Category Archives: IYS Themes

WASH Innovation Award Winners

Congratulations to the winners and finalists of the inaugural DFAT-sponsored Civil Society Innovation Award 2016, which was announced at the WASH Futures Conference Dinner 2016.  | Source: Civil Society WASH Fund, May 2016 |

First place went to Save the Children – Nudging handwashing among primary school students in BangladeshKamal Hossain from Save the Children Bangladesh was excited to receive the award in person from Anne Joselin, DFAT. Save the Children’s innovation to improve hand-washing in schools uses environmental cues and nudges. handwashing.pngIt is more cost effective than hygiene communication programs and has shown positive results in changing and sustaining behaviour change amongst school children. Watch the winning video here

Second place was awarded to Water for People! in Uganda for their submission, Low cost solutions for Faecal Sludge Management. Water for People! have shown their work innovating at many stages of the sanitation chain, from low cost modular toilet design, pit emptying and faecal sludge treatment and reuse. Their holistic approach to sanitation and faecal sludge management (FSM) are impacting many peoples’ lives, particularly in the slums of Kampala. Watch the video here

Third runner up was Wetlands Work! 
Cambodia for the HandyPod – Sanitation solutions for floating communities in CambodiaThe Handy Pod is a floating toilet design suitable for the communities of the Tonle Sap lake area and uses wetlands treatment technology. Watch the video here.  

Read the complete article.

 

WASHplus: Behavior-Centered Approaches to Improve Health Outcomes, A Learning Brief

Behavior-Centered Approaches to Improve Health Outcomes, A Learning Brief, 2016. WASHplus.

This technical brief presents the WASHplus approach to behavior change applied in various country settings to imrove WASH practices and serve as the foundation of the project’s global guidance.

 

WASHplus – A Surprise Inoculation Against Cholera

A Surprise Inoculation Against Cholera, 2016. WASHplus.

Communities that embraced the WASHplus and Kenya Ministry of Health community-led total sanitation-plus approach appear to have protected themselves against cholera during a recent epidemic.

Deadly toilet trips for women in Cape Town’s informal settlements

Deadly toilet trips for women in Cape Town’s informal settlements | Source: Times Live, May 25, 2016 |

violence

RISKY BUSINESS: A woman walks back to her shack after using a toilet in Khayelitsha

Women in Cape Town’s informal settlements are at high risk of rape for 15 minutes every day as they walk to and from toilets.

The finding, by researchers at Yale University in the US, comes as an international monitoring organisation said the City of Cape Town’s budget for installing toilets in informal settlements has been virtually unchanged for a decade, despite the fact that one-fifth of households are in informal settlements.

Yesterday, hundreds of Khayelitsha residents marched to the Civic Centre to hand over a petition demanding improved sanitation in informal settlements.

“Using a toilet in many informal settlements is one of the most dangerous activities for residents,” the petition read.

“Women, children and men of all ages are frequently robbed, raped, assaulted and murdered on the way to relieve themselves in a toilet, bushes or empty clearings often very far from their homes.”

Yale’s researchers quantified the link between sexual assaults, the number of sanitation facilities and time spent walking to the toilet.

Read the complete article.

The Greener March: One Man’s Trash is another’s Revolution With Pimp My Carroça

The Greener March: One Man’s Trash is another’s Revolution With Pimp My Carroça | Source: Morocco World News, May 24 2016timthumb

Casablanca – You may have noticed them in your peripheries; bulky unwieldy carts with jerry-rigged walls, threatening to topple over under towering piles of plastic containers and cardboard.

Often unseen but ever-present, the men that pull these carts are called “mikhala” or “boara,” meaning waste pickers in Moroccan Arabic, make up the sprawling network of Morocco’s informal trash collection.  Municipal waste in Casablanca goes from kitchen trash cans straight to landfills, unless the material is recyclable in which case it is picked up by a waste picker who subsequently sells it to a recycling company.

Morocco, like many developing countries, has a lack of recycling infrastructure, which results in all municipal waste going straight to landfills. The waste and pollution problems in Morocco cannot be understated; Morocco is the second highest consumer of plastics in the world, second only to the United States according to Moroccan news site Yalbiladi. The waste pickers that are part of the wave of rural migration to big cities like Casablanca, often unable to find work, have crafted a niche market in recycling the enormous amount of trash.

The waste pickers are a deeply imperfect solution, yet they fill a void in Morocco’s trash infrastructure and provide an invaluable service to Moroccan citizens. This value however, is hampered by Moroccan society’s negative opinions of the trash pickers; they see the work of the waste pickers as an eyesore and nuisance in the city. Ostracized by Moroccan society, the waste pickers live on the fringes and are relegated to the lowest of societal rungs. This brings us to the start of the Pimp My Carroça Project.

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Using cellphone data to study the spread of cholera

Using cellphone data to study the spread of cholera | Source: Phys.org, May 23 2016 |

While cholera has hardly changed over the past centuries, the tools used to study it have not ceased to evolve. Using mobile phone records of 150,000 users, an EPFL-led study has shown to what extent human mobility patterns contributed to the spread of a cholera epidemic in Senegal in 2005.

vibriocholer

Scanning electron microscope image of V. cholerae. Credit: public domain

The researchers’ findings, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, highlight the critical role a mass gathering of millions of pilgrims played in spreading of the disease, and how measures to improve sanitation at transmission hotspots could decrease the progression of future outbreaks.

“There is a lot of hype around using big data from mobile phones to study epidemiology,” says senior author Enrico Bertuzzo, from the Ecohydrology Laboratory at the Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne. This is largely due to the fact that can be used to reconstruct, with unprecedented detail, mobility fluxes of an entire population. “But I dare say that this is the first time that such data are exploited to their full potential in an epidemiological model.”

Cholera is an infectious disease that occurs primarily in developing countries with poor sanitation infrastructure. It spreads primarily via water that has been contaminated with the bacterium Vibrio cholerae, present in the feces of infected people. Human mobility and waterways both contribute to spreading the disease among human communities, whereas heavy precipitation events increase the chances of the bacteria to contaminate sources. Researchers at EPFL have developed a mathematical simulation model that accounts for these factors, which they tested on past outbreaks such as the one in Haiti in 2010.

Read the complete article.

Using microfinance to facilitate household investment in sanitation in rural Cambodia

Using microfinance to facilitate household investment in sanitation in rural CambodiaHealth Policy & Planning, May 2016.

Authors: Kimberley H Geissler, Jeffrey Goldberg and Sheila Leatherman

Improved sanitation access is extremely low in rural Cambodia. Non-governmental organizations have helped build local supply side latrine markets to promote household latrine purchase and use, but households cite inability to pay as a key barrier to purchase.

To examine the extent to which microfinance can be used to facilitate household investment in sanitation, we applied a two-pronged assessment: (1) to address the gap between interest in and use of microfinance, we conducted a pilot study to assess microfinance demand and feasibility of integration with a sanitation marketing program and (2) using a household survey (n = 935) at latrine sales events in two rural provinces, we assessed attitudes about microfinance and financing for sanitation.

We found substantial stated intent to use a microfinance institution (MFI) loan to purchase a latrine (27%). Five percent of current owners used an MFI loan for latrine purchase. Credit officers attended 159 events, with 4761 individuals attending. Actual loan applications were low, with 4% of sales events attendees applying for a loan immediately following the event (mean = 1.7 loans per event). Ongoing coordination was challenging, requiring management commitment from the sanitation marketing program and commitment to social responsibility from the MFI.

Given the importance of improving sanitation coverage and concomitant health impacts, linking functional sanitation markets to already operational finance markets has the potential to give individuals and households more financial flexibility. Further product research and better integration of private vendors and financing modalities are necessary to create a scalable microfinance option for sanitation markets.