Category Archives: Hygiene Promotion

Two Indian sanitation social ventures receive US$ 50K in funding

A sanitary pad manufacturer and a human waste management company are among the nine winners of the Artha Venture Challenge (AVC) 2013. All of them will receive up to US$ 50,000 (INR 3 million) in funding from the Artha Platform subject to due diligence and investment approval.

Anandi sanitation pad

Photo: Aakar Innovations

Award winner Aakar Innovations is a Delhi-based start-up that supplies raw materials and sanitary pad mini-factories to women’s groups in rural areas. Costing US$ 5,000, each mini-factory can produce 1500-2000 pads per day, which is enough to provide work to 10-30 women. The biodegradable Anandi pads are  made from agri-waste. One pack of 8 pads sells for 20 rupees (US$ 0.33), said to be 40% less than branded mass-market products.

Banka BioLoo is a women led business from Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, providing sustainable solutions for sanitation and wastewater managment based on biotechnology. It manufactures, supplies and installs biodigesters for on-site treatment of human waste.

The Artha Venture Challenge (AVC) is funded by the Artha Platform and its founding organisation Rianta Philanthropy Ltd.  AVC 2013 was inspired by the UK Big Venture Challenge run by UnLtd UK.

The Artha Platform is a members-only online community and network linking impact investors/donors, social entrepreneurs and capacity building support organisations working on or in India.

Source:

  • Anand Rai, A look at the 9 social ventures that will each receive $50K in funding as part of the Artha Venture Challenge 2013, techcircle.in, 11 Apr 2014
  • Cut from a different cloth, Economist, 14 Sep 2013

THE URBAN PROGRAMMING GUIDE: How to design and implement a pro-poor urban WASH programme

Improving water, sanitation and hygiene services to low-income urban areas is a highly challenging and complex task. Traditional approaches have often failed to work. We need new approaches and fresh thinking. We need governments, donors and sector professionals genuinely committed to improving services in slum settlements. It’s challenging but it can be done! This guide offers some solutions based around WSUP’s experience: all you have to do is put them into practice!

The guide provides an introduction to urban WASH programming: how to design and implement a pro-poor urban water, sanitation and hygiene programme.

Urban Programming Guide
Who is this guide for?
This guide is primarily designed for WASH professionals working in governments, development agencies, funding agencies or civil society organisations. It will also be useful for professionals working for service providers including water utilities, local authorities and in the private sector.

How to use this guide
The guide provides an overview of some key strategies and service delivery models. It’s not intended to be encyclopaedic: it’s a rapid-reference document with the following intended uses:

  • To aid the planning, design and implementation of urban WASH programmes.
  • To assist with investment planning by service providers.
  • To point the reader towards further sources of information and guidance.

The guide is free to download from WSUP’s website: http://www.wsup.com/resource/the-urban-programming-guide

Unilever Lifebuoy Handwashing Campaign Reduces Diarrhea

Unilever Lifebuoy Handwashing Campaign Reduces Diarrhea from 36& to 5% in Indian Village unilever-logo

March 2014 – Unilever’s health soap Lifebuoy has this month announced the results of its Help A Child Reach 5 handwashing programmes launched in Thesgora, India, noting an overwhelming drop in incidence of diarrhoea from 36% to 5%.

The decrease in diarrhoea in this village – known for having one of the highest rates in India of this deadly yet preventable disease – was observed over the period of Lifebuoy’s intervention in an independent evaluation of 1485 households with children aged below 12 years, conducted by Nielsen in September 2013.

Lifebuoy’s Help A Child Reach 5 campaign aims to eradicate preventable deaths from diseases like diarrhoea one village at a time through teaching lifesaving handwashing habits. The campaign was launched with an award winning film http://www.youtube.com/helpachildreach5 and handwashing initiatives in Thesgora, a village in Madhya Pradesh.

These new results show that handwashing programmes have significant positive impact on both the handwashing behaviours and health of a community. Lifebuoy’s handwashing programmes are now being rolled out to villages across a further eight countries and scaled up in India to reach 45 million people.

#KeepTheHinWASH: Hygiene being left out from Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Hygiene is missing from an important United Nations document on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that will be submitted to the 68th Session of the UN General Assembly.

Several organisations including End Water Poverty, WaterAid, Practical Action and Helvetas have written to the Open Working Group on SDGs saying they regret that hygiene was left out of the Group’s Focus areas document.

advocate for hygiene

The Global Public-Private Partnership for Handwashing (PPPHW) is calling on its supporters to  advocate for the inclusion of hygiene alongside water and sanitation in the SDGs in the Open Working Group consultations before the closing date of 14 March 2014. Similarly, the PPPHW is requesting support for hygiene in the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) consultation, which also ends on 14 March.

The PPPHW offers talking points to advocate for hygiene in the SDGs, such as:

The word “hygiene” means different things to different people.  In the post-2015 WASH proposal, hygiene focuses on handwashing promotion, including access to a designated place for handwashing with soap and water, and menstrual hygiene management or the presence of gender-segregated sanitation facilities in schools and health centers  with access to soap and water and a place for safe disposal of menstrual hygiene materials

More information: PPPHW Soapbox – Handwashing Advocacy Edition

Study examines sustainability of CLTS programmes in Africa

Plan-ODF-sustainability-coverDespite the widespread implementation of Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) programs and many claims of success, there has been very little systematic investigation into their sustainability.  A new study, which aims to change that, is creating a stir in the WASH sector.

A study commissioned by Plan International on the sustainability of CLTS programs in Africa revealed that 87% of the households still had a functioning latrine. This would indicate a remarkably low rate of reversion (13%) to open defecation (OD) or “slippage”.

However, if the criteria used to originally award open defecation free (ODF) status to villages are used, then the overall slippage rate increased dramatically to  92%. These criteria are:

  • A functioning latrine with a superstructure
  • A means of keeping flies from the pit (either water seal or lid)
  • Absence of excreta in the vicinity of the house
  • Hand washing facilities with water and soap or soap-substitute such as ash
  • Evidence that the latrine and hand washing facilities were being used

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Cartoon contest – break the silence about toilets and sanitation in India!

With your creativity we want to break the silence about toilets and sanitation in India! SanitationTaboo

The Sustainable Sanitation Alliance (SuSanA) and GIZ together with Goethe Institute Max Müller, the Indian Institute for Cartoonists and EAWAG/Sandec invite creative minds to submit fun and striking ideas about toilets and sanitation in the form of Cartoons, Caricatures or Infographics that will create a humorous atmosphere around sanitation concerns. Because sanitation in India is still a taboo; the media doesn’t address the issue often enough and people feel uncomfortable talking about it, even though it’s an issue that concerns all of us – several times a day, every day. We are flexible with the entry’s format as long as it:

Surprises the silent majority and makes them laugh and talk about sanitation!

So what’s the cartoon competition all about?

  • The idea is to have a cartoon competition on the topic of sanitation and toilets.
  • The inspiration comes from the ‘Reinvented Toilets’ Programme by the Gates Foundation.
  • The approach taken by the Cartoon-Competition is, however, one both smaller in scale and more abstract in style.
  • The essence of the endeavour is to break the taboo that surrounds talking about sanitation and toilets in India with humor and laughter.

The deadline for submitting entries is Monday, 10 March, 2014 (midnight Indian Standard Time).

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“SuperAmma” campaign results in significant improvements in people’s handwashing behaviour

“SuperAmma” campaign results in significant improvements in people’s handwashing behaviour | Source: SHARE, Feb 27 2014 |

A unique handwashing campaign jointly funded by SHARE and the Wellcome Trust has shown for the first time that using emotional motivators – such as feelings of disgust and nurture – rather than health messages, can result in significant, long-lasting improvements in people’s handwashing behaviour, and could in turn help to reduce the risk of infectious diseases. SuperAmma

“Every year, diarrhoea kills around 800,000 children under 5 years old. Handwashing with soap could prevent perhaps a third of these deaths”, explains study author Dr Val Curtis, from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM).

“Handwashing campaigns usually try to educate people with health messages about germs and diseases, but so far efforts to change handwashing behaviour on a large scale have had little success. Understanding the motivating factors for routine hand washing is essential to any initiative likely to achieve lasting behaviour change.”

An evaluation of the behaviour-change intervention, published by the Lancet Global Health journal today, shows that 6 months after the campaign was rolled out in 14 villages in rural India, rates of handwashing with soap increased by 31%, compared to communities without the programme, and were sustained for 12 months.

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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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Tropical plant Moringa provides alternative to soap for handwashing

Moringa oleofera leaves and powde

Moringa oleofera leaves and powder. Photo: New Flavor House Inc.

SHARE-funded research [1] has found that Moringa oleifera, a common plant in many tropical and subtropical countries, can be an effective handwashing product if used in the correct concentration. Laboratory tests show that the plant has antibacterial activity against different pathogen, but its potential effect as a hand washing product had not been studied before.

By testing the effect of Moringa oleifera leaf powder on hands artificially contaminated with E. coli and comparing this to the effect of non-medicated liquid soap, the researchers from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and SBI Consulting Ltd in Mozambique found that four grams of Moringa oleifera powder had the same effect as non-medicated soap when used for hand washing.

The next step will be to try this product in real conditions and study its acceptability and convenience for potential users.

To take part in a discussion on the use of Moringa as soap visit the SuSanA  Forum.

SHARE stands for Sanitation and Hygiene Applied Research for Equity, and is a five year initiative (2010-2015) funded by the UK Department for International Development

[1] Torondel, B., Opare, D., Brandberg, B., Cobb, E. and Cairncross, S., 2014. Efficacy of Moringa oleifera leaf powder as a hand- washing product : a crossover controlled study among healthy volunteers. BMC complementary and alternative medicine, 14 (57), pp. 1-7.   doi:10.1186/1472-6882-14-57

Source: SHARE, 21 Feb 2014

Valerie Curtis – Don’t Look, Don’t Touch! Brains and behaviour from a disgust perspective

Don’t Look, Don’t Touch! Brains and behaviour from a disgust perspective, by Valerie Curtis, Ph.D. | Source/complete article: Psychology Today.

Valerie-Curtis

Valerie Curtis, Ph.D., is a Disgustologist and Director of the Hygiene Centre at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Disgust Has Us in Its Grip – Five things disgust tells us about ourselves 

Disgust is one of our most powerful emotions, it drives what we do in the privacy of our homes, as well as out in the world. It drives our most intimate habits, our social interactions and our moral judgement. Yet it’s still not very well understood. That’s a pity, because disgust can teach us a lot about ourselves. Here’s five things we can learn from disgust:

1. Brains are for behaviour.

You may think that your brain is for thinking, for cogitating, for solving problems. But thinking is only the icing on the cake. Brains evolved because they made the animals that were our ancestors behave in ways that got them what they needed. One fundamental need of all animals is to not get eaten. Hence all animals have behavioural strategies to keep safe from predators. The brain system that drives such behaviour is called FEAR. But it’s not just predators that want to eat you. Billions of microbes and parasites want a free meal and a free ride out of you too. The brain system that keeps us away from these micro-predators is called DISGUST. Our brains instinctively recognise yucky, smelly, sticky, contaminated stuff as potentially risky and the disgust system in the brain dictates the appropriate behaviour: ‘Don’t look, don’t touch, don’t eat!’ Brains evolved to make us do such tasks (others include nurturing, hoardingpair bonding and status seeking) without invoking conscious, rational calculation. Our brains are for behaviour.

2. You are disgusting.

Unpleasant as it may be to contemplate, you are a walking mass of infectious material. You are home to billions of microbes, millions of worms and plenty of other parasitic creatures. You are therefore a disease threat to other people and, hence, you are disgusting. (So am I!). But being disgusting is a bit of a problem for a social species like ourselves. How to get all the benefits of cooperating with friends and acquaintances, alike, without turning them off you? The answer is simple – good manners. You learnt from your Mom and your mates at an early age not to wear stinky clothes, to breathe in someone’s face, to wee in their front room or to offer them your dirty towel. If you did they’d be disgusted, and you’d lose an ally. Because you are disgusting you have good manners and that’s how you tip the balance between being disgusting and being accepted as a member of society.

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