Category Archives: Dignity and Social Development

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.

Read the complete article.

 

An Update of Themes and Trends in Urban Community-Led Total Sanitation Projects

An Update of Themes and Trends in Urban Community-Led Total Sanitation Projects, 2015. 38th WEDC International Conference, Loughborough University, UK, 2015.

This briefing paper identifies common themes and trends of Urban Community-Led Total Sanitation (UCLTS). The study relies on literature from 14 different projects across India and Africa alongside articles that focused on UCLTS and participation in urban sanitation projects.

The hope is to provide an overview for those working in the field by identifying common characteristics, problems and opportunities.

The paper ends with a list of recommendations for those currently working on UCLTS projects and those interested in transferring the CLTS model to urban environments.

 

Can collective action strategies motivate behavior change to reduce open defecation in rural India?

Can collective action strategies motivate behavior change to reduce open defecation in rural India? Waterlines, April 2016.

Authors: Payal Hathi, Dean Spears, Diane Coffey. RICE Institute.

The world’s remaining open defecation is increasingly concentrated in rural India. The Indian government’s efforts to reduce open defecation by providing subsidies for latrine construction have been largely unsuccessful in addressing the problem. It is now clear that behavior change must be the priority if progress on ending open defecation is to be made.

While community-led strategies have proven effective in various developing country contexts, there are serious reasons to question whether similar methods can work in rural India.  Through both quantitative and qualitative analyses, we find that strict social hierarchies that continue to govern daily interactions in rural life today obstruct the spirit of cooperation upon which such methods rely.

Additionally, caste-based notions of purity and pollution make the simple latrines used all over the developing world unattractive to rural Indians.  In a context where people identify most closely with their caste and religious groups rather than their geographical villages, our findings suggest that a more nuanced understanding of the idea of “community” is required.  More experimentation, both with community-led and other strategies, is needed in order to effectively move from open defecation to latrine use in rural India.

‘Trash banking’ takes off around the world

‘Trash banking’ takes off around the world | Source: Waste Dive, May 2016 |

Dive Brief:

  • The Mutiara Trash Bank in Makassar, Indonesia is seen as a leading example of the expanding “trash banking” system. The country has 2,800 trash banks in 129 cities which serve 175,000 people. wastedive
  • Residents bring in recyclables that are weighed for value. In exchange they can withdraw or deposit money from bank accounts. Some banks allow residents to pay directly for rice, phone cards or electricity bills. The Makassar government commits to buying the waste at fixed prices and then sells it to waste merchants who ship it to Java.
  • Makassar produces 800 tons of waste per day, much of which ends up in a large landfill. Waste pickers, who are often women and children, work to retrieve valuable materials from the growing pile. According to Indonesia’s Ministry of Environment and Forestry, 70% of the country’s waste goes to landfills.

Read the complete article.

Meet the bin scavengers saving SA R750-million a year

Meet the bin scavengers saving SA R750-million a year | Source: Sunday Times/South Africa, May 8 2016 |

His name is Peter May, and the collars of his dapper blue shirt have been ironed flat.

“I have the same name as an English cricketer,” he says, pulling a trolley that bulges with rubbish bags.

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Peter May knows his bins Image: Ruvan Boshoff

But he is not a cricketer, and for him the waste inside the bags is not garbage. It is his livelihood: bundles of white paper, cardboard, newspaper and light steel sifted from bins and landfill sites across Cape Town.

May is one of the country’s 60 000 to 90 000 waste pickers who, in a recent surprise finding, save our municipalities up to R750-million a year.

They divert recyclables away from the landfills at no, or little cost. Now their fate hangs in the balance as the waste economy sets off on a new path.

According to a report by the Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), the waste and recycling sector “is on the brink of change” thanks to mandatory extended producer responsibility, which means producers will be responsible for the waste they generate. This often takes the form of a reuse, buy-back or recycling programme.

The CSIR has done research to see if waste pickers can be incorporated into the formal economy, and Professor Linda Godfrey, who led the study, said: “The most surprising finding for me was when we started to attach financial values to the savings by municipalities as a result of informal waste pickers.”

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Schools Promoting Learning Achievement through Sanitation and Hygiene – SPLASH