Issue 164 | Oct 3, 2014 | World Habitat Day: Focus on Slums
The first Monday in each October is World Habitat Day. This year the theme is Voices from Slums. This issue of the weekly contains news of upcoming urban events, urban innovation awards, recent urban WASH studies, and other reports and resources on issues faced by the urban poor.
World Habitat Day: Voices from Slums, October 6, 2014 – Link
Each year World Habitat Day takes on a new theme chosen by the United Nations based on current issues relevant to the habitat agenda. The themes are selected to bring attention to UN-Habitat’s mandate to promote sustainable development policies that ensure adequate shelter for all. This year’s theme, Voices from Slums, is intended to give voice to slum dwellers for improving quality of living conditions in existing slums. This is the UN’s official website for the event.
International Conference on Urban Health, March 9-12, 2015, Bangladesh – Link
The International Society for Urban Health is an association of researchers, scholars, professionals, community members, and workers and activists from various disciplines, roles, and areas of the world whose work is directly related to the health effects of urban environments and urbanization. The International Conference on Urban Health provides an international forum for information exchange among urban health stakeholders. The theme for the 2015 conference is Urban Health for a Sustainable Future: The Post 2015 Agenda.
URBAN HEALTH STUDIES
USAID/WASHplus Urban Health Updates – Link
Urban Health Updates contains more than 800 peer-review articles and “gray” literature reports on health issues faced by the urban poor.
Urban Health: It’s Time to Get Moving! Global Health Science & Practice, May 2014. V Barbiero. Link
Policy makers must commit to a long-term action plan that addresses the triple burden of health issues faced by growing urban populations. A comprehensive global urban health strategy is in order; one similar to the global approach to HIV/AIDS, polio eradication, and malaria. The strategy should build on the urban experience, both positive and negative, from all regions of the globe and provide a clear vision and programmatic guidance.
Trends in Childhood Mortality in Kenya: The Urban Advantage Has Seemingly Been Wiped Out. Health Place, Sept 2014. E Kimani-Murage. Link
The narrowing gap between urban and rural areas may be attributed to the deplorable living conditions in urban slums. To reduce childhood mortality, extra emphasis is needed on the urban slums.
Vulnerability to Food Insecurity in Urban Slums: Experiences from Nairobi, Kenya.Journal of Urban Health, Aug 2014. E W Kimani-Murage. Link
The study found a high prevalence of food insecurity in Nairobi slums; 85 percent of the households were food insecure, with 50 percent being severely food insecure. Factors associated with food security include level of income, source of livelihood, household size, dependence ratio, illness, perceived insecurity, and slum of residence.
URBAN INNOVATION AWARDS
Stanford Freshwater Solution Gets Global Recognition. Stanford News, Sept 2014. R Jordan. Link
During the recent World Water Week in Stockholm, the Stanford Woods Institute’s Water, Health and Development Program won a $15,000 prize and international recognition for the design of a community-scale, fully automated chlorine dosing device that can be installed on shared water points in low-income urban settings. The device requires neither reliable electricity nor 24/7 supply to function consistently.
Reed Elsevier Announces 2014 Environmental Challenge Winners, Sept 2014. Link
Reed Elsevier, a provider of professional information solutions, announced the winners of its 2014 Environmental Challenge, which supports innovative solutions to improve sustainable access to safe water and sanitation. The $50,000 first prize winner is Sustainable Sanitation Design. It has developed a unisex urinal—a sanitation service product serving both urban users and farmers through the collection of safe and cheap organic fertilizers. Prize money will allow production of the first 10,000 units for residents of urban slums in Kampala, Uganda. Support from the Reed Elsevier Environmental Challenge will also allow Sustainable Sanitation to construct, install, and maintain 150 devices serving 10,000 people in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
International Water Association 2014 Project Innovation Awards. Awards Link | Blue Diversion Website
This year’s winner in the applied research category is Blue Diversion, created by Eawag and EOOS and supported by Tribecraft, Switzerland. The goal of the Blue Diversion project is to provide a hygienic toilet for urban slums without connection to running water, grid electricity, or sewers that offers high personal comfort, including access to water, at a price of 5¢ per person per day.
Tech Museum of Innovation Tech Awards 2014, presented by Applied Materials. (Link)
This international awards program honors 10 innovators each year from around the world that are applying technology to confront humanity’s most urgent challenges. One of the 2014 winners is Sanergy. Sanergy has opened 387 Fresh Life franchises in the Mukuru slum in Nairobi, providing more than 15,000 residents with access to sanitary toilets, and economically supporting 190 Fresh Life operators, most of whom are women.
Grant Funding from the Canadian Government’s Grand Challenge to Peepoople Kenya, 2014. Link
Grand Challenges Canada, funded by the Canadian Government, has selected the Peepoo project in Kenya as a part of its program of Bold Ideas with Big Impact in Global Health. Peepoo is a personal, single-use, self-sanitizing, fully biodegradable toilet that prevents feces from contaminating the immediate area as well as the surrounding ecosystem. After use, Peepoo turns into valuable fertilizer that can improve livelihoods and increase food security.
URBAN WASH REPORTS
Sanitation 21: A Planning Framework for Improving City-Wide Sanitation Services, 2014. J Parkinson. Link
Various new planning methodologies have been developed and applied, embodying a shift in thinking on sanitation issues. The experiences from these planning approaches are incorporated into the Sanitation21 planning framework, which epitomizes the new generation of sanitation master planning. Unlike conventional master planning approaches, these planning approaches consider a wider range of aspects of sanitation that are not specifically related to infrastructure. These relate to issues of poverty, inequity, land ownership, environmental concerns, or the wider political economy.
The Limits and Possibilities of Prepaid Water in Urban Africa: Lessons from the Field, 2014. C Heymans. Link
This study explores the potential of prepaid water meters for serving urban poor communities. It provides urban utilities, oversight agencies, and other stakeholders in Africa with a basis for decision making on the suitability, introduction, and management of such meters.
The Urban Water Supply Guide: Service Delivery Options for Low-Income Communities, 2014.Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP). Link
Providing improved water supply to low-income urban communities is a difficult challenge faced by water utilities throughout Africa and Asia. This guide provides an introduction to available options for serving these communities. The guide draws on sector experience in general, and more particularly on WSUP’s extensive experience of implementing urban WASH programs in sub-Saharan Africa and elsewhere.
Guide to Health Care Waste Management for the Community Health Worker, 2014. USAID DELIVER Project. English version | French version
This publication provides practical guidance for community health workers on how to safely handle and dispose of hazardous waste. It describes the basic principles of waste management and offers solutions for managing the waste generated from everyday activities carried out in the community.
Financing Sanitation and Cost Recovery in the Slums of Dar es Salaam and Kampala. Habitat International, July 2014. M Pieter van Dijka. Link
Governments could recognize the importance of household level or private solutions and support them, for example, by promoting more appropriate governance structures and cost recovery systems, reorganizing the emptying system to bring down its cost, and involving small scale producers.
Irrigated Urban Vegetable Production in Ghana: Characteristics, Benefits and Risk Mitigation, 2014. P Dreschel. Link
This report highlights not only the important contribution of urban vegetable production for farmers and society, but also possible risks and risk perceptions related to the use of polluted water sources. It contains health risk assessments and outlines options for risk mitigation, which were studied in Ghana in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the World Health Organization.
Handshake: IFC’s Quarterly Journal on Public-Private Partnerships, 2014. International Finance Corporation. Link
This issue of Handshake delves into municipal solid wastes. Poorly managed waste has an enormous impact on residents’ health, the local and global environment, and the economy; improperly managed waste usually results in higher down-stream costs than what it would have cost to manage the waste properly in the first place.
Solid Waste Management and Social Inclusion of Waste Pickers: Opportunities and Challenges, 2014. M Marello. Link
This paper explores the opportunities and challenges inherent in cooperation between municipal solid waste systems and waste picker cooperatives. There is growing enthusiasm about waste picker inclusion, often as part of “integrated solid waste management.” The World Bank and the InterAmerican Development Bank, for example, have both funded projects to support waste picker integration into formal sector recycling.
OTHER URBAN REPORTS
State of African Cities 2014, Re-Imagining Sustainable Urban Transitions, 2014. UN HABITAT. Link
Ubiquitous urban poverty and urban slum proliferation, so characteristic of Africa’s large cities, is likely to become an even more widespread phenomenon under current urban development trajectories, especially given the continuing and significant shortfalls in urban institutional capacities. Therefore, this report argues for a radical re-imagination of African approaches to urbanism, both to strengthen the positive impacts of Africa’s current transition and to improve urban living and working conditions.
WorldRisk Report 2014: Focus: The City As a Risk Area, 2014. United Nations University. Link
Under the thematic focus “The City As a Risk Area,” this report shows that urbanization need not inevitably bring about changes in risk levels. The crucial aspect is how urbanization develops—whether the new houses and settlements are situated in exposed zones, whether urban growth is well coordinated, and whether it goes hand in hand with investment in sanitation and power supply, educational facilities, and infrastructure.