Category Archives: IYS Themes

Exploring “The Remote” and “The Rural”: Open Defecation and Latrine Use in Uttarakhand, India

Exploring “The Remote” and “The Rural”: Open Defecation and Latrine Use in Uttarakhand, India. World Development, January 2017. Authors: Kathleen O’Reilly, Richa Dhanju, Abhineety Goel.

Highlights

  • Remote places are different than rural places due to physical and social distance.
  • Remoteness significantly contributes to practices of open defecation.
  • Structural inequalities produce conditions that impede sanitation uptake.
  • Addressing infrastructural causes of remoteness is key to reducing open defecation.
  • Reducing multi-scalar, socio-spatial inequalities can lead to latrine adoption.

Open defecation is a major global health problem. The number of open defecators in India dwarfs that of other states, and most live in rural places. Open defecation is often approached as a problem scaled at the site of the individual, who makes a choice not to build and/or use a toilet.

Attempts to end rural open defecation by targeting individuals, like social marketing or behavior change approaches, often ignore the structural inequalities that shape rural residents’ everyday lives. Our study explores the question, “What is the role of remoteness in sustaining open defecation in rural India?” We deploy the concept of remoteness as an analytical tool that can capture everyday practices of open defecation as a function of physical and social distance.

Using ethnographic methods, we interviewed and observed 70 participants in four villages in Uttarakhand, India over a three-month period in 2013. We find that remoteness in general, and its lived nuances, form a context for prevalent open defecation. Structural inequalities across space will need to be addressed to make latrine building and usage viable in remote places.

 

Aditi Gupta Is Breaking Menstrual Taboos Through Her Comic Book Guide, Menstrupedia

Aditi Gupta Is Breaking Menstrual Taboos Through Her Comic Book Guide, Menstrupedia. India Times, January 18, 2017.

“Chumming” is one of the most natural biological processes that half of the world’s population experiences every month, yet most of us in India can’t gather enough courage to put away the euphemism and say the word, period. menstrupedia_1484728044

For many women in India and South Asia, being on their periods is a nightmare. Some are shunned from the kitchen, others are shunned from their home altogether. Other than the social stigma attached to menstruation, there is also a lack of awareness and sanitation, which then paves way for period myths and misconceptions.

According to Dasra, an organisation documenting the rights and welfare of women, 88% of India’s 355 million menstruating women do not have access to sanitary pads. Also, an estimated 23% of girls in the country drop out of school when they begin menstruating.

Read the complete article.

UNESCO funds Dunedin shadow puppet film in Indonesia about hygiene

Published on Jan 16, 2017
UNESCO along with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade are financially backing a trans-Tasman project to improve hygiene in Indonesia.

An educational film is being made in Dunedin featuring Javanese shadow puppets who tell the tale of evil bacteria.

Today some top musicians began adding the soundtrack.

 

Investigation of Rice as an Absorbent and Degradable Material for Personal Hygiene Applications

Investigation of Rice as an Absorbent and Degradable Material for Personal Hygiene Applications. SM Journal of Engineering Sciences, January 2016.

Authors: Jeffrey S Bates, Megan A Adams and Taylor D Sparks

This research explores the uses of natural materials in personal hygiene applications. In order to maximize the use of materials for personal hygiene, they must be absorbent, but should also be biodegradable to minimize their impact on the environment. Rice was prepared for testing by increase the porosity.

The material was ground into three size distributions and tested to determine its ability to absorb moisture under both ambient and body temperatures. Research goals address the percentage of moisture absorbed by weight, the absorption as a function of temperature, and the optimal particle size required for the selected application.

Results indicate that the amount of moisture absorbed by the material increases as the temperature approaches body temperature. Furthermore, the time required for the material to reach equilibrium, as also defined by the amount at which the material will no longer absorb moisture, varies by particle size.

Tiger worms: the ingenious solution to sanitation in refugee camps

Tiger worms: the ingenious solution to sanitation in refugee camps. News The Essential Daily Briefing, December 30, 2016.

worms-in-hand-photo-higher-resolution

The tiger worms can turn human waste into useful fertiliser (Photo: Oxfam)

A team of British charity workers have come up with a simple, cheap and downright ingenious solution to the problem of providing safe sanitation to some of the world’s most crowded refugee camps – and it involves hundreds of bucketfuls of worms.

Engineers working for Oxfam have created what they have dubbed the “tiger toilet”: a no-frills latrine which uses composting worms to convert human waste into useful fertiliser.

The invention carries the added benefit of reducing the risk of disease.

The toilets, so named because of the striped tiger worms (Eisenia fetida) upon which they rely, were first trialled by a team working in Liberia in 2013.

Read the complete article.

USAID – Infographic: Tackling Water Scarcity and Sanitation Challenges Across the Middle East

Infographic: Tackling Water Scarcity and Sanitation Challenges Across the Middle East, December 15, 2016. USAID. MENA_Water_infographic-V3.png

The American people, through USAID, have been investing in the water sector across the Middle East to improve access to clean water, reduce water losses, facilitate sustainable use of limited resources and improve access to sanitation.

Egypt
2.2 Million People – Since 2008, USAID invested in water systems and wastewater treatment plants, helping 2.2 million people gain access to clean water and sanitation.

850 Kilometers of Water Pipelines – Since 2012, USAID funded construction of 850+ kilometers of pipelines that serve 1.8+ million people in rural areas –many of whom received access to drinking water and sanitation for the first time.

Capacity Building – USAID supported billing and operation systems to strengthen and build the capacity of institutions.

Read the complete article.

Keeping Track: CLTS Monitoring, Certification and Verification

Keeping Track: CLTS Monitoring, Certification and Verification: CLTS Knowledge Hub Learning Paper, January 2017keeping_track_cover

Author: Katherine Pasteur

Monitoring, verification and certification are critical elements of the CLTS process and contribute to ensuring sustainability of ODF as well as learning about changes that are needed to improve implementation. Monitoring includes both process and progress monitoring.

Verification tends to be led by NGOs or government with clear criteria and methodologies being developed, often incorporating multiple assessment visits over an extended period of time. Certification and celebration of ODF communities acknowledge their achievement and helps to raise awareness in the surrounding areas.

The adoption of CLTS as a national approach in many countries has resulted in national protocols and guidance documents as well as various methodologies for community engagement and data collection to aid the processes of monitoring, verification and certification. Increasingly, the importance of post ODF monitoring is being recognised. We need to know more about how to incorporate this into implementation to ensure longer term sustainability of behaviour change and of toilets.

Similarly, effective collection, management and utilisation of data are a challenge. Other emerging issues relate to reliability and accuracy of monitoring and verification; encouraging appropriate attitudes to encourage learning rather than fault finding; and how to incentivise staff involved in monitoring and verification. We also need to know more about monitoring for long term sustainability of behaviour change and inclusion. Many of these issues are being investigated through local, national and international learning processes.

This Learning Paper summarises challenges, innovations and gaps in knowledge in the area of monitoring, verification and certification.