitation Challenge to achieve the elimination of OD by 2030, but helping the poorest currently plagued by OD and its serious adverse health effects should be our principal task as we seek to achieve the sanitation target of the Sustainable Development Goals – indeed it is a moral imperative for all governments and development professionals.

12 ways to turn water from waste to resource – The Guardian

12 ways to turn water from waste to resource. The Guardian, March 27, 2017.

As 80% of the world’s wastewater flows untreated into the environment, we asked an expert panel to discuss how to promote water reuse 

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A pedestrian walks past a wall adorned with water conservation messages in Mumbai. Photograph: Punit Paranjpe/AFP/Getty Images

1 | Highlight success stories

The main message we should give is that proper reuse can save money and generate income, and is good for the environment. In the Netherlands, there is now a wastewater plant that actually generates energy. As a sector we need to highlight such examples, provide technical options and work with the public to raise their awareness about the danger to their health around wastewater. Arjen Naafs, technical adviser, WaterAid South Asia, @Arjen_Naafs,@wateraid

2 | Tackle cultural stigma

Wastewater is often out of sight and out of mind. There is resistance not just from the public to re-use but also from governments and health authorities. In one recent project on wastewater management we demonstrated that water was safe for specific re-use. Christopher Corbin, programme officer, pollution prevention, UN Caribbean Environment Programme, @cristojc, @UNEP_CEP

We have examples of successful reuse – such as biogas installations in Ethiopia fuelling kitchen units, eco-san toilets in peri-urban Mozambique, and a co-composting plant in Bangladesh which produces fertiliser. In all examples, however, it takes a considerable effort for awareness raising and longer term presence. It is possible, but it requires determination and patience. Arjen Naafs

Read the complete article.

12th SuSanA Thematic Discussion: “Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) in Schools – A neglected issue”

While nowadays the topic of MHM is gaining more and more attention, it has widely been neglected in the past. SDG4 (education), SDG5 (gender equality) and SDG6 (water and sanitation) require female friendly sanitation facilities and available informational materials at schools around the globe.

Taking into account the magnitude of the population affected by issues around MHM, schools provide an ideal environment to reach girls as well as young women and to address taboos and misconceptions in a culturally sensitive manner.

The question, however, is how to approach the topic in a culturally sensitive manner?

Running for two weeks from today (March 27 until April 09) the discussion on the SuSanA forum will look at two areas:

Week 1: Breaking the taboo around MHM                                           Thematic Lead: Dr. Marni Sommer (Associate Professor, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health)

 Week 2: Infrastructural barriers and how to monitor MHM            Thematic Lead: Thérèse Mahon (Regional Programme Manager South Asia, WaterAid)

During the discussion, regular summaries of forum entries will be posted to keep you updated on our conversation.

Coordination on behalf of the SuSanA secretariat for this thematic discussion will be carried out by Dr. Bella Monse, Jan Schlenk and Mintje Büürma. For any questions, you can post on the forum or contact us directly at info@susana.org.

To join the discussion, follow: http://bit.ly/2nZn4n6

And to read the first contribution by Marni Sommer, click on: http://bit.ly/2n9JLkv

Wikipedia – World Water Day

World Water Day is an annual event celebrated on 22 March. The day focuses attention on the importance of universal access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) facilities in developing countries.[1] The day also focuses on advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources.[2] 

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A World Water Day celebration in Kenya in 2010

World Water Day is supported by stakeholders across the globe. Many organizations promote clean water for people and sustainable aquatic habitats. Events such as theatrical and musical celebrations, educational events, and campaigns to raise money for access to clean and affordable water are held worldwide on or close to 22 March.[3]

UN-Water selects a theme for each year.[4] Previous themes included: ‘Why waste water?’ (a play on words with ‘Why wastewater?’) in 2017, ‘Water and Jobs’ in 2016, and ‘Water and Sustainable Development’ in 2015.

The first International World Water Day, designated by the United Nations, was commemorated in 1993.[5]

Read the complete article on Wikipedia.

World Water Day 2017 publications by USAID, UN Water, WaterAid, Wikipedia and others

Please let me know if you have others that should be added to the list

Dan Campbell
Knowledge Creation/WASH Specialist, ECODIT
USAID Water Communications and Knowledge Management (CKM) Project
Implemented by a Consortium led by ECODIT
Email: dcampbell@waterckm.com

Join us on @USAIDWater and Global Waters on Medium

WASH is a Key Ingredient in Tackling Poverty in Kenya – Global Waters

WASH is a Key Ingredient in Tackling Poverty in Kenya. Global Waters, March 2017.

Picture a rural household in Kisumu, Kenya. Kale, cowpeas, tomatoes, and butternut grow in a kitchen garden fed by a drip irrigation system. Children help harvest these vegetables for the stew that complements their family’s diet, formally reliant on maize and sorghum. A handwashing station adjacent to the cooking hut and the improved latrine remind family members to wash with soap at critical times.

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A farmer works in a greenhouse at a KIWASH-supported agriculture and nutrition demonstration farm in the largest health facility in Kisumu county. Photo Credit: Eric Onyiego, USAID KIWASH

Thanks to a new community solar-powered borehole, the family is no longer solely dependent on what the rain provides for drinking water. The family garden produces more food than is needed, and the remainder is sold to provide additional income.

Unlike millions of Kenyans, this family is overcoming the cycle of food insecurity, diarrheal disease, malnutrition, and poverty with the support of USAID’s Kenya Integrated Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (KIWASH) Project.

Working to improve the lives and health of one million Kenyans in nine counties, the five-year project (2015–2020) focuses on the development and management of sustainable water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) services and increased access to irrigation and nutrition services.

Read the complete article.

Treating Wastewater as a Resource – Global Waters

Treating Wastewater as a Resource. Global Waters, March 2017.

The theme of World Water Day 2017 — wastewater—provides an ideal moment to pause and reflect on how this often maligned and misunderstood water source can be treated safely to improve public health and enhance quality of life.

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The new Tacloban City Septage Treatment Facility is the first plant of its size in the Philippines to use a process called lime stabilization to treat wastewater. Photo Credit: USAID/Philippines

Thanks to technological advances in wastewater treatment and disposal, as well as improved sanitation management practices, many communities are even recognizing that water, once used, can still be put to productive use — making wastewater a largely untapped renewable freshwater source for increasing food production and facilitating economic development in water-stressed areas.

In celebration of World Water Day, USAID invites you to travel around the world in the photo essay below to see how the Agency’s wastewater programming is helping improve sanitation access, increase water security, drive job creation, and create healthier, more livable communities for millions of people.

View the photo essay.