Category Archives: Dignity and Social Development

What numbers tell us about Open Defecation in India

What numbers tell us about Open Defecation in India | Source: The Hindu, Oct 2 2016 |

As per the most recent Swachhta Status Report in 2015, more than half of the rural population (52.1 per cent) of the country still defecates in open. 

sanitation-india

Behaviour change is a key priority of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan as sanitation is a behavioural issue. Photo: Special Arrangement

As per the most recent Swachhta Status Report in 2015, more than half of the rural population (52.1 per cent) of the country still defecates in open.

Eliminating Open Defecation in India by 2nd October 2019 – the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi – is one of the key aims of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan movement launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi two years ago on Gandhi Jayanti.

As per the most recent Swachhta Status Report of the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO), in 2015, more than half of the rural population (52.1 per cent) of the country still defecates in open —a major public health and sanitation problem.

How does India compare with other countries?

India fares poorly. According to data compiled by r.i.c.e, Sub-Saharan Africa, which had 65 per cent of the GDP per capita of India, had only about half of the rural open defecation compared to India.

In Bangladesh, only 5 per cent of rural people defecate in the open, significantly lower than that in India.

Read the complete article.

Broken glass and needles: the waste pickers scraping a living at Jordan’s landfills

Broken glass and needles: the waste pickers scraping a living at Jordan’s landfills | Source: The Guardian, August 27, 2016 |

At Al Huseyniyat landfill, Syrian refugees salvage recyclables illegally. Efforts to formalise their work offer hope 

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Muhammed Abu Najib Temeki, 48, a father of nine from Deraa in Syria, pushes a cart of recyclable waste towards an Oxfam recycling centre in Za’atari refugee camp in Jordan. Photograph: Sam Tarling/Oxfam

Without warning the bulldozer accelerates, cutting through mounds of waste at Al Huseyniyat landfill in northern Jordan. A lingering stench intensifies as the machine scoops up an armful of rubbish, discharging clouds of flies over a group of people rifling through bin bags nearby.

No one notices the disturbance. Their gazes are trained downwards as they sift through the morning’s waste. “We look for plastic, aluminium, metal, clothes – anything we can sell or keep, or sometimes eat,” says Mohammed Ali, an Egyptian who makes a living salvaging recyclables from the site.

Ali manages a team of 15 waste pickers – men, women and children – most Syrians from nearby Za’atari refugee camp. They earn around 10 Jordanian dinar (£10.90) a day. “It’s not a lot but I make enough to manage on,” says Nawras Sahasil, a 21-year-old Syrian refugee who supports his wife and two children on the 250 dinars a month he earns from the landfill.

Like most people here, Sahasil does not have a work permit. While the Jordanian government has gone some way towards easing restrictions on employment for Syrian refugees, the vast majority are still working illegally. Now, a number of organisations in Jordan are looking to formalise the work of waste pickers and harness their role as recyclers to address the country’s mounting rubbish crisis, while developing sustainable solutions for processing waste in the future.

Read the complete article.

Using psychology to change deadly bathroom habits in India

Using psychology to change deadly bathroom habits in India | Source: Philly.com, Aug 28 2016 |

In two cities in eastern India, Pamela Dalton’s team walks around pointing Nasal Rangers – devices resembling oversized hair dryers – into half-completed community toilets.

Then they sniff.

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DEBASMITA MOHANTY Jayalalita Lenka, a surveyor on the Potty Project team, uses a Nasal Ranger to record the odors in a community toilet under construction in Bhubaneswar, India.

Dalton is an experimental psychologist from Philadelphia whose specialty is how people perceive and respond to odors. The odd-looking devices collect chemical data on aromas of all kinds, before and after the toilets are open for use. The goal: Get more people to use the facilities.

 People don’t want to relieve themselves indoors, Dalton said, and the intensity of bad smells is part of the problem. While the smell of human waste is diluted outdoors, without proper sanitation, it concentrates indoors, sending residents to relieve themselves elsewhere.

Poor sanitation is a leading cause of child mortality and disease in the developing world. India has the highest rates of what officials call open defecation, according to the World Health Organization. Many residents of urban slums come from villages where they may never have seen a modern toilet, and have no idea that waste can be infectious.

“People just defecate wherever,” said Dalton, a faculty member at the Monell Chemical Senses Center. “They’re used to going outside.”

So Dalton’s team, which is overseeing construction of dozens of new community toilets, is trying to make the new facilities more appealing. Part of that is studying the current state of stench.

Read the complete article.

Margaret Batty/WaterAid – Poor globally being failed on sanitation

Margaret Batty/WaterAid – Poor globally being failed on sanitation | Source: The Guardian, Aug 14 2016 |

WaterAid shares the global concern for the world’s top athletes dealing with the sewage in Rio’s bays (Report, 4 August). But the heavily contaminated waters don’t only put at risk the health of Olympians, it’s clear they also adversely affect the millions of people facing this faecal nightmare, day-in and day-out.

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Rubbish along the edge of Guanabara Bay, Rio, the venue for the Olympic sailing events. ‘These Olympic Games have put the spotlight on one of the most urgent yet beatable crises of our time. World leaders must address it,’ writes Margaret Batty of WaterAid. Photograph: Mario Tama/Getty

Despite Brazil being an upper-middle income country, nearly 2% of Brazilians, or 3.5 million people, have no access to clean water, and 17%, or 35 million people, live without good sanitation. In Rio alone, 30% of the population is not connected to a formal sewerage system. It is a travesty that anyone should have to live like this.

Sadly, Brazil is not alone in facing a water and sanitation crisis. One in three people globally live without decent toilets, and one in 10 are without clean water. These Olympic Games have put the spotlight on one of the most urgent yet beatable crises of our time. World leaders must address it.

The UN global goals for sustainable development were agreed by these leaders last year. The challenge now is to put those promises into action, ensuring that everyone, everywhere has clean water and sanitation by 2030.
Margaret Batty
Director of global policy and campaigns, WaterAid

Rio’s waste pickers: ‘People spat at us but now we’re at the Olympics’

Rio’s waste pickers: ‘People spat at us but now we’re at the Olympics’ |Source: The Guardian, Aug 6 2016 |

Rio authorities partner with Coca-Cola to fund the Rio Olympics waste pickers programme, putting a spotlight on one of Brazil’s most marginalised professions 

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Rio 2016’s waste pickers. Photograph: Luiz Galerani

Claudete Da Costa started working as a waste picker with her mother when she was 11 years old, collecting recyclable goods in Rio de Janeiro to sell to scrap merchants.

“We were ashamed,” she says. “People saw us and spat at us, thought we were thieves.”

Today, 36-year-old Da Costa’s outlook has changed. She is the Rio de Janeiro representative for Brazil’s National Movement of Waste Pickers, whose mission is to improve workers’ rights and increase recognition of the contribution made by one of Brazil’s most marginalised professions.

This month, Da Costa and 240 other pickers from 33 of Rio’s waste collecting co-operatives – autonomous groups that collect the city’s rubbish throughout the year – are formally contracted to handle recyclable waste during the Olympic Games.

The pickers will be spread across three of the four Olympic sites – Maracana, Olympic Park and Deodoro – where they will collect recyclable goods such as plastic bottles and aluminium cans, and take them to a depot to be sorted, stored and sold on by the co-ops to scrap merchants.

Read the complete article.

Mainstreaming Waste Pickers in City’s Solid Waste Management System -Swachh Bharat Urban

Mainstreaming Waste Pickers in City’s Solid Waste Management System, 2016. Swachh Bharat Urban

In the second course of this tutorial, Ms. Aparna Susarla, Operations Manager of SWaCH discusses the benefits of engaging waste pickers in the city’s SWM system for waste pickers as well as to the city. We will learn of the segregation of waste, composting of wet waste and sale of recyclables by waste pickers and how this cooperation has helped PMC save almost Rs. 16 crores annually.

2016 WEDC conference presentations on CLTS

The 122 presentations from the 2016 WEDC conference are now online at http://wedc.lu/wedc39 and below are titles of presentations on the topic of community-led total sanitation. wedc_moodle

  1. Building ODF communities through effective collaboration with governments
  2. CLTS plus : making CLTS ever more inclusive
  3. CLTS versus other approaches to promote sanitation: rivalry or complementarity?
  4. Community-led total sanitation (CLTS) in fragile contexts: the Somalia case
  5. Partial usage of toilets: a growing problem
  6. Seeking evidence of sustained sanitation successes
  7. Shocking imagery and cultural sensitivity: a CLTS case study from Madagascar
  8. To ODF and beyond: sharing experiences from the Pan African CLTS programme
  9. Using a CLTS approach and/or CLTS tools in urban environments: themes and trends
  10. Who is managing the post-ODF process in the community? A case study of Nambale District in Western Kenya
  11. Good governance for sustainable WASH programming: lessons from two USAID-funded projects