Author Archives: dietvorst

UN recognises separate, distinct right to sanitation

On 17 December 2015,  the United Nations General Assembly adopted by consensus a resolution which for the first time recognises the distinction between the human right to water and the human right to sanitation. The resolution also highlights the gender-specific impacts of inadequate services and includes strong language on accountability.

Amnesty International, WASH United and Human Rights Watch issued a statement welcoming this step and the additional clarification of States’ obligations contained in General Assembly resolution 70/169.

In early November 2015, 37 NGOs including the three mentioned above, issued a joint statement in support of the draft resolution.

Joint Statement from Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and WASH United on UN General Assembly Resolution 70/169 on the Human Rights to Water and to Sanitation

Webinar faecal sludge, 15 December 2015

VIA Water is organising a webinar on faecal sludge on 15 December 2015 at 14:00 hours CET (UCT +1).

In this webinar you will be able to discuss any issue you might have run into during your work on this topic, and ask VIA Water expert Jan Spit any question you might have. Jan will also kick off by sharing some of his insights. For more information about his background, visit his website.

Check out Jan’s invitation in the short clip below. On the 15th, you will be able to access the webinar through this link: http://bbb.ihe.nl/demo/create.jsp?action=invite&meetingID=VIA+Water+Webinar%27s+meeting

About Via Water

Via Water is a knowledge platform on water and develolpment funded by the Dutch government. It supports projects with innovative solutions for water problems facing cities in seven African countries: Benin, Ghana, Kenya, Mali, Mozambique, Rwanda and South Sudan. To learn more go to: www.viawater.nl/about-via-water

Will better sanitaton and nutrition reduce stunting?

Zimbabwe SHINE trial - Cornell University

Photo: Cornell University

A trial is underway in Zimbabwe to measure the independent and combined effects of improved sanitation and hygiene (WASH) and improved infant diet on stunting and anemia among children 0-18 months old [Cornell University CENTIR Group blog].

The Sanitation, Hygiene and Infant Nutrition Efficacy (SHINE) Trial is led by the Zvitambo Institute for Maternal and Child Health Research in Harare, Zimbabwe in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Child Care/Government of Zimbabwe. Other contracted experts include Sandy Cairncross, Val Curtis and Peter Morgan.

The SHINE Trial is being undertaken in Chirumanzu and Shurugw, two districts with high HIV prevalence. Besides investigating the effects of sanitation and nutrition, SHINE will also test whether Environmental Enteric Dysfunction (EED)is a major cause of a major cause of child undernutrition. EED, also called environmental enteropathy, is a condition believed to be due to frequent intestinal infections.

SHINE is being being funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the UK Department for International Development (DFID). There are additional contributions from Wellcome Trust, National Institutes of Health, and the Swiss Development Cooperation.

A special open access supplement of Clinical Infectious Diseases is devoted to SHINE containing the following articles:

  • The Sanitation Hygiene Infant Nutrition Efficacy (SHINE) Trial Team, doi:10.1093/cid/civ844
  • Design of an Intervention to Minimize Ingestion of Fecal Microbes by Young Children in Rural Zimbabwe, doi:10.1093/cid/civ845
  • The SHINE Trial Infant Feeding Intervention: Pilot Study of Effects on Maternal Learning and Infant Diet Quality in Rural Zimbabwe, doi:10.1093/cid/civ846
  • Using Geographic Information Systems and Spatial Analysis Methods to Assess Household Water Access and Sanitation Coverage in the SHINE Trial, doi:10.1093/cid/civ847
  • Assessment of Environmental Enteric Dysfunction in the SHINE Trial: Methods and Challenges, doi:10.1093/cid/civ848
  • The Potential Role of Mycotoxins as a Contributor to Stunting in the SHINE Trial, doi:10.1093/cid/civ849
  • Assessing the Intestinal Microbiota in the SHINE Trial, doi:10.1093/cid/civ850
  • Assessing Maternal Capabilities in the SHINE Trial: Highlighting a Hidden Link in the Causal Pathway to Child Health, doi:10.1093/cid/civ851
  • Theory-Driven Process Evaluation of the SHINE Trial Using a Program Impact Pathway Approach, doi:10.1093/cid/civ716

The role of mobile in improved sanitation access

The role of mobile in improved sanitation access - coverHow can mobile channels can support sanitation service delivery while building new engagement models with customers in underserved settings? A new report [1] by the GSMA Mobile for Development Utilities Programme reviews opportunities and case studies.

The report begins with an overview of global sanitation access in 2015 and the different approaches currently being used to improve access. This is followed by a review of the potential uses of mobile channels in the sanitation value chain including examples of current applications.

Continue reading

Introduction to the Treatment of Urban Sewage – free online course

TU Delft offers a free 7 week online introductory course on urban sewage treatment starting in April 2016.

The course consists of 6 modules:

  1. Sewage treatment plant overview
  2. Primary treatment
  3. Biological treatment
  4. Activated sludge process
  5. Nitrogen and phosphorus removal
  6. Sludge treatment

The instructors are Prof. Jules van Lier, Environmental Engineering and Wastewater Treatment, and wastewater Assistant Prof. Merle de Kreuk.

View the course introduction video

Introduction to the Treatment of Urban Sewage is part of TU Delft Water Management XSeries on edX.

For $50 participants can get a Verified Certificate for the course.

UNICEF Consultancy Assignment: Support for Private Sector Development of Low-Cost Sanitation Products

UNICEF’s Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Office (ESARO) has recently engaged with a global private sector partner to conduct market research and test improved sanitation products with end-users. The intended outcomes of the project are: 1) detailed market information on the needs of the “base of the pyramid” (including both functionality of the products and price point); 2) a more thorough understanding of sanitation marketing techniques and the supply chain for difficult–to-reach communities; and 3) more appropriate and affordable sanitation products available on the local market

UNICEF is now seeking a consultant to document the ESARO project, conduct a lessons learned, and develop a standard methodology that can be replicated in other regions and countries. Depending on interest and commitment from WASH staff, the project envisions applying the methodology in other regional and country office programmes and their respective private sector partners.

For for information on this 6-month consultancy and how to apply for it please go to: http://www.unicef.org/about/employ/index_82546.html

The deadline is  29 July 5:00pm CET.

Clean India Mission #SwacchBharat publishes new uniform definition of ODF

 

Swachh Bharat  website photo

The most important objective of the Swachh Bharat or Clean India Mission is to end open defecation forever in all  villages by 2 October 2019 – the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. But how can you monitor progress without an agreed indicator for an Open Defecation Free (ODF)  status?

Now, by issuing a  uniform definition of Open Defecation Free (ODF), the Ministry of Water and Sanitation, which runs Swachh Bharat, hopes to resolve the current unclarity.

In a letter dated 9 June 2015, addressed to all state secretaries of rural sanitation, the Ministry provides the following definition:

ODF is the termination of faecal-oral transmission, defined by a) no visible faeces found in the environment/village; and b) every household as well as public/community institutions using [a]  safe technology option for disposal of faeces.

{A] safe technology option means no contamination of surface soil, ground water or surface water; excreta inaccessible to flies or animals; no handling of fresh excreta; and freedom from odour and unsightly condition.

Read the full letter.

Source: PTI, Times of India, 14 Jun 2015