Category Archives: Regions

DFID should ensure sustainability of its WASH programmes – independent review

Richard Gledhill  ICAI

Richard Gledhill

By Richard Gledhill, ICAI lead commissioner for WASH review

62.9 million people – almost the population of the UK – that’s how many people in developing countries DFID claimed to have reached with WASH interventions between 2011 and 2015.

It’s an impressive figure. And – in our first ever ‘impact review’ – it’s a figure the Independent Commission for Aid Impact found to be based on credible evidence.

We assessed the results claim made by DFID about WASH, testing the evidence and visiting projects to see the results for ourselves. We  concluded that the claim was credible – calculated using appropriate methods and conservative assumptions.

But what does reaching 62.9 million people really mean? Have lives been transformed? And have the results been sustainable?

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UNEP – Global Environment Outlook: Regional assessment for Asia and the Pacific

GEO-6: Global Environment Outlook: Regional assessment for Asia and the Pacific, 2016. 

United Nations Environment Programme

The assessment provides the first integrative baseline in light of global and regional megatrends supported by open access to data and information. This is a great success not only of science informing policy, but of nations at the regional level acting together on the basis of science to achieve an authoritative assessment of the state,trends and outlook of the their regional environment.

UNEP – Global Environment Outlook: Regional assessment for Africa

GEO-6: Global Environment Outlook: Regional assessment for Africa, 2016.

United Nations Environment Programme GEO-6_Global_Environment_Outlook_Regional_assessment_for_Africa

The GEO 6 regional assessment recognizes Africa’s rich natural capital – the diversity of soil, geology, biodiversity, water,landscapes and habitats- which if wisely managed, hold the promise to lead the region to a future where ecosystem integrity,as well as human health and well-being are continuously enhanced.

It also observes that the economic growth of Africa hinges on the sustainable management of its natural capital that involves reconciling wise stewardship with human development for today’s population and future generations. This requires both the protection and valuation of these natural assets, as well as effectively communicating their importance.

Bangladesh – Faecal sludge management new sanitation challenge

Bangladesh – Faecal sludge management new sanitation challenge | Source: The Daily Star, May 18 2016 |

Emphasising the need for managing the faecal sludge (human excreta) speakers at a roundtable yesterday said this sludge will pose huge threats to environment and public health if not properly managed.

roundtable_8

Participants at a roundtable titled “Faecal Sludge Management: Second Generation Sanitation Challenge” at The Daily Star Centre in the capital yesterday, jointly organised by the newspaper, DSK, ITN-Buet, and Practical Action. Photo: Star

The construction of thousands of pit latrines without thinking of ensuring proper hygienic separation of excreta from human contact and faecal sludge management (FSM) eventually emerged as a second generation sanitation problem for the country, they said at a programme at The Daily Star Centre in the capital.

Practical Action Bangladesh, ITN-Buet, Dushtha Shasthya Kendra (DSK) and The Daily Star jointly organised the programme.

Prof Muhammad Ashraf Ali, a teacher of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, gave a keynote presentation on “Faecal Sludge Management: Key Issues and the Institution and Regulatory Framework.”

He mentioned that only four million or 20 percent of the total population of Dhaka city is currently under the sewerage network coverage while the rest 156 million are covered by on-site system. “In the absence of proper pit-emptying services in the latrines, the pit-contents are often drained into the surrounding low lying areas manually posing a great risk to cleaners and public health,” he observed.

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Can collective action strategies motivate behavior change to reduce open defecation in rural India?

Can collective action strategies motivate behavior change to reduce open defecation in rural India? Waterlines, April 2016.

Authors: Payal Hathi, Dean Spears, Diane Coffey. RICE Institute.

The world’s remaining open defecation is increasingly concentrated in rural India. The Indian government’s efforts to reduce open defecation by providing subsidies for latrine construction have been largely unsuccessful in addressing the problem. It is now clear that behavior change must be the priority if progress on ending open defecation is to be made.

While community-led strategies have proven effective in various developing country contexts, there are serious reasons to question whether similar methods can work in rural India.  Through both quantitative and qualitative analyses, we find that strict social hierarchies that continue to govern daily interactions in rural life today obstruct the spirit of cooperation upon which such methods rely.

Additionally, caste-based notions of purity and pollution make the simple latrines used all over the developing world unattractive to rural Indians.  In a context where people identify most closely with their caste and religious groups rather than their geographical villages, our findings suggest that a more nuanced understanding of the idea of “community” is required.  More experimentation, both with community-led and other strategies, is needed in order to effectively move from open defecation to latrine use in rural India.

Tiger worm toilets: lessons learned from constructing household vermicomposting toilets in Liberia

Tiger worm toilets: lessons learned from constructing household vermicomposting toilets in Liberia. Waterlines, May 2016.

Authors: David Watako, Koslengar Mougabe, Thomas Heath.

In response to the poor urban sanitation in Monrovia’s slums and Buchanan’s peri-urban areas in Liberia, Oxfam piloted worm toilets (aka Tiger Toilets), constructing 180 toilets between 2011 and 2015. One toilet was constructed per household for families containing fewer than 10 people. Each toilet was connected to a biodigester containing 2 kg of African night crawlers (Eudrilus eugeniae).

This paper documents the programme approach including how the community was mobilized and the construction process. The results section reviews field observations, challenges, and the maintenance problems encountered. In the discussion the paper reviews the design changes, lessons learned, limits for scale, and critical factors for success (favourable environment, local supply, infiltration capacity, and local technicians).

The paper concludes that although the project is still ongoing, the study suggests that the African night crawlers can digest significant volumes of human excreta if proper conditions of aeration, moisture, and temperature are met.

 

UNC and P&G to Provide First Analysis of Environmental Health in Malawi Hospitals

UNC and P&G to Provide First Analysis of Environmental Health in Malawi Hospitals | Source: UNC News, May 15 2016 |

Millions of Malawians seek medical care in the country’s health care facilities each year. Yet, an analysis of the environmental health status in these facilities has never been performed. This summer, baseline measurements will be collected thanks to a partnership between the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Procter & Gamble (P&G) through the Children’s Safe Drinking Water Program (CSDW).

malawi

Patients being cared for at Kamuzu Central Hospital in Malawi.

“Health facilities should not be places to acquire infection due to lack of clean water, hygiene and sanitation; they should be places for cure,” says Innocent Mofolo, associate country director of UNC Project-Malawi. “WaSH should be part of an integrated approach to health and human development. This assessment will help determine WaSH gaps that exist in most of our health facilities and devise strategies to improve the situation.”

The assessment of 45 health facilities in the northern, central and southern regions of Malawi is being funded by a generous donation from P&G. Data collection will begin in August by researchers from the UNC Institute for Global Health and Infectious Diseases and its UNC Project in Malawi and the Water Institute at UNC.

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