Category Archives: IYS Themes

Smells of Success

Published on Nov 16, 2016

About 800,000 children under age 5 die each year from diarrhea, pneumonia, and other common infections caused by unsafe water and sanitation. So how could a perfume company help?

Bill Gates shares what he learned during a tour of Firmenich, a family-owned fragrance and flavor company based in Geneva.

Learn more at http://b-gat.es/2fIZaUK

A guide to developing reuse and recycling technologies

A guide to developing reuse and recycling technologies in low- and middle-income countries is to be developed by charity WasteAid UK and the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM). Resource.Co, Nov 23, 2016.

The report, funded by CIWM, is being led by Professor David Wilson, CIWM Senior Vice President and Patron of WasteAid UK, and will be delivered by the charity, which works to establish waste management processes in developing countries, with support from consultancy Resource Futures, and will draw together the experience of WasteAid UK staff and associates, as well as other organisations that have delivered ‘waste to wealth’ projects.

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WasteAid trainees making charcoal briquettes from organic waste. CIWM

The report will cover reprocessing technologies that require minimal or low capital investment and which produce products for local markets. It will provide case studies and ‘how to’ kits to encourage replication, for municipal solid waste and other key waste streams, as well as the necessary health and safety and environmental protection measures to protect both the workers and society.

The United Nations Environment Programme’s 2015 Global Waste Management Outlook, of which Professor Wilson was the Editor-in-Chief, warned that an ‘urgent response’ is needed to the 10 billion tonnes of urban waste that is produced globally each year, while a report from the International Solid Waste Association found that tens of million of people in developing countries are affected by inadequate sanitation infrastructure.

Read the complete article.

Gates Foundation – Three Ways to Improve Child Health

Three Ways to Improve Child Health. Project Syndicate, November 24, 2016. by Anita Zaidi, Director of the Enteric and Diarrheal Diseases program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. gates

SEATTLE – Over the last 15 years, the international community has made great strides in improving child health. But, with millions of children under the age of five dying each year from preventable and treatable diseases like diarrhea and pneumonia, the job is far from finished.

Most people would say that malaria or even HIV/AIDS are the leading child killers. In fact, diarrhea and pneumonia top the charts as the biggest threats to child survival – as they have for the more than 30 years that we have been tracking them. According to the recently published 2016 Pneumonia and Diarrhea Progress Report, the two diseases caused 1.4 million child deaths last year, and one-quarter of all deaths of children under the age of five. They exact their highest toll in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa.

Tackling the two biggest killers of children worldwide may seem daunting, but we have all the knowledge we need to mount an effective response. Indeed, we know which viruses, bacteria, and parasites we need to target; which interventions are likely to work; and which countries need them the most.

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An Annotated Bibliography on Shared Sanitation – November 28, 2016

An Annotated Bibliography of 2015 and 2016 Studies and Reports on Shared Sanitation – November 28, 2016

 2016 Studies and Reports

1 – Shared sanitation: to include or to exclude? Trans Roy Soc Trop Med & Hygiene, May 2016. Duncan Mara.  (Abstract/order)
Recent research has shown that neighbor-shared toilets perform much better than large communal toilets. The successful development of community-designed, built and managed sanitation-and-water blocks in very poor urban areas in India should be adapted and adopted throughout urban slums in developing countries, with a caretaker employed to keep the facilities clean. Such shared sanitation should be classified as ‘basic’, sometimes as ‘safely-managed’, sanitation, so contributing to the achievement of the sanitation target of the Sustainable Development Goals.

2 – Can behaviour change approaches improve the cleanliness and functionality of shared toilets? A randomised control trial in Dhaka, Bangladesh. WSUP, May 2016.
(Full text)
This project demonstrated that a behavior change communication intervention built upon in-depth qualitative understanding of the perspective and constraints of local residents could improve toilet cleanliness, even in the setting of severe constraints: notably water shortages and the absence of fecal sludge management systems. The most important step towards improving environmental sanitation in Dhaka is to address the absence of any fecal sludge management system. To improve the quality and cleanliness of shared facilities, behavior change strategies targeting the central role that landlords and community managers play can be particularly effective. Future research might explore: 1) how compound managers and/or landlords can make improvements to toilet cleanliness without project-funded hardware; 2) how to leverage mass media approaches to reduce the cost of behavior change communication; 3) how the effectiveness of specific behavior change strategies varies by gender; and 4) further evaluations to assess the sustainability of these efforts to improve toilet cleanliness.

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Sanitation projects will go down the toilet unless we ask people what they really want

Sanitation projects will go down the toilet unless we ask people what they really want. The Conversation, November 27, 2016.

Countries have a lot of work to do to achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. But development projects don’t always go the way you expect.

A resettlement project in Laos provided taps and toilets as a way to improve hygiene and health outcomes for communities.

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Stages of water development project planning. GCI/UQ

Three years after resettlement a project team formed to address health issues found that the new brick toilet facilities were being used to store rice. The practice of “open defecation” was continuing in nearby farmland.

The community members explained that keeping rice dry and safe from animals was their highest priority. They also thought it was more hygienic for faeces to be washed away, rather than concentrated in one place such as a toilet.

How did this mismatch occur? There had been limited community participation, no awareness-raising and no sense of community ownership generated during the project planning. Getting these things right will be fundamental to achieving any of the development goals.

Read the complete article.

Crappy water and the science of sanitation

Crappy water and the science of sanitation. The Guardian, November 22, 2016. by  by Mary-Ann Ochota, an anthropologist and author of Hidden Histories: a spotter’s guide to the British landscapehe

Stunting, death and malnutrition: why contaminated water has far more serious effects than the odd bout of diarrhoea 

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Eight year olds in Monze District, Zambia beneath a chalk line indicating the global average height for their age. 40% of children in Zambia suffer from stunted growth, the 10th highest rate in Africa. Photograph: WaterAid/Chileshe Chanda

At the start of this year, the UN recognised sanitation as a universal human right. The Sustainable Development Goals aim to achieve global sanitation by 2030. But despite these grand ambitions, and a hard-working WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) development sector, 2.4 billion people around the world still don’t have access to a proper toilet.

When we think of poor sanitation, thoughts usually turn to diarrhoea. If you start off healthy, and have the means to prevent dehydration, it’s not usually life threatening. But more than half a million under fives died from diarrhoea in 2013, with around 314,000 deaths directly attributable to poor WASH. And for people continuously exposed to a faecally-contaminated environment, the lack of a toilet can have far-reaching effects.

TOILET = GROW TALLER + THINK BETTER
Recent research has highlighted an indisputable link between toilets, malnutrition and irreversible stunting.

Malnutrition isn’t simply to do with a lack of food – it’s net nutrition that’s key, with access to nutritious food offset against losses to disease, and impairment in the ability to absorb nutrients.

The World Health Organisation estimates that 50% of cases of malnutrition in the world are due to repeated bouts of diarrhoea or intestinal worm infections caused by inadequate water and sanitation provision. Just five cases of severe diarrhoea in the first two years of a child’s life can result in stunting – short height for age – which is a measure for overall health. Stunting is largely irreversible after the age of two, and results in reduced lifelong immune capacity, retarded cognitive and emotional development, and poor physical health.

Read the complete article.

 

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for sustainable Neglected Tropical Disease control

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for sustainable Neglected Tropical Disease control. by Anouk Gouvras, BugBitten Blog, November 18, 2016.

The International Society for Neglected Tropical Diseases (ISNTD) hosted a meeting exploring aspects of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) on NTD control; ISNTD Water. Below I have highlighted some of the NTD and WASH aspects that were presented and discussed at the meeting.

Currently the majority of Neglected Tropical Disease (NTDs) control programs center around chemotherapy to treat and prevent disease. However two documents from the WHO; the 2012 WHO roadmap and more recently the report on NTDs and Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH),  highlight the need for WASH integration to achieve sustainable NTD control and elimination. The International Society for NTDs hosted a meeting exploring aspects of WASH and NTDs; ISNTD Water.

Neglected Tropical Diseases

NTDs is a term given to a diverse group of 17 infectious diseases that are highly prevalent in tropical and subtropical countries, that thrive in poverty stricken areas with low or no access to sanitation and clean water infrastructure, cause huge damage to public health and socio-economic development and yet still receive little global attention. Together they infect over 1.4 billion people world wide and the majority are caused by protozoan or helminth infections. They are the diseases of neglected people of low income countries and of poor communities living in richer countries.

Read the complete article.