Category Archives: Dignity and Social Development

WASH Alliance Kenya – Impact of a school WASH club

The anatomy of a campaign: ‘If men had periods’ by WaterAid

The anatomy of a campaign: ‘If men had periods’ by WaterAid | Source: The Guardian, Jan 25, 2016.

WaterAid’s campaign to raise awareness about the importance of menstrual hygiene playfully imagines a world where men have periods.

Back story

At WaterAid, we asked why menstruation provokes such a response? And I asked myself why, as a woman in my early 30s, do I still hide my tampon up my sleeve when I go to the office toilet?

wateraid

If Men had Periods – manpon campaign by Wateraid Photograph: WaterAid

More than one billion women don’t have access to somewhere safe to go to the toilet when they’re on their period. Often forced to find somewhere after dark, this is both undignified and dangerous. A lack of toilets in schools means that young girls often drop out of education when they reach puberty, limiting their life chances.

Without access to proper sanitary products, many women and girls use rags, newspaper and even mud, which can lead to infections. In rural Nepal and northern India the outlawed practice of chhaupadi – being ostracised from your family during your monthly cycle – still prevails.

In the UK, we use extraordinarily inventive euphemisms for menstruation – phrases like “I’m on”, “It’s that time of the month”, “the painters and decorators are in” are common, but starting your period should be a celebrated rite of passage, not an invisible act.

Development issues can be tough to translate to a UK audience, but periods are a relatable experience and we decided to use that to our advantage.

Read the complete article.

Topic of the week: Community-Led Total Sanitation

Financing sanitation for low-income urban communities: Lessons from CCODE and the Federation in Malawi, 2016. Wonderful Hunga, IIED.

Like many other countries in the Global South, Malawi has failed to meet Millennium Development Goal (MDG) targets to improve access to sanitation. It has been estimated that only 25 per cent of the country’s population has gained access to improved sanitation since 1990 and access to it is a meagre 41 per cent, according to the latest Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) Report (2015).

By utilising social capital and promoting ecological sanitation, CCODE (an SDI affiliate), has enabled thousands of urban poor households, who could not afford better toilets, to live a dignified life. This study shows that the CCODE model could do this for most of Malawi’s urban poor.

Beliefs, Behaviors, and Perceptions of Community-Led Total Sanitation and Their Relation to Improved Sanitation in Rural Zambia. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2016 Jan 19. Authors: Lawrence JJ, Yeboah-Antwi K, et al.

Inadequate hygiene and sanitation remain leading global contributors to morbidity and mortality in children and adults. One strategy for improving sanitation access is community-led total sanitation (CLTS), in which participants are guided into self-realization of the importance of sanitation through activities called “triggering.” This qualitative study explored community members’ and stakeholders’ sanitation, knowledge, perceptions, and behaviors during early CLTS implementation in Zambia.

We conducted 67 in-depth interviews and 24 focus group discussions in six districts in Zambia 12-18 months after CLTS implementation. Triggering activities elicited strong emotions, including shame, disgust, and peer pressure, which persuaded individuals and families to build and use latrines and handwashing stations. New sanitation behaviors were also encouraged by the hierarchical influences of traditional leaders and sanitation action groups and by children’s opinions.

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UNICEF – Water, sanitation, and hygiene, champions in Afghanistan

Published on Jan 12, 2016

Zibulnissa, and Sedef, two female high school students from Afghanistan, attended in the first student-led conference on water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) in South Asia in 2015 in Sri Lanka’s capital, Colombo.

The conference brought together students from South Asia to share their views on how they can improve the use of safe drinking water, clean toilets, and handwashing in their countries, and enable them to advocate for recommendations to be incorporated into government policy and agendas.

Norms, Knowledge and Usage: Frontiers of CLTS: Innovations and Insights

Chambers, R. and Myers, J. (2016) ‘Norms, Knowledge and Usage’, Frontiers of CLTS: Innovations and Insights Issue 7, Brighton: IDS.

The partial or total non-use of toilets, with some or all in a household defecating in the open, is a growing concern. Although all households may have a toilet, communities cannot remain open defecation free unless they are always used by everyone. clts

This is not just an issue of maintenance and accessibility but also of social norms, mind-sets, and cultural preferences. The problem is widespread but most evident in India.

This issue of Frontiers of CLTS asks how serious the problem is, why it occurs, what can be done about it, and what more needs to be known.

It is an attempt to summarise current knowledge as a first step in exploring and learning about this growing obstacle to attaining and sustaining ODF status in some parts of the world.

Creating Music and Inspiration From What We Throw Away

Published on Feb 19, 2013

Music is a gift available to all — and especially treasured by those with the least — as the documentary Landfill Harmonic shares. It’s an inspiring story of a community of waste pickers in Paraguay who create instruments from these same garbage piles and work together to create The Recycled Orchestra which stirs the soul.

Accomplished violinist, Caleb Hans Polashek brings the sound of their music to life as he plays a violin constructed so beautifully (and resourcefully) by this community — one of only five of these instruments currently in the United States.

Cleaning up the E-Waste Recycling Industry

Cleaning up the E-Waste Recycling Industry. Source: Julie Ann Aelbrecht, Huffington Post, Jan 5 2016.

Upon opening a shipment of computers it had received through the International Children’s Fund (ICF), a Ghanaian school discovered the equipment sent was 15 years old. Most of the computers needed replacement parts, parts that weren’t available anymore. In the end, the school managed to get only a single computer working again.

While the ICF had good intentions, a fake charity had handed it a container of what was meant to be workable secondhand material that was actually closer to its end of life–that is, effectively waste. That unfortunate Ghanaian school is only one victim in a long chain of corruption, theft and organized crime that stretches from Brussels to Cape Town.

This is the global trade in electronic waste, or e-waste. It is estimated to be worth over $19 billion and leaves a trail of criminality behind it. The flow of discarded electronics follows a route where European countries turn a blind eye to theft and major companies bend and break recycling rules to get electronics to developing markets, where the waste disappears into dangerous ad hoc dumps. There, the waste is often dealt with by illegal recyclers in ways that are catastrophic to the environment and human health.

But while e-waste is a dirty business, some are trying to clean it up, mostly by bringing these informal recyclers slowly into the regulated recycling industry.

Read the complete article.