Recent studies on Emergency WASH

Studies

Understanding the menstrual hygiene management challenges facing displaced girls and women: findings from qualitative assessments in Myanmar and LebanonConflict Health, October 2017. Key findings included that there was insufficient access to safe and private facilities for MHM coupled with displacement induced shifts in menstrual practices by girls and women. Among staff, there was a narrow interpretation of what an MHM response includes, with a focus on supplies; significant interest in understanding what an improved MHM response would include and acknowledgement of limited existing MHM guidance across various sectors; and insufficient consultation with beneficiaries, related to discomfort asking about menstruation, and limited coordination between sectors.

Water, crises and conflict in MENA: how can water service providers improve their resilience? IIED, October 2017. The capacity of local water service providers (state-owned and private) to maintain adequate levels of services has decreased as conflicts and population movements across the region have continued, mainly towards urban areas. Other actors including United Nations agencies, international organisations, local NGOs and independent – often informal – water providers have played an important role in filling gaps in supply. This study analyses all these actors’ responses to continuing the supply of water during conflicts, focusing on factors of resilience building that particularly concern local service providers.

Integration of water, sanitation and hygiene intervention delivery at health facilities with a reactive ring vaccination programme to reduce cholera. International Journal of Epidemiology, February 2017. Globally there are estimated to be 2.8 million cholera cases annually, resulting in 95 000 deaths.1 Ali and colleagues recently reported results on the spatiotemporal risk for cholera and estimated overall and indirect cholera vaccine effectiveness of a ring vaccination programme, by analysing data from an oral cholera vaccine (OCV) trial in Kolkata, India.2 Cohorts in close proximity to a cholera case had a 5–11 times higher risk of cholera during the 1-month period after the onset of case illness when compared with cohorts not exposed to a case.

USAID/OFDA WASH Sector Update: FY2016OFDA. In Fiscal Year (FY) 2016, USAID/OFDA provided approximately $247 million to support WASH programs in more than 35 countries. WASH interventions in emergencies often include construction or repair of latrines, hygiene support, solid waste removal, and the provision of safe, treated water.

Surface water in temporary humanitarian settlementsWaterlines, January 2017. Reviewing core humanitarian engineering texts and global standards, this paper sets out the current state of the art and shows that there is a lack of clarity in the “ownership” of the problem and the established responses are disjointed and poorly articulated, especially at field staff level. Since the core texts have been written, there has been a change in the way surface water is being managed in urban areas. Sustainable urban drainage practices may have potential in resource poor but densely populated situations such as some refugee camps. The paper highlights the lack of adequate advice in both content and delivery mechanisms.

Learning from Oxfam’s Tiger Worm Toilets projectsWEDC Conference, July 2017. The world is witnessing the highest levels of forced human displacement on record, leading to people being housed in urban centres and camps. Generally the sanitation needs of these people are initially met by external agencies. The long-term costs of operating and maintaining traditional sanitation systems can be unviable when communities or local authorities take over their management. Therefore Oxfam has been trialling the Tiger Worm Toilet (TWT) in peri-urban and camp settings. The aim of this paper is to review Oxfam’s TWT projects and to share the learnings, together with the innovations that have occurred. The learnings are that TWTs are not the solution to all sanitation problems, but they have been proven to work well at household level. Monitoring and documenting the trials has been an ongoing problem due to a number of issues, which are linked to short term funding, and the use of project rather than program approaches.

Uncharted Waters: The New Economics of Water Scarcity and VariabilityWorld Bank, October 2017. Uncharted Waters shows that droughts in cities are costlier than floods. For firms in cities, the economic cost of droughts is four times greater than that of floods, with even more severe and longer-lasting effects. While the damage of floods is immediate, severe and grab the headlines, the effects of droughts are silent, slow and hard to detect.

Online Courses

Health in Complex Humanitarian Emergencies. Emory University, starts November 20, 2017. This course covers the technical and management principles that are the basis of planning, implementing, and evaluating health programs for acutely displaced populations in developing countries. The emphasis is on refugees in camp situations. The course includes modules on assessment, nutrition, epidemiology of major health problems, surveillance, and program management in the context of an international relief operation.

News Items

A Sleek Portable Toilet and Other Design Solutions for Disaster VictimsSmithsonian, November 2017. The toilet kit, from a Japanese design studio, is part of wave of interest in design fixes for the problems created by disasters

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