Author Archives: dietvorst

Why women’s involvement in water and sanitation development is important

Women in WASH

Last week on March 8 was International Women’s Day (IWD). This year’s theme was “Inspiring Change”.  Four women inspiring change in the WASH sector came together during the World Water Week in Stockholm, Sweden, in September last year. They were Water For People’s Kate Fogelberg; IRC’s Vida Duti and Jane Nabunnya Mulumba, and Alice Bouman, President of the Women for Water Partnership. They talked about the role of women in the WASH sector.

Women leadership in WASH is needed and should be actively promoted. This was one of the main outcomes of the panel discussion on Women and WASH led by the four women mentioned above. The discussion highlighted the role of women leaders in WASH, the question of why more focus on the role of women is so important, and what lack of access to improved water and sanitation services means for women in rural areas in different country contexts.

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#KeepTheHinWASH: Hygiene being left out from Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Hygiene is missing from an important United Nations document on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that will be submitted to the 68th Session of the UN General Assembly.

Several organisations including End Water Poverty, WaterAid, Practical Action and Helvetas have written to the Open Working Group on SDGs saying they regret that hygiene was left out of the Group’s Focus areas document.

advocate for hygiene

The Global Public-Private Partnership for Handwashing (PPPHW) is calling on its supporters to  advocate for the inclusion of hygiene alongside water and sanitation in the SDGs in the Open Working Group consultations before the closing date of 14 March 2014. Similarly, the PPPHW is requesting support for hygiene in the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) consultation, which also ends on 14 March.

The PPPHW offers talking points to advocate for hygiene in the SDGs, such as:

The word “hygiene” means different things to different people.  In the post-2015 WASH proposal, hygiene focuses on handwashing promotion, including access to a designated place for handwashing with soap and water, and menstrual hygiene management or the presence of gender-segregated sanitation facilities in schools and health centers  with access to soap and water and a place for safe disposal of menstrual hygiene materials

More information: PPPHW Soapbox – Handwashing Advocacy Edition

Towards total sanitation workshop report – key findings

Cotonu Workshop Key Findings report

How can Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) and other programmatic approaches be  integrated into a service-led rural sanitation delivery? This was the topic that attracted  around 70 practitioners from 16 different countries  to Cotonu, Benin in November 2013 for a Learning and Exchange workshop  “Towards sustainable total sanitation”. The workshop was organised  by IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre in partnership with WaterAid, SNV and UNICEF.

The key findings of the workshop a presented in a new report, which is divided into four categories, covering the four conditions to trigger a service:

  • strengthening the enabling environment
  • demand creation and advocacy to change behaviour
  • strengthening the supply chain, and
  • appropriate incentives and financial arrangements.

Study examines sustainability of CLTS programmes in Africa

Plan-ODF-sustainability-coverDespite the widespread implementation of Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) programs and many claims of success, there has been very little systematic investigation into their sustainability.  A new study, which aims to change that, is creating a stir in the WASH sector.

A study commissioned by Plan International on the sustainability of CLTS programs in Africa revealed that 87% of the households still had a functioning latrine. This would indicate a remarkably low rate of reversion (13%) to open defecation (OD) or “slippage”.

However, if the criteria used to originally award open defecation free (ODF) status to villages are used, then the overall slippage rate increased dramatically to  92%. These criteria are:

  • A functioning latrine with a superstructure
  • A means of keeping flies from the pit (either water seal or lid)
  • Absence of excreta in the vicinity of the house
  • Hand washing facilities with water and soap or soap-substitute such as ash
  • Evidence that the latrine and hand washing facilities were being used

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Tender for external evaluation WASH Facility: Sierra Leone

Adam Smith International are procuring for external evaluators (consultants or firm) to evaluate the Sierra Leone WASH Facility.

The Facility, which has a total budget of £5 million (US$ 8.4 million), is managed and administered by Adam Smith International, on behalf of DfID and the Government of Sierra Leone (particularly the Ministry of Water Resources, and Ministry of Health & Sanitation).

The evaluation covers the Facility mechanism itself, and its portfolio of 36 projects funded by small grants all less than £200,000 (US$ 330,000) each.

It is expected the evaluation will require approximately 60-80 days total level of effort.  Organisations or individuals that have been financed by the WASH Facility cannot apply.

Deadline for applications:  6pm (GMT) 14th March 2014

For full details and application guidelines please consult the attached Terms of Reference.

Please do not send applications or requests for information to Sanitation Updates.

AMCOW training consultancy on sanitation & hygiene policy development

The African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW) needs the services of a training service provider to carry out a sanitation and hygiene policy training.  Focal persons in Burundi, Chad, Sierra Leone and Zimbabwe need to be brought up to speed on drawing up plans and strategies .

The aim of this small (20 days) but interesting assignment is to:

train the focal countries on the process of developing a policy document and costed implementation plans and strategies for ending open defecation in those countries, and how to operationalise them.

The assignment supports a US$ 2 million Gates Foundation funded policy and advocacy project being implemented by AMCOW .

Closing date for receipt of applications is March 7, 2014.

Read the full Terms of Reference.

Please do not submit applications or requests for information to Sanitation Updates.

Tropical plant Moringa provides alternative to soap for handwashing

Moringa oleofera leaves and powde

Moringa oleofera leaves and powder. Photo: New Flavor House Inc.

SHARE-funded research [1] has found that Moringa oleifera, a common plant in many tropical and subtropical countries, can be an effective handwashing product if used in the correct concentration. Laboratory tests show that the plant has antibacterial activity against different pathogen, but its potential effect as a hand washing product had not been studied before.

By testing the effect of Moringa oleifera leaf powder on hands artificially contaminated with E. coli and comparing this to the effect of non-medicated liquid soap, the researchers from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and SBI Consulting Ltd in Mozambique found that four grams of Moringa oleifera powder had the same effect as non-medicated soap when used for hand washing.

The next step will be to try this product in real conditions and study its acceptability and convenience for potential users.

To take part in a discussion on the use of Moringa as soap visit the SuSanA  Forum.

SHARE stands for Sanitation and Hygiene Applied Research for Equity, and is a five year initiative (2010-2015) funded by the UK Department for International Development

[1] Torondel, B., Opare, D., Brandberg, B., Cobb, E. and Cairncross, S., 2014. Efficacy of Moringa oleifera leaf powder as a hand- washing product : a crossover controlled study among healthy volunteers. BMC complementary and alternative medicine, 14 (57), pp. 1-7.   doi:10.1186/1472-6882-14-57

Source: SHARE, 21 Feb 2014

International conference on public services in the global South

Protesters  in Cape Town, June 2013, demanding better service delivery

Protesters in Cape Town, June 2013, demanding better service delivery. Photo: yazkam.wordpress.com

Cape Town, the city where “poo has become a politcial issue“, is hosting an international conference on “Putting Public in Public Services: Research, Action and Equity in the Global South” from 13-16 April  2014 .

Organised by the Municipal Services Project, the conference  brings together researchers, activists, labour representatives, development practitioners and policy makers from around the world working to promote progressive public services,  including water and sanitation.

The following presentations focus specifically on sanitation:

  • Dieter Wartchow (Brazil) – National sanitation laws in Brazil: An opportunity lost?
  • Melanie Samson (South Africa) – Including the informal, transforming the public: Insights from innovations in the waste sector
  • Federico Parra (Colombia) – Recognition of the ‘recicladores’ as public managers of waste in Colombia
  • Poornima Chikarmane (India) – Of users, providers and the state: Solid waste management in Pune, India
  • Mary Galvin (South Africa) – Dealing with shit in sub-Sahara Africa: The impact of “new” approaches to sanitation on human rights
  • Julieta del Valle (Argentina) – Guaranteeing access to public water and sanitation: ‘Acompañamiento social’ in Buenos Aires

Read more in the full programme.

Registration is free for observers but priority wil be given to people with a demonstrated interest in conference themes.

Registration deadline: 14 March 2014

Those unable to attend can follow debates via video streaming, podcasts and social media.

Conference websitemunicipalservicesproject.org/about-conference

Rural sanitation market in India worth US$ 25 billion

Monitor Deloitte has estimated that the demand for rural toilets in India could be worth INR 500-700 billion (US$ 10-14 billion), with an INR 300-450 billion (US$ 6-9 billion) financing opportunity. This is one of key key highlights from their recent white paper.

Photo: Monitor Deloitte

Photo: Monitor Deloitte

The paper identified two main types of  business models to deliver rural toilets: the Do It Yourself (DIY) model and a Turnkey Solution Provider (TSP) model. Both models require a central player or ‘market maker’ to conduct market-building activities to get the models started. Organisations such as NGOs, microfinance institution (MFIs) and cement companies can play this role, while the Government has a key role in facilitating the development of the sanitation market.

The Government of India has approved funding of over US$ 4 billion for rural sanitation, but less than 60% of these funds have been used, the paper says. Census data indicates that many of these Government supported toilets may be non-existent or not-in-use.

Research by Monitor Deloitte in the Indian state of Bihar  showed 84% of households surveyed in rural Bihar indicated their desire for a toilet and 38% of these households had actually researched available product options. Safety of women, convenience and privacy as opposed to health were key drivers.

Deloitte is organising a series of open conference calls to discuss their findings on the following dates:

  • February 12, 10am IST
  • February 25, 10am IST
  • March 5, 9:30am IST
  • March 13, 9:30pm IST

Please request RSVPs to inmim@deloitte.com for more information and materials for the call.

WSP promoted CLTS approach in Indonesia criticised

A highly critical article in Development and Change argues that the Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) approach, which the Water and Sanitation Program (WSP) has promoted in Indonesia, is not only “inadequate” but also “echoes coercive, race-based colonial public health practices”.

Susan Engel

Dr Susan Engel, University of Wollongong, Australis

Authors Dr Susan Engel and Anggun Susilo reveal striking similarities between developments in Indonesian sanitation in the 1920s and the 1990s. In both eras the focus changed from “the provision of hardware to [...] participation and social mobilization” to encourage “individuals and communities to construct and maintain their own sanitation facilities”.

In the 1920s, the Rockefeller Foundation led the change, 70 years later it was WSP. In both cases the approaches are said to have met resistance because they were coercive and humiliating for the poorest, who also had to pay for latrines they couldn’t really afford.

Engel and Susilo found no evidence that the CLTS approach in Indonesia was sustainable. They conclude that government involvement, not just self-help CLTS approaches, is essential for successful sanitation.

Engel, S, and Susilo, A., 2014. Shaming and sanitation in Indonesia : a return to colonial public health practices?. Development and change, 45, 1, pp. 157-178. DOI: 10.1111/dech.12075

See also:

  • India, Madhya Pradesh: sanitation campaign humiliates women, say critics, Sanitation Updates, 24 Dec 2014
  • WASHplus Weekly: Community-Led Total Sanitation, Sanitation Updates, 13 Dec 2013
  • Topic: CLTS and human rights: Should the right to community-wide health be won at the cost of individual rights?, SuSanA Forum