A humanitarian WASH update – November 20, 2019

Dear Colleagues:

Please contactTravis Yates, travis.yates@tufts.edu, if you have any questions about the GWC Resource Center. Also below are news from Elrha, USAID, studies from Lebanon and Bangladesh and some interesting blog posts from UNHCR, CGIAR and others. emergencies

The Global WASH Cluster is maintaining a resource center focused on humanitarian WASH with links to relevant journal articles, toolkits, and NGO learnings (https://wrc.washcluster.net/). There are nearly 200 cataloged documents covering a variety of WASH themes. A sample of documents includes:


We are looking for robust research studies that generate practical, comparative evidence around HIF-funded WASH innovations. The evidence will be useful for both the innovations themselves and the humanitarian sector as a whole. These studies need to be collaborations between WASH innovators, researchers and humanitarian agencies.

USAID Announces Nearly $56 Million in Additional Humanitarian Assistance to Contain Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo. USAID, November 2019.
With this funding, the United States is continuing to provide life-saving assistance through on-the-ground partners, including activities to prevent and control infections in health facilities, enhanced surveillance for the disease, training for health-care workers, community-engagement efforts, the promotion of safe and dignified burials, and food to support people and communities affected by Ebola.


Refugees, water balance, and water stress: Lessons learned from Lebanon. Ambio, November 2019.
Results of our spatial analysis show that while the impact of refugees and indirectly conflicts’ on water stress is of paramount importance and it cannot be neglected, opportunities exist for the international community to intervene and provide for water supply and network efficiency improvements, which can relieve the induced stress.

Occurrence of Escherichia coli and faecal coliforms in drinking water at source and household point-of-use in Rohingya camps, Bangladesh. Gut Pathogens, November 2019. Despite the limitations and challenges faced, this is the first study of water quality assessment in the Rohingya camps involving almost half of the total drinking water sources.

A Synthesis Report Analyzing Menstrual Hygiene Management Within a Humanitarian Crisis. OIDA International Journal of Sustainable Development, November 2019.
The lack of universal policy surrounding  the  implementation of  MHM  in a crisis has implications not only for women’s health and dignity, but also for a country’s progress towards  the related SDG targets.

Beyond mapping: a case for geospatial analytics in humanitarian health. Conflict and Health, November 2019.
This paper explores a variety of historical and contemporary geospatial applications in the public health and humanitarian fields and argues for greater integration of geospatial analysis into humanitarian health research and programming.


Groundwater can prevent drought emergencies in the Horn of Africa. Here’s how. The Conversation, November 2019.
The idea is that drought-driven humanitarian emergencies can be prevented if groundwater is reliably made available at strategic locations.

The Growing Threat of Water Wars. Project Syndicate, November 2019.
Today, hundreds of international water agreements are coming under pressure.

Bringing toilets into the home boosts refugees’ health and security. UNHCR, November 2019.
Burundian refugees in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo receive cash to construct houses and toilets, improving access to better sanitation.

11,000 Steps to Water: How data visualization can impact American perceptions of refugees. UNHCR, November 2019.
One of the prototypes developed was an activity tracking app. This app helps Americans see how their daily activity compares to the daily activity of refugees.

New project offers circular economy solutions for refugee and host communities in East Africa. CGIAR, October 2019.
‘We have developed solutions like pellets from fecal sludge for agriculture and safe wastewater reuse for urban agriculture,’ said the Ethiopian economist. ‘These RRR solutions and other innovations from low-space farming can be adapted to work in refugee settlements.’


Safer water, better health: 2019 update. WHO, 2019.
The report also presents selected WASH interventions that have been shown to improve health and complements them with available cost–effectiveness analyses.

Guidelines on Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Humanitarian Action. Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC), 2019.
The guidelines set out essential actions that humanitarian actors must take in order to effectively identify and respond to the needs and rights of persons with disabilities who are most at risk of being left behind in humanitarian settings. Chapter 18 is on WASH issues.

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