Category Archives: Africa

Deadly toilet trips for women in Cape Town’s informal settlements

Deadly toilet trips for women in Cape Town’s informal settlements | Source: Times Live, May 25, 2016 |

violence

RISKY BUSINESS: A woman walks back to her shack after using a toilet in Khayelitsha

Women in Cape Town’s informal settlements are at high risk of rape for 15 minutes every day as they walk to and from toilets.

The finding, by researchers at Yale University in the US, comes as an international monitoring organisation said the City of Cape Town’s budget for installing toilets in informal settlements has been virtually unchanged for a decade, despite the fact that one-fifth of households are in informal settlements.

Yesterday, hundreds of Khayelitsha residents marched to the Civic Centre to hand over a petition demanding improved sanitation in informal settlements.

“Using a toilet in many informal settlements is one of the most dangerous activities for residents,” the petition read.

“Women, children and men of all ages are frequently robbed, raped, assaulted and murdered on the way to relieve themselves in a toilet, bushes or empty clearings often very far from their homes.”

Yale’s researchers quantified the link between sexual assaults, the number of sanitation facilities and time spent walking to the toilet.

Read the complete article.

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 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.

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.

Read the complete article.

 

Meet the bin scavengers saving SA R750-million a year

Meet the bin scavengers saving SA R750-million a year | Source: Sunday Times/South Africa, May 8 2016 |

His name is Peter May, and the collars of his dapper blue shirt have been ironed flat.

“I have the same name as an English cricketer,” he says, pulling a trolley that bulges with rubbish bags.

petermay

Peter May knows his bins Image: Ruvan Boshoff

But he is not a cricketer, and for him the waste inside the bags is not garbage. It is his livelihood: bundles of white paper, cardboard, newspaper and light steel sifted from bins and landfill sites across Cape Town.

May is one of the country’s 60 000 to 90 000 waste pickers who, in a recent surprise finding, save our municipalities up to R750-million a year.

They divert recyclables away from the landfills at no, or little cost. Now their fate hangs in the balance as the waste economy sets off on a new path.

According to a report by the Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), the waste and recycling sector “is on the brink of change” thanks to mandatory extended producer responsibility, which means producers will be responsible for the waste they generate. This often takes the form of a reuse, buy-back or recycling programme.

The CSIR has done research to see if waste pickers can be incorporated into the formal economy, and Professor Linda Godfrey, who led the study, said: “The most surprising finding for me was when we started to attach financial values to the savings by municipalities as a result of informal waste pickers.”

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Schools Promoting Learning Achievement through Sanitation and Hygiene – SPLASH