Category Archives: Regions

Kenya is promising free sanitary napkins to help keep girls in school

Kenya is promising free sanitary napkins to help keep girls in school. Quartz, June 2017.

Kenya’s president has promised to give all school girls free sanitary napkins. Less than two months before Kenyans go to the polls, president Uhuru Kenyatta signed the Basic Education Amendment Act which compels the government to provide “free, sufficient and quality sanitary towels to every girl child registered and enrolled in a public basic education institution.”

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School for everyone. (Reuters/Thomas Mukoya)

One in 10 girls on the continent misses school during her period, according the United Nations education agency. In Kenya, one of the biggest obstacles for girls attending schools is a lack of sanitary napkins, often too expensive for families to afford. Kenya’s ministry of education estimates that girls who stay home while they are menstruating lose six weeks of schooling a year.

Read the complete article.

Freddy the Fly – an animated video about a community’s journey to ODF status

Meet Freddy, a fly who loves toilet fondue! Find out what happens to him when the village he lives in is triggered into cleaning up their act to become open defecation free (ODF). Please share this video widely and use Freddy to illustrate how behaviour change methods, including Community-Led Total Sanitation, work to help communities become healthier and more productive. And join the ODF movement at wsscc.org!

Water and Sanitation Services: Rural or Urban Haiti First?

Water and Sanitation Services: Rural or Urban Haiti First? Huffington Post, June 16, 2017.

Low coverage rates for clean water and sanitation leave Haiti exposed to significant health burdens. According to the latest estimates, 72% of Haiti’s population lack access to improved sanitation facilities and use either shared facilities, other improved facilities, or defecate in the open. 

Faucets

Source: pexels.com

 

In urban areas, 66% of the population lacks access to improved facilities while in rural areas, 81% of the total population lacks access to improved facilities.

Between 2,000 and 4,500 people die each year from diarrheal disease. And the lack of basic water and sanitation services has contributed to the spread of waterborne diseases, including the cholera outbreak introduced by U.N. peacekeeping troops in 2010.

Better water and sanitation services would make it harder for such diseases to spread. But here, as in every other policy area, Haiti faces options.

Examining competing policy options is the purpose of the Haiti Priorise research project. More than 50 economists have written new research papers studying the costs and benefits of different proposals to improve the nation’s environmental, economic, and social conditions.

Read the complete article.

Mainstreaming citizen feedback on service delivery using ICTs: Findings and lessons from ICT-based feedback surveys on water supply and sanitation services in Indian cities

Mainstreaming citizen feedback on service delivery using ICTs: Findings and lessons from ICT-based feedback surveys on water supply and sanitation services in Indian cities, 2017. Water and Sanitation Program.

Key Learnings

As far as possible, demand-side metrics should be aligned with supply-side indicators.
Aligning the questions asked in citizen surveys with data reported by service providers makes it easier to generate interest among stakeholders who are already familiar with service provider metrics, to track outcomes, strengthen monitoring, and hold service providers to account. Creating a common vocabulary of service metrics from the demand and supply side, helps consumers and their representatives to dialog more effectively with service providers.

ICTs can improve impact by providing credible, transparent, immediately actionable information.
Making all the data accessible to stakeholders helped increase the transparency, and hence credibility, of the data collection process. In contrast to traditional survey methods – which often take months to report, by which time the findings are dated – the system also enabled results to be made available to decision-makers immediately.

 

Global Waters – USAID’s 40-Year Legacy in Water and Wastewater Meets the Needs of Egypt’s Growing Population

USAID’s 40-Year Legacy in Water and Wastewater Meets the Needs of Egypt’s Growing Population. Global Waters, June 13, 2017.

Egypt today is a country in transition. With one of the fastest growing populations in the world — estimates suggest that the population will increase from 93 to 120 million people by 2030 — Egypt’s infrastructure needs to keep pace.

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A man turns on the new faucet in his home in Upper Egypt. Photo Credit: Mohamed Abdelwahab for USAID

In both urban and rural areas, population growth has led to an expansion of settlements that strain current water and wastewater systems.

Often, settlements are built over the heavily polluted, unsanitary waterways, posing a public health threat by carrying the risk of waterborne disease.

Since 1978, USAID invested more than $3.5 billion to help bring potable water and sanitation services to more than 25 million Egyptians, directly improving their health and environmental conditions.

Read the complete article.

Lebanese designers keep waste from going to waste

Lebanese designers keep waste from going to waste. Al-Monitor, June 2017.

In a country plagued by a garbage crisis ongoing since summer 2015, several Lebanese designers have rolled up their sleeves to save glass, plastic and rubber from already full landfills.

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The carafes, water pitchers and glasses in this undated photo were made from used bottles. (photo by Cedar Environmental Consultancy)

The colorful and practical designs of NK by Nour Kays, Waste Studio and the Green Glass Recycling Initiative Lebanon make chic clutch bags out of plastic bags and maps and cups out of old bottles.

Local and regional initiatives in Lebanon have encouraged people to sort garbage at home or to dispose of plastic, glass and paper at recycling centers, but few nationwide measures have attempted to address the country’s garbage crisis on a larger scale.

In this vacuum, some artists and environmental experts have focused their time and energy on finding small-scale solutions

Read the complete article.

 

The true costs of participatory sanitation

Plan International USA and The Water Institute at UNC have conducted the first study to present comprehensive, accurate, disaggregated costs of a WaSH behaviour-change programme.  The study calculated programme costs, and local investments for four community-led total sanitation (CLTS) interventions in Ghana and Ethiopia.

CLTS cost study highlights.jpg

Jonny Crocker, Darren Saywell, Katherine F. Shields, Pete Kolsky, Jamie Bartram, The true costs of participatory sanitation : evidence from community-led total sanitation studies in Ghana and Ethiopia. Science of The Total Environment, vol. 601–602, 1 Dec 2017, pp: 1075-1083. DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.05.279 [Open access]

Abstract

Evidence on sanitation and hygiene program costs is used for many purposes. The few studies that report costs use top-down costing methods that are inaccurate and inappropriate. Community-led total sanitation (CLTS) is a participatory behaviour-change approach that presents difficulties for cost analysis. We used implementation tracking and bottom-up, activity-based costing to assess the process, program costs, and local investments for four CLTS interventions in Ghana and Ethiopia. Data collection included implementation checklists, surveys, and financial records review. Financial costs and value-of-time spent on CLTS by different actors were assessed. Results are disaggregated by intervention, cost category, actor, geographic area, and project month. The average household size was 4.0 people in Ghana, and 5.8 people in Ethiopia. The program cost of CLTS was $30.34–$81.56 per household targeted in Ghana, and $14.15–$19.21 in Ethiopia. Most program costs were from training for three of four interventions. Local investments ranged from $7.93–$22.36 per household targeted in Ghana, and $2.35–$3.41 in Ethiopia. This is the first study to present comprehensive, disaggregated costs of a sanitation and hygiene behaviour-change intervention. The findings can be used to inform policy and finance decisions, plan program scale-up, perform cost-effectiveness and benefit studies, and compare different interventions. The costing method is applicable to other public health behaviour-change programs.