Category Archives: Emergency Sanitation

Impact of WASH interventions during disease outbreaks in humanitarian emergencies: A systematic review protocol

Impact of WASH interventions during disease outbreaks in humanitarian emergencies: A systematic review protocol, 2016. Authors: Yates, Travis, Vijcic, Jelena Joseph, Myriam Leandre, Lantagne, Daniele

The purpose of this document is to clearly describe the proposed research questions and methodology for a systematic review on water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) interventions in disease outbreaks. The systematic review has a singular overarching objective in assessing the impact of emergency hygiene interventions. oxfam

The primary research question will be answered through four secondary objectives that further evaluate: a) use of service and disease reduction; b) positive intervention characteristics; c) cost-effectiveness; and d) non-health related factors of emergency WASH interventions in disease outbreaks.

This review is funded through the Humanitarian Evidence Programme, a UK Aid-funded partnership between Oxfam and Feinstein International Center (FIC) at the Friedman School of Nutrition at Tufts University. The Humanitarian Evidence Programme aims to synthesize evidence in the humanitarian sector and communicate the findings to stakeholders, with the ultimate goal of improving humanitarian policy and practice.

WASH Alliance Kenya – Impact of a school WASH club

WaterAid – How to sell toilets: a new approach to sanitation marketing in South East Asia

WaterAid – How to sell toilets: a new approach to sanitation marketing in South East Asia | Source: WaterAid Blog, April 22, 2015.

In Cambodia, an organisation named WaterSHED has developed a successful approach to marketing sanitation to remote communities which has reached 40% of Cambodians and is spreading fast across the Mekong region.

Excerpts: Established in 2010, WaterSHED – Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Enterprise Development – is a business development services provider working to bring effective and affordable water and sanitation products to the market, focusing on Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia. Only 28% of people in Cambodia are estimated to have access to sanitation – less in rural areas – and communities and businesses are not always interested in improving this or able to make change happen.

Local supplier with samples of toilet components. Photo: WaterAid/ Erik Harvey.

Local supplier with samples of toilet components. Photo: WaterAid/ Erik Harvey.

Although several organisations in the country were working on sanitation when WaterSHED was established, there was little coherence in their approaches, which Geoff Revell, Regional Programme Manager for WaterSHED, found frustrating. “While on one hand, there is space to try out new things, on the other, there are various approaches, some of which are subsidy driven, that are not very effective.”

A ‘hands-off’ approach

WaterSHED takes a ‘hands-off’ approach, using community leaders to generate demand for sanitation, working with the supply chain to offer appropriate and affordable products and identifying incentives to increase take-up. The organisation encourages businesses to consider adopting sanitation-related products that would complement other aspects of their wider business and thus enable them to diversify. It believes its role as a ‘market facilitator’ is finite, and that exit strategies need to be in place to enable private and public sector players to take over.

The sanitation marketing approach has six key components:

  • Identify community leaders to make the pitch for sanitation.
    Generate demand for toilets using a combination of pride and disgust messages.
  • Link communities to supply chains and vice versa, focusing on home delivery, affordability and promotional models.
  • Enable suppliers to be reliable and trustworthy, offering good-quality products, information and advice.
  • Make links to micro-financing where appropriate.
  • Help identify appropriate and adaptable incentives.

Read the complete article

Deprived of water and sanitation in Gaza

We don’t want another catastrophe besides the one we already have. Fatma (43) mother of 9 children

Since the start of the Israeli assault on Gaza on 7 July 2014, codenamed “Protective Edge”, the water and wastewater infrastructure in Gaza has been heavily affected by Israeli airstrikes and shelling.

Main water supply and wastewater as well as electricity infrastructure has been hit. As a result services have been cut or severely disrupted, affecting the entire population in Gaza.

Up to 25 per cent of Gaza’s population were displaced. The 1.8 million people in Gaza, living in homes and shelters have extremely restricted access to water and sanitation.

Fatma, 45, was displaced with her family and sought shelter at a school in Ash Shuja’iyeh. She speaks in a Thirsting for Justice campaign video about the problems with water, sanitation and hygiene that her family faces amongst the many other displaced.

Photo: EWASH

Thirsting for Justice is an initiative of EWASH, the Emergency Water Sanitation and Hygiene group in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

UNESCO-IHE – Smart eSOS toilet for emergencies

UNESCO-IHE – Smart eSOS toilet for emergencies | SOURCE: UNESCO-IHE, July 2014 |

The emergency Sanitation Operation System (eSOS) concept provides a sustainable, holistic and affordable sanitation solution during the aftermath of a disaster. The eSOS reinvents (emergency) toilet and treatment facilities, and uses ICT to bring cost savings to the entire sanitation management chain. The toilet will improve the quality of life of people in need during emergency situations – from natural to anthropological disasters – and minimizes the threat to public health of the most vulnerable members of society.  esos-toilet_0

The eSOS concept was developed by UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education. The experimental prototype of the smart toilet was developed in collaboration with FLEX/The INNOVATIONLAB and SYSTECH and is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation-funded project SaniUP – Stimulating local innovation on sanitation for the urban poor in Sub-Saharan Africa and South East Asia.

Smart features
The eSOS emergency toilets are easily deployable in disaster areas because of their robust and light-weight specifications. The smart eSOS toilet includes some unique features in the prototype that will shed new light on how the toilets are used in emergencies. This includes remote-sensing monitoring, an energy supply unit, GSM/GPS sensor/card, occupancy sensors, urine/faeces accumulation sensor, an S.O.S. button, and a communication system that allows for data collection by remote sensing and their transfer to an on or off-site emergency coordination center. The data resulting from the use of the toilets will allow the toilets as well as the entire sanitation management chain to be improved.

Field testing
The eSOS toilet will be tested further in a refugee camp in the Philippines in September with support of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Asian Development Bank. UNESCO-IHE PhD fellow Fiona Zakaria from Indonesia will carry out further experimental testing in cooperation with relief agencies on the ground. The eSOS smart toilet design prototype will be manufactured based on the results and feedback obtained from the experimental application.

Toilets, trash and social status: the top 10 emergency hygiene challenges

Toilets, trash and social status: the top 10 emergency hygiene challenges | Source/Complete article: Kathy Migiro, Thomson Reuters Foundation | Feb 17 2014

Excerpts:  NAIROBI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – More than 900 beneficiaries, field practitioners and donors named their most pressing gaps in emergency water, sanitation and hygiene promotion (WASH) services in a 2013 survey.

Congolese refugees gather around dry water taps at Bukanga camp, Uganda, July 17, 2013. REUTERS/James Akena

Congolese refugees gather around dry water taps at Bukanga camp, Uganda, July 17, 2013. REUTERS/James Akena

The Humanitarian Innovation Fund (HIF), which carried out the survey, plans to solve them through open innovation, where grants of up to $20,000 are given to the best new ideas.

Here are the top 10 gaps HIF will tackle (in no particular order):

1)    Latrine lighting – In many refugee camps, latrines are not lit at night making them dangerous for women to use.

Challenge: To light communal latrines at night in a cheap and sustainable manner.

2)    Space saving jerrycan – In emergencies, agencies traditionally buy and distribute jerrycans, which can mean transporting 15 or 20 litres of air. Collapsible jerrycans only last a couple of months before they start leaking.

Challenge: To design a 15 litre jerrycan, costing less than $5, with limited volume when stored, lasting one year.

3)    Excreta disposal in urban emergencies – Earthquakes and floods often cut off urban water supplies and damage toilets. When large numbers of displaced people gather in safe places like schools, sanitation facilities get overwhelmed. Many agencies build raised latrines. But they need to be emptied frequently, with waste being dumped in purpose-built pits or rivers, creating health risks.

Challenges: To develop new products to provide safe excreta disposal in urban environments after disasters. Solutions should consider not only containment, but also emptying and disposal mechanisms.

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Latrine lighting in emergencies: innovation challenge

The Humanitarian Innovation Fund (HIF) has US$ 20,000 on offer for a proposal for an economical, sustainable lighting system for latrines in refugee or displaced persons camps.

Communal latrine facilities in camps are often underutilised at night when it is dark for fear of harassment and attacks especially for women and children. Existing lighting systems tend to be costly as most camps do not have a central electrical system as a power source. Also, battery systems tend to get stolen for valuable parts. This Challenge is to design a lighting system for communal latrine facilities that will promote safety and utilization. The system must be robust, economical and not easily vandalized or stolen.

This is a Theoretical Challenge that requires only a written proposal to be submitted. Award winners does not need to transfer their exclusive IP rights to the HIF, but instead grant HIF non-exclusive license to practice their solutions.

Deadline: 16 March 2014

For more information and to register for the Challenge, go to:
www.innocentive.com/ar/challenge/9933339

The Humanitarian Innovation Fund (HIF) is managed by ELRHA (Enhancing Learning and Research for Humanitarian Assistance) and administered by Save the Children.

The HIF’s  £3.3 million (US$ 5.5 million) WASH Innovation Fund is supported by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and will  initially focus on two challenges:

  • Lighting Latrines (see above)
  • Managing Solid Waste, due to launch later in January 2014, which will award designs for a new incinerator, compactor or recycling method that is rapidly deployable, cost-effective and easy to use.

As well as these two open challenges, the WASH Innovation Fund will also support Accelerated Innovation events for more complex challenges. These will bring together aid agencies, businesses and academics already working in the sector to collaborate and create partnerships that can develop and test new ideas.

For full details go to:
http://www.humanitarianinnovation.org/funding/WASH-Stream

Source: DFID, Could you help save lives in a disaster zone?, GOV.UK, 18 Jan 2014