WASH & Pastoralists – Water Currents

WASH & Pastoralists – Water Currents, September 19, 2017.

Pastoralism is defined by the practice of mobile livestock herding though the term also encompasses pastoral farming and enclosed ranching.

Members of an agro-pastoral community in Kenya tend to their crops. Photo Credit: Eric Onyiego, USAID/Kenya

Members of an agro-pastoral community in Kenya tend to their crops. Photo Credit: Eric Onyiego, USAID/Kenya

While it sounds like an outdated and inefficient way of life, pastoralism is still seen as highly dynamic and intricately linked to the modern world in a way that contributes significantly to national, regional, and international markets, according to the International Institute for Environment and Development.

But there is little doubt that this lifestyle presents significant health challenges and environmental pressures.

This issue of Currents takes a close look at recent studies documenting these challenges—from disease transmission to coping with water scarcity.

Case Studies 
Menstrual Hygiene Management: The Experience of Nomadic and Sedentary Populations in NigerUN WomenWSSCC, March 2017. A study of menstrual hygiene management (MHM) in Niger found that nomadic women have poor MHM practices relative to sedentary women. As this report explains, nomadic communities have limited access to WASH facilities and lack education about MHM.

Seasonal Shifts in Primary Water Source Type: A Comparison of Largely Pastoral Communities in Uganda and Tanzania International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, January 2016. This study addressed the following questions: 1) To what degree do households in Uganda and Tanzania change primary water source type between wet and dry seasons? and 2) How might seasonal changes relate to water quality and health.

Read the complete issue.

Journal of Water, Sanitation & Hygiene for Development, September 2017

Below are links to open access articles in the September 2017; Vol. 7, No. 3 issue.

Editorial – Limited services? The role of shared sanitation in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
Authors: Barbara Evans, Andrés Hueso, Richard Johnston, Guy Norman, Eddy Pérez, Tom Slaymaker and Sophie Trémolet

The role of packaged water in meeting global targets on improved water access
Authors: Sridhar Vedachalam, Luke H. MacDonald, Elizabeth Omoluabi, Funmilola OlaOlorun, Easmon Otupiri and Kellogg J. Schwab

Investigation on microbial inactivation and urea decomposition in human urine during thermal storage
Authors: Xiaoqin Zhou, Yajie Li, Zifu Li, Yue Xi, Sayed Mohammad Nazim Uddin and Yang Zhang

Cultural preferences for the methods and motivation of sanitation infrastructure development
Authors: Miriam E. Hacker and Jessica A. Kaminsky

Sanitation value chains in low density settings in Indonesia and Vietnam: impetus for a rethink to achieve pro-poor outcomes
Authors: Juliet Willetts, Anna Gero, Akhmad Akbar Susamto, Ryan Sanjaya, Thanh Doan Trieu, Janina Murta and Naomi Carrard

 

The impact of sanitation on infectious disease and nutritional status: A systematic review and meta-analysis

The impact of sanitation on infectious disease and nutritional status: A systematic review and meta-analysis. International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health
Volume 220, Issue 6, August 2017, Pages 928-949.

Authors: Matthew Freeman, Joshua Garn, Gloria Sclar, et al.

Background – Sanitation aims to sequester human feces and prevent exposure to fecal pathogens. More than 2.4 billion people worldwide lack access to improved sanitation facilities and almost one billion practice open defecation. We undertook systematic reviews and meta-analyses to compile the most recent evidence on the impact of sanitation on diarrhea, soil-transmitted helminth (STH) infections, trachoma, schistosomiasis, and nutritional status assessed using anthropometry.

Methods and findings – We updated previously published reviews by following their search strategy and eligibility criteria. We searched from the previous review’s end date to December 31, 2015. We conducted meta-analyses to estimate pooled measures of effect using random-effects models and conducted subgroup analyses to assess impact of different levels of sanitation services and to explore sources of heterogeneity. We assessed risk of bias and quality of the evidence from intervention studies using the Liverpool Quality Appraisal Tool (LQAT) and Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development, and Evaluation (GRADE) approach, respectively. A total of 171 studies met the review’s inclusion criteria, including 64 studies not included in the previous reviews. Overall, the evidence suggests that sanitation is protective against diarrhea, active trachoma, some STH infections, schistosomiasis, and height-for-age, with no protective effect for other anthropometric outcomes. The evidence was generally of poor quality, heterogeneity was high, and GRADE scores ranged from very low to high.

Conclusions – This review confirms positive impacts of sanitation on aspects of health. Evidence gaps remain and point to the need for research that rigorously describes sanitation implementation and type of sanitation interventions.

 

The new economy of excrement. Nature, September 13, 2017

The new economy of excrement. Nature, September 13, 2017

Entrepreneurs are finding profits turning human waste into fertiliser, fuel and even food.

On the outskirts of Kigali, Rwanda, septic trucks full of human excrement bump and slosh their way up orange dirt roads to their final destination: the Nduba landfill. Until recently, the trucks would spill their contents into giant open pits.

Will Swanson for Nature Semi-dried sludge on its way to becoming fuel at the Pivot plant in Rwanda

Will Swanson for Nature. Semi-dried sludge on its way to becoming fuel at the Pivot plant in Rwanda.

But since 2015, workers in green jumpsuits have greeted them outside a row of sheds and plastic-roofed greenhouses, ready to process the faecal sludge into a dry, powdery fuel.

The facility is called Pivot, and its founder is Ashley Muspratt, a sanitation engineer who lived in Ghana, Kenya and Rwanda for more than seven years before moving back to the United States last year. Muspratt insists that Pivot is not a treatment plant.

It’s a business. Its product powers local industries such as cement and brick plants. “I describe us as dual sanitation and renewable-fuel company,” Muspratt says. “Our model really is to build factories.”

Muspratt is part of a growing band of entrepreneurs trying to address one of the biggest challenges in public health — poor sanitation — and to turn a profit doing it. According to a report published by the World Health Organization and United Nations children’s charity Unicef in July, 2.8 billion people — 38% of the world’s population — have no access to sewers and deposit their waste in tanks and pit latrines (see ‘Sanitation across nations’).

Read the complete article.

In Haiti, a Building Fights Cholera

In Haiti, a Building Fights Cholera. New York Times, September 12, 2017.

Next month marks the seventh anniversary of the cholera outbreak that ravaged Haiti. The disease, which can cause death within hours if left untreated, came less than a year after Haiti was rocked by an enormous earthquake that left hundreds of thousands dead and millions injured, displaced and destitute.

Haiti is prone to earthquakes and tropical storms — the island was spared the worst of Hurricane Irma last week — but the cholera outbreak was an anomaly; the disease had never before struck Haiti. It was brought in, it is widely believed, by United Nations peacekeepers from Nepal.

A child with cholera symptoms being examined in the Cholera Treatment Center in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Credit Dieu Nalio Chery/Associated Press

A child with cholera symptoms being examined in the Cholera Treatment Center in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Credit Dieu Nalio Chery/Associated Press

One of the world’s most infectious waterborne diseases, cholera spreads quickly and has proved extremely difficult to contain in Haiti. Over 10,000 have died and nearly a million have been stricken to date.

But one organization has managed to nearly eradicate it in a large slum in Port-au-Prince that lacks clean water and sanitation.

One of the game changers that would surprise most people, including global health experts, was actually a building.

It wasn’t just any building, but a very intelligently and beautifully designed one: the Cholera Treatment Center, operated by Les Centres Gheskio, an acronym that stands for the Haitian Group for the Study of Kaposi’s Sarcoma and Opportunistic Infections.

Read the complete article.

Guardian series on the first 1,000 days

Sept 7 – Surviving without thriving – but all is not lost for the world’s ‘stunted’ children

About 159 million under-fives suffer impaired growth and brain development, but now a study is challenging the view that nothing can be done to help them. Feeding interventions alone are not enough. Environmental factors have to be addressed too.

A quarter of all stunting is linked to chronic diarrhoea in the first two years and almost 90% of cases are the result of a lack of clean water, sanitation and hygiene. Air pollution and the use of biomass fuel play a part. Perhaps better gender parity will prove most significant. If stunting begins in the womb, then clearly maternal health is key: shorter mothers are more likely to have stunted children.

Sept 6 – The first 1,000 days: Jay Rayner explains their impact on a child’s future – video

Good nutrition, healthcare and sanitation are crucial to a child’s early development. Without these, a child’s brain won’t develop properly. They will have a lower IQ and they will grow up shorter than they should, a condition known as stunting. The Observer’s food critic, Jay Rayner, explains how a child’s future is determined by the first years of life.

Recent WASH research – September 7, 2017

RECENT USAID WASH-RELATED PUBLICATIONS

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