Category Archives: Dignity and Social Development

At stake in Johannesburg’s ‘recycling wars’: more than trash

At stake in Johannesburg’s ‘recycling wars’: more than trash. Christian Science Monitor, April 2017.

Informal and formal sectors of the economy work side-by-side in many African nations – but can they work together?

APRIL 11, 2017 JOHANNESBURG—In another lifetime, Louis Mahlangu was an electrician. It was a good job, challenging and respectable, the kind of profession that could make his family proud. wastepickers

There was just one problem.

“There was no work,” he says. No matter how hard he looked, Mr. Mahlangu was barely finding enough jobs to scrape by. Then his sister invited him to tag along to her job. The hours were good, she promised, and the pay – well, it was better than anything he was likely to earn replacing wiring in suburban houses.

And so he put on a pair of rubber rain boots, hiked to the top of a squelching mountain of Johannesburg’s garbage, and began digging for plastic.

Twenty-two years later, he’s still there, along with thousands of others like him, collecting dinged Coke bottles and pulverized yogurt cartons discarded by the city’s residents and selling them on to private recycling companies. At his peak, Mahlangu says, he made up to $1000 each month, a respectable wage in a country where the newly proposed minimum wage is around $250 per month.

Read the complete article.

Resources from Exploring how to address on-going taboos and silence around MHM for girls in school

Below are links to some interesting resources and contacts from the SuSanA discussion that might be useful for WASH in schools and Gender:

Exploring how to address on-going taboos and silence around MHM for girls in school

http://forum.susana.org/component/kunena/282-theme-1-breaking-the-taboo-around-mhm/21022-exploring-how-to-address-on-going-taboos-and-silence-around-mhm-for-girls-in-school

Sophie Durrans, SHARE – In relation to this discussion I thought some of you might be interested in SHARE’s policy brief on MHM. It highlights the work we’ve done on this subject to date, where we think the gaps remain and what we’d recommend for policymakers and practitioners. You can download the policy brief here: http://www.shareresearch.org/research/menstrual-hygiene-management-policy-brief 

Claudia Wendland, WECF – In our Water and Sanitation Safety Plan Compendium (www.wecf.eu/english/publications/2017/Revised-Compendium.php) we have Part C which is a Train the teachers giving guidance to teachers how to realise an interactive education on water and sanitation and to make children change agents. Module C5 is about MHM: www.wecf.eu/download/2017/01-January/WSSPPublicationENPartC.pdf

Rachel Starkey | Transformation Textiles – From the feed-back of this great day with BCW, Transformation Textiles made these resources available on a FREE MHM mobile app, so that anyone anywhere could down-load these same resources and re-create their own mini-MHM festival. We were invited by IsraAID to teach refugee women in the Kakuma Refugee camp the same material. As expected, these women adapted, improved upon our materials and made it their own.

Camilla Wirseen, founder of The Cup Foundation and co-founder of a sanitation solution called Peepoo. The Cup Foundation works with trainers who are almost peers to the girls they train. They are all young women, 20-30 years old who have shared similar challenges to the girls they train and grown up in similar environments. We also include the environment surrounding the girls. We train boys aged 13-16 years in schools, parents, teachers and elders (informal leaders) to fight the taboo, and in support of the girls.

Aditi Gupta talks about taboos and silences regarding MHM in India and her Comic “Menstrupedia” in her TED talk on “A taboo-free way to talk about periods”

WSSCC’s first 2017 Webinar session : Inadequate Sanitation and Stress

WSSCC’s first 2017 Webinar session : Inadequate Sanitation and Stress. WSSCC, April 4, 2017.

The hour-long discussion centred around a presentation on the sanitation-related stress experienced by women in the state of Odisha in India.

Globally, about 2.4 billion people have inadequate access to sanitation facilities and one billion people practice open defecation. In India, about 300 million women and girls have no choice but to defecate in the open. WSSCC-Logo.png

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), the biomedical impacts of poor sanitation access have received considerable attention. However, there remains limited understanding of the psychological and social impacts of inadequate sanitation for women and girls.

In March, WSSCC kicked off its 2017 webinar series, with a session dedicated to exploring the psycho social stress related to poor sanitation that adversely affect the lives of women and girls. The discussion was based on a WSSCC study,  Sanitation-related psychosocial stressors during routine sanitation practices among women, which looks into  the practices of adolescent, newly married, pregnant and adult women in urban and rural settings, and in indigenous communities, in the state of Odisha in India.

Dr. Kathleen O’Reilly, Associate Professor at Texas A&M University presented the findings with the study’s researcher Dr. Krushna Chandra Sahoo from the Asian Institute of Public Health. The session was moderated by Archana Patkar, Head of Policy at WSSCC.

Read the complete article.

 

SHARE – Understanding Gendered Sanitation Vulnerabilities: A Study in Uttar Pradesh

Understanding Gendered Sanitation Vulnerabilities: A Study in Uttar Pradesh, 2017. SHARE Project.

The aim of this study was to understand rural women and girls’ age-specific experiences of using and accessing sanitation. The study focused on the accessibility of latrines and the conditions of sanitation experienced across age, religion, caste, etc. Share_Logo_MAIN_STRAP_RGB

The study objectives were informed by research indicating that women and girls have unique needs, and that these needs vary between urban and rural environments.

Specifically, we were interested in assessing the gender, caste, and age-specific experiences of SRPS that rural women and girls experience, and to suggest ways that SDG indicators and guidelines for Swachh Bharat Mission—Rural (SBM) in India might be adjusted to be more sensitive to the unique needs and stresses of rural women and girls without access to sanitation.

Duncan Mara – The elimination of open defecation and its adverse health effects: a moral imperative for governments and development professionals

The elimination of open defecation and its adverse health effects: a moral imperative for governments and development professionalsJournal of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for Development, February 2017. 1.cover-source

In 2015 there were 965 million people in the world forced to practise open defecation (OD). The adverse health effects of OD are many: acute effects include infectious intestinal diseases, including diarrheal diseases which are exacerbated by poor water supplies, sanitation and hygiene; adverse pregnancy outcomes; and life-threatening violence against women and girls.

Chronic effects include soil-transmitted helminthiases, increased anaemia, giardiasis, environmental enteropathy and small intestine bacterial overgrowth, and stunting and long-term impaired cognition. If OD elimination by 2030 is to be accelerated, then a clear understanding is needed of what prevents and what drives the transition from OD to using a latrine.

Sanitation marketing, behaviour change communication, and ‘enhanced’ community-led total sanitation (‘CLTSþ ’), supplemented by ‘nudging’, are the three most likely joint strategies to enable communities, both rural and periurban, to become completely OD-free and remain so.

It will be a major Sanitation Challenge to achieve the elimination of OD by 2030, but helping the poorest currently plagued by OD and its serious adverse health effects should be our principal task as we seek to achieve the sanitation target of the Sustainable Development Goals – indeed it is a moral imperative for all governments and development professionals.

12th SuSanA Thematic Discussion: “Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) in Schools – A neglected issue”

While nowadays the topic of MHM is gaining more and more attention, it has widely been neglected in the past. SDG4 (education), SDG5 (gender equality) and SDG6 (water and sanitation) require female friendly sanitation facilities and available informational materials at schools around the globe.

Taking into account the magnitude of the population affected by issues around MHM, schools provide an ideal environment to reach girls as well as young women and to address taboos and misconceptions in a culturally sensitive manner.

The question, however, is how to approach the topic in a culturally sensitive manner?

Running for two weeks from today (March 27 until April 09) the discussion on the SuSanA forum will look at two areas:

Week 1: Breaking the taboo around MHM                                           Thematic Lead: Dr. Marni Sommer (Associate Professor, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health)

 Week 2: Infrastructural barriers and how to monitor MHM            Thematic Lead: Thérèse Mahon (Regional Programme Manager South Asia, WaterAid)

During the discussion, regular summaries of forum entries will be posted to keep you updated on our conversation.

Coordination on behalf of the SuSanA secretariat for this thematic discussion will be carried out by Dr. Bella Monse, Jan Schlenk and Mintje Büürma. For any questions, you can post on the forum or contact us directly at info@susana.org.

To join the discussion, follow: http://bit.ly/2nZn4n6

And to read the first contribution by Marni Sommer, click on: http://bit.ly/2n9JLkv

Death-trap toilets: the hidden dangers of Mumbai’s poorest slums

Death-trap toilets: the hidden dangers of Mumbai’s poorest slums. The Guardian, February 27, 2017.

Poorly-constructed toilet blocks have led to the deaths of seven people in three months, but politicians are yet to act on their promises for change 

mumbai

In Mumbai slums, 78% of community toilets lack water supply, 58% have no electricity and many don’t have proper doors. Photograph: Alamy Stock Photo

On the morning of 4 February, Harish Tikedar, Ganesh Soni, and Mohammed Isafil Ansari waited in a queue to use the community toilet in the Indira Nagar slum in eastern Mumbai. All of a sudden the floor collapsed, plunging Tikedar, Soni and Ansari into the septic tank 15-feet below.

Two others who also fell – Sirajjudin Turat and Ramakant Kanojia – managed to hold on to the sides until they were rescued.

“I was submerged up to my shoulders in the slush,” says Turat. “I could feel it pulling me down but somehow held on to a slab. Then some people pulled me up and I passed out.”

The five men who were pulled out were unrecognisable, covered in faeces. They were all taken to a nearby hospital but Tikedar, Soni and Ansari did not survive.

In Mumbai’s slums, the simple act of relieving oneself is fraught with danger, especially in the slums of M-East ward where population density is high, and the few public amenities are crumbling.

M-East is the poorest and most deficient in civic services of Mumbai’s 24 administrative wards. It has expanded over the last 15 years but has remained on the periphery of the city’s consciousness and governance systems. The differences between the civic amenities available in the smattering of middle-class apartment blocks and the slums, which dominate M-East, are stark.

Read the complete article.