WASHplus Weekly: Focus on World Toilet Day 2014

Issue 169| Nov 14, 2014 | Focus on World Toilet Day 2014

This issue of the Weekly features websites and reports on World Water Day 2014 as well as other recent sanitation reports and articles that have not been featured in previous issues of the Weekly. November 19 is now formally recognized by the United Nations General Assembly as World Toilet Day. The objective of World Toilet Day is to make sanitation for all a global development priority and urge changes in both behavior and policy on issues ranging from improving water management to ending open defecation.


World Toilet Day 2014 Website. Link
This website contains a wealth of information and resources on World Toilet Day.

WaterAid: It’s No Joke: World Toilet Day 2014. Link
WaterAid is using comedy to get the nation talking toilets. Watch some of Britain’s best-loved comedians go head to head with their toilet-related jokes.

Ten Things You Can Do for UN World Toilet Day. World Toilet Organization. Link
Sustainable sanitation is a matter of dignity, equality, and safety and is crucial to improving the health and well-being of one-third of humanity. What can you do to help make “sanitation for all” a reality this World Toilet Day?

World Toilet Organization. Link
Founded on November 19, 2001, the World Toilet Organization (WTO) is a global nonprofit committed to improving toilet and sanitation conditions worldwide. WTO empowers individuals through education, training, and building local marketplace opportunities to advocate for clean and safe sanitation facilities in their communities.


Picturing CLTS: Photo Competition. Link
The CLTS Knowledge Hub is sponsoring a photo competition and is seeking photos that depict the CLTS approach and/or show different types of CLTS activities, tell a story about what has happened as a result of CLTS, and illustrate related aspects of sanitation and hygiene, e.g., menstrual hygiene  management, hand washing, etc. The winning entries will be published in a special feature on the CLTS website. Both winning and non-winning photos will be used on the CLTS website and in other published materials with full credit to the photographer.

Request for Applications: Partnership with R4D on Scaling WASH Innovations, 2014. Results for Development. Link
Results for Development Institute (R4D) announces a request for applications to become a country or regional partner for a new center focused on scaling innovations in the water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) sector. The center will identify the most promising and innovative WASH programs, policies, and practices and facilitate their scale-up by connecting these programs to others in the field, policy makers, researchers, and potential funders, as well as to the key tools and services they need.


How to Eliminate Open Defecation by 2030. Devex, Oct 2014. J Ahmad. Blog post
The author discusses political will and the need for a focus on behavior change as keys to ending open defecation.

Revealed Preference for Open Defecation: Evidence from a New Survey in Rural North India, 2014. D Coffey. Working Paper | Research Brief
Researchers found a regional preference for open defecation: many survey respondents reported that open defecation is more pleasurable and desirable than latrine use. Among people who defecate in the open, a majority report that widespread open defecation would be at least as good for child health as latrine use by everyone in the village. These findings suggest that intensifying existing policies of latrine construction will not be enough to substantially reduce open defecation.

No Flash in the Pan: How Pour Flush Toilets Are Driving Away South Africa’s Sanitation Backlog, 2014. L van Vuuren. Link
While the ventilated improved pit toilet has become symbolic of basic sanitation in South Africa, with millions of these units being constructed all over the country in the last 20 years, it is the flush toilet that most South Africans aspire to. A new technology developed with funding from the Water Research Commission aims to bridge this gap on the sanitation ladder while restoring dignity, privacy, and safety to people who have been left behind in the drive toward basic services for all.

Rose George: Let’s Talk Crap, Seriously. Video
Two and a half billion people in the world have no access to a basic sanitary toilet. And when there’s no loo, where do you poo? In the street, probably near your water and food sources—causing untold death and disease from contamination. Get ready for a blunt, funny, powerful talk from journalist Rose George about a once-unmentionable problem.

Social and Psychological Impact of Limited Access to Sanitation: The Link between MHM and Reproductive Tract Infections, and between WASH Practices and Pregnancy, 2014. SHARE. Link
The conceptual model of pathways among sanitation access, hygiene practices, and health is evolving as preliminary data emerge. The findings so far suggest that sanitation-related stress and hygiene practices may both contribute to disease risks in women through complex biological, environmental, and social pathways.

Toilets for Health, n.d. E Roma. Link
This London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine report provides statistics on sanitation coverage and the health impacts of poor sanitation.

Sanitation and Education, 2014. A Adukia. Link
At younger ages, girls and boys both benefit substantially from a latrine, regardless of whether it is unisex or sex-specific; at older ages, however, separate latrines become crucial. Pubescent-age girls do not benefit from unisex latrines, and their enrollment increases substantially after the construction of separate sex-specific latrines. These effects persist at least three years after construction, in contrast to the impact of many educational interventions that fade over time.

Sanitation and Health Externalities: Resolving the Muslim Mortality Paradox, 2014. M Geruso. Link
It is the open defecation of one’s neighbors, rather than the household’s own practice, that matters most for child survival. This study found that moving from a locality where everybody defecates in the open to a locality where nobody defecates in the open is associated with a larger difference in child mortality than moving from the bottom quintile of asset wealth to the top quintile of asset wealth.

Cleaning Human Waste: “Manual Scavenging,” Caste, and Discrimination in India, 2014. Human Rights Watch. Link
India’s central government since independence in 1947 has adopted legislative and policy efforts to end manual scavenging. In recent years these include commitments to modernize sanitation so there is no further need for manual disposal of feces, and prohibitions on engaging anyone to do this work. However, because these policies are not properly implemented, people remain unaware of their right to refuse this role, and those who do refuse may face intense social pressure, including threats of violence and expulsion from their village, often with the complicity of local government officials.

Special Report for the Sanitation and Water for All (SWA) High-Level Meeting (HLM): Investing in Water and Sanitation: Increasing Access, Reducing Inequalities, 2014. F Gore. Link
The objective of the UN-Water Global Analysis and Assessment of Sanitation and Drinking-Water (GLAAS) is to monitor the inputs required to extend and sustain WASH systems and services. This third UN-Water GLAAS report presents data from developing countries, covering all the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) regions, and from external support agencies.

We Can’t Wait: A Report on Sanitation and Hygiene for Women and Girls, 2014. Domestos, WaterAid, WSSCC. Link
Working together Unilever, Domestos, WaterAid, and WSSCC recommend that: governments make strengthening the sanitation sector and bringing the MDG target back on track an immediate and urgent political priority. Governments (of both developing and donor countries) across the world keep their promises and implement the commitments made at the national, regional, and global level. Furthermore, they must significantly increase financial resources to the sector, use these resources wisely, and ensure that the most marginalized and vulnerable people are targeted.


Ending Open Defecation in Rural Tanzania: Which Factors Facilitate Latrine Adoption? Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, Sept 2014. S Sara. Link
This analysis examines rural Tanzanian households’ sanitation behaviors and attitudes to identify barriers and drivers to latrine adoption. The inability to pay for upgrading sanitation infrastructure was commonly reported among the households. Future efforts should consider methods to reduce costs and ease payments for households to upgrade sanitation infrastructure. Messages to increase demand for latrine adoption in rural Tanzania should integrate themes of privacy, safety, prestige, and health. Findings indicate a need for lower cost sanitation options and financing strategies to increase household ability to adopt sanitation facilities.

It’s a Girl Thing: Menstruation, School Attendance, Spatial Mobility and Wider Gender Inequalities in Kenya. Geoforum, Sept 2014. S Jewitt. Link
Findings from the study conclude that menstruation and poor sanitary product access affect girls’ school attendance. These girls are further restricted by their lack of mobility and access to resources. Poverty plus tolerance of gendered violence promote girls’ sexual exploitation. Multi-sectoral initiatives are needed to address these gender inequalities.

Association between Social Network Communities and Health Behavior: An Observational Sociocentric Network Study of Latrine Ownership in Rural India. Am Jnl Public Health, May 2014. H Shakya. Link
Three levels of social contacts (direct friends, social network community, and village) significantly predicted individual latrine ownership, but the strongest effect was found at the level of social network communities. In communities with high levels of network cohesion, the likelihood was decreased that any individual would own a latrine; this effect was significant only at lower levels of latrine ownership, suggesting a role for network cohesion in facilitating the non-ownership norm.

Factors Associated with Pupil Toilet Use in Kenyan Primary Schools. Int J Environ Res Public Health, Sept 2014.  J Garn. Link
The study found evidence suggesting facility dirtiness may deter girls from use, but not boys. This study provides insight into the complexity of factors affecting pupil toilet use patterns, potentially leading to a better allocation of resources for school sanitation, and to improved health and educational outcomes for children.

Descending the Sanitation Ladder in Urban Uganda: Evidence from Kampala Slums. BMC Public Health. June 2014.  J Kwiringira. Link
Whereas most sanitation campaigns are geared toward provision of improved sanitation infrastructure, these findings show that mere provision of infrastructure (improved or not) without adequate emphasis on proper use, cleaning, and maintenance triggers an involuntary descent off the sanitation ladder.

The Contribution of Unimproved Water and Toilet Facilities to Pregnancy-Related Mortality in Afghanistan: Analysis of the Afghan Mortality Survey. Trop Med Intl Health, Oct 2014. G Gon. Link
Unimproved household water access was an important risk factor for pregnancy-related mortality in Afghanistan However, this study was unable to discern whether an unimproved water source is a marker of unhygienic environments or socio-economic position. There was weak evidence for the association between unimproved toilet facilities and pregnancy-related mortality; this area requires confirmation from larger studies.

Analysis of Behavioral Change Techniques in Community-Led Total Sanitation Programs. Health Promotion International, Sept 2014. R Sigler. Link
The aims of this study are to: show which behavior change frameworks and techniques are the most common in CLTS interventions; describe how activities are implemented in CLTS interventions by region and context; and determine which activities program implementers considered the most valuable in achieving open defecation status and sustaining it.


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