Category Archives: Sanitary Facilities

May 3, 2017 Webinar: WASH Counts in Healthcare Facilities!

To learn how WASH can prevent the spread of healthcare-associated infections, join Medentech and the Global Handwashing Partnership on May 3 at 10 am EST for a webinar observing Hand Hygiene Day (May 5). WASH-in-HCFs-webinar-flyer-724x1024

During this webinar, experts will share information on how to improve WASH in HCFs, including:

  • The World Health Organization (WHO) will share an update from the WHO/UNICEF Global Action Plan on WASH in HCF;
  • USAID’s Maternal & Child Program (MCSP) will discuss how WASH underpins quality of care and contributes to health systems strengthening effort, as well as the Clean Clinic Approach, a WASH program that empowers HCFs to become clean, safe, and desirable;
  • The Beninese Association for Social Marketing (Association Béninoise pour le Marketing Social (ABMS), a member of the PSI network) will provide an overview of how it supports HCFs in Benin to improve hygiene and make services safer for patients;
  • Medentech will share lessons learned from its work in infection prevention across the world and offer some tools for continued hygiene improvement in healthcare clinics globally.

Presenters will also share links to educational resources and tools during the webinar.

We look forward to having you join us on May 3 at 10 am EST!  Please register here: bit.ly/WASHinHCF.

A financially viable and safe solution for managing human waste

Collecting small monthly payments will help waste collectors build their business.

Bangladesh - pit latrine empytiers

Pit latrine workers in Bangladesh collecting and transporting human waste to a site where it is processed into fertiliser. Image: Neil Palmer (IWMI). Credit: University of Leeds

Spreading the cost of emptying pit latrines over a series of monthly payments could make it more affordable for poor households and help kick start the safe reuse of faecal sludge as fertiliser and biogas. This is the conclusion of a willingness-to-pay study carried out in a rural sub-district of Bangladesh covered by the BRAC WASH Programme II.

The study has already caught the attention of policymakers, and influenced the development of Bangladesh’s first regulatory framework for faecal sludge management. Some of the authors are members of the Bangladesh National Committee for Fecal Sludge Management.

Currently, households struggle to pay a lump sum of US$13 every three to four years to empty their pit latrines. This is approximately 14% of their monthly income. Instead, the study found they could pay small monthly payments of as little as US$ 0.31 per month, comparable to what they spend each month on a mobile phone service. These up-front payments help waste collectors to invest in the development of their service. Nevertheless, a government subsidy would still be needed to cover the full cost of safe removal and transport of faecal sludge.

As mentioned above, there is potential for waste collectors to generate extra revenue by converting faecal waste into fertiliser and biogas. The profitability of these waste by-products, however, can be effected by existing subsidies for chemical fertilisers and conventional fuels. Another factor that can reduce profitability is the low energy or calorific value of human waste compared to other organic wastes. A companion study carried out as part of the BRAC WASH Programme II tested solutions to increase the calorific value by co-processing human waste with other agricultural wastes.

The willingness-to-pay study is an output of the Value at the end of the Sanitation Value Chain (VeSV) research project, lead by the University of Leeds. VeSV was one of six action research projects funded by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands (Bangladesh) through IRC. Additional funding was provided by the CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems.

For more information read “Spreading the cost to transform sanitation“, published by the University of Leed’s School of Civil Engineering, 22 March 2017.

Citation: Balasubramanya S, et al. (2017) Towards sustainable sanitation management : establishing the costs and willingness to pay for emptying and transporting sludge in rural districts with high rates of access to latrines. PLoS ONE 12(3): e0171735. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0171735

This news item was originally published on the IRC website, 27 March 2017.

Toilet Accelerator & SaTo toilet products named as finalists in the first-ever World Changing Ideas Awards

Announcing The Winners Of The 2017 World Changing Ideas Awards.  Fast Company, March 20, 2017.

Our 25 expert judges combed through more than 1,000 entries from around the world to find the most innovative ideas to make the world better. poster

Here they are: the winners of the first-ever World Changing Ideas Awards. We sifted through more than 1,000 truly impressive entries to find the ones our panel of judges thought were the best combination of creative problem solving and potential to change our world for the better. We have crowned 12 winners–along with 192 finalists–which you can read more about below (make sure you also read our predictions for the world changing ideas of next year). Each of these projects represents the best of social entrepreneurship, where innovation and impact are intersecting.

SOME OF THE WORLD CHANGING IDEA FINALISTS

The Toilet Accelerator
Toilet Board Coalition
Supporting innovation in sanitation

Edible six-pack rings
E6PR
Packaging that breaks down in water

SaTo sanitary toilet products
Lixil
Low-cost sanitation for developing countries

Read the complete article.

5 Offbeat Toilets India Should Adopt To Fight Sanitation Problems

5 Offbeat Toilets India Should Adopt To Fight Sanitation Problems. Swach India, February 2017.

In the era of ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’, issues like open defecation and human waste are getting attention from a large section of our society. Building public toilets that not only define innovation but are also user friendly and cost effective is the need of the hour. In our country 47 percent of people still defecate in the open, and these creative ideas can definitely fight this social problem.

Here is a list of 5 innovative toilets that India can adopt to address the problems of sanitation. 5offbeattoiletsindiashouldadopttofightsanitationproblems11

Solar Powered Urine Diversion (SPUD) Toilets: Having the qualities of affordability, and user-friendly, this toilet is 100% waterless and chemical-free and can be easily installed in rural parts of India. Highlight- Human waste turns into manure.

Portable Tent Toilets: It’s an earth friendly, convenient and portable solution to open defecation in slums. The waste is collected in a biodegradable bag that contains ‘ChemiSan,’ a material that helps to deodorize and decompose the waste. Highlight- Helps in saving water.

Read the complete article.

Characterization of pit latrines to support design and selection of emptying tools in peri-urban Mzuzu, Malawi

Characterization of pit latrines to support design and selection of emptying tools in peri-urban Mzuzu, Malawi. Journal of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for Development | in press | 2017

Authors: Rashid Chiposa, Rochelle H. Holm, Chimuleke Munthali, Russel C. G. Chidya and Francis L. de los Reyes III

The urban areas of many low-income countries must balance a rising demand for pit latrines for household sanitation provision against limitations in space, resulting in a need for pit latrine emptying services.

This study was undertaken in the peri-urban neighborhood of Area 1B in the city of Mzuzu, Malawi, to examine the characteristics of household pit latrines for designing and selecting pit latrine emptying tools. We used 150 structured household surveys and field observations. From this, a subset was selected and 30 manual cone penetrometer tests were conducted at full latrines. Chemical oxygen demand analysis was also performed at 14 pit latrines.

The results indicated that in addition to serving as a disposal for fecal matter, 90% of households also used pit latrines for domestic waste. Only 10% of the studied pit latrines were lined. The filling rate in the study area is calculated to be about three years, and no respondents reported previous emptying.

It is suggested pit latrine emptying technology development focuses on a maximum tool diameter of 10 cm to fit through the keyhole (squat hole) and height of 146 cm to fit inside the superstructure, as well as supporting unlined pits and the ability to pump trash.

Letter from India: How Poop is Becoming Big Business for Small Companies

Letter from India: How Poop is Becoming Big Business for Small Companies. by Devyani Singh, The Dialogue, January 27, 2017.

An excerpt: Small businesses can help governments and corporations build reliable value chains and introduce new services into local markets. They create employment in emerging markets, and increase access to goods and services that could potentially improve the lives of the underserved. toilet-696x387.jpg

Business solutions

A fascinating example of a business solution to the sanitation crisis in India is Samagra Sanitation. Founded in 2011 by Swapnil Chaturvedi, famously known as “Poop Guy,” Samagra is a small business working at the intersection of design, technology, and behavioral science, to tackle the issue of open defecation in 140 locations in Pune, India.

Samagra operates in urban slums and has so far built more than 300 toilet seats with more than 150,000 daily users, almost half of which are young girls and women. Samagra designs, manages, and renovates community toilet blocks in partnership with the municipality, which pays for maintenance and utilities like water and electricity. Each block is run by local women who act as Kiosk Managers (or “Loo-Preneurs”) and is regularly cleaned by Samagra’s “Cleaning Force.”

Slum dwellers can use Samagra toilets for free, but those who pay for usage get access to value added services or “LooRewards” such as mobile tops-ups, bill payments, banking, and health services. The cleaning staff also receives 100 percent of the revenue collected. In this way, the impact of Samagra goes beyond better sanitation to give women in these communities a means to earn a stable income.

Changing Perceptions

What is often missing from even the savviest of entrepreneurial efforts is a systematic process for conceptualizing a business model that replicates global best practices. Enviu, a developer of innovative social businesses from the Netherlands, is working to harness the power of business in India by co-creating impact businesses that can drive system-change. By leveraging the experience and knowledge of its network across the globe, Enviu works with local businesses to develop what it calls “bottom-up solutions”.

Read the complete article.

Tiger worms: the ingenious solution to sanitation in refugee camps

Tiger worms: the ingenious solution to sanitation in refugee camps. News The Essential Daily Briefing, December 30, 2016.

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The tiger worms can turn human waste into useful fertiliser (Photo: Oxfam)

A team of British charity workers have come up with a simple, cheap and downright ingenious solution to the problem of providing safe sanitation to some of the world’s most crowded refugee camps – and it involves hundreds of bucketfuls of worms.

Engineers working for Oxfam have created what they have dubbed the “tiger toilet”: a no-frills latrine which uses composting worms to convert human waste into useful fertiliser.

The invention carries the added benefit of reducing the risk of disease.

The toilets, so named because of the striped tiger worms (Eisenia fetida) upon which they rely, were first trialled by a team working in Liberia in 2013.

Read the complete article.