Category Archives: Africa

Urban Sanitation in Bo City, Sierra Leone: A Study on Knowledge, Attitude and Practices

A Summary on Urban Sanitation in Bo City, Sierra Leone: A Study on Knowledge, Attitude and Practices, 2015. 

Authors: Bockarie Abdel Aziz Bawoh, Welthungerhilfe M&E Officer; Swaliho Koroma, Bo City Council Waste Officer

Coordinated by Raphael Thurn, Welthungerhilfe Project Advisor

Published in April 2015 by Bo City Council and Welthungerhilfe Bo, Sierra Leone

Contact to request the full report.

Conclusions and Recommendations
This study has shown that the general level of knowledge of people about proper solid and liquid waste management is in many areas not profound enough to ensure systematically behavioural changes in the future. Furthermore the indiscriminate disposal of solid and liquid waste by local households is common and widespread. It needs to be understood that the existing sanitation facilities
of households are often not meeting minimum standards3. The capacities and infrastructure of the public and private sector to efficiently address these challenges are insufficient to ensure the provision of quality services to the residents of Bo City. There is also very little knowledge and information about concepts like reuse, recycling, waste minimization and separation.

Strategies to improve household solid and liquid waste management in Bo City and its environs are recommended to consider these identified deficiencies. One focus should lie on increasing the knowledge on health and environmental implications of inadequate solid and liquid waste management. It will be prudent to encourage community involvement in waste management whereby the communities have a sense of responsibility towards their own health and environment. Another aspect is to improve government involvement through provision of sufficient funds, equipment (especially for sludge emptying), capacity building and manpower, and to create an enabling environment for private investments in solid and liquid waste management including the waste collection, transportation, trading, reuse and recycling sector. Information needs to be disseminated on methods and practices of reuse and recycling and local markets for waste traders and recyclers need to be further developed. Steps taken in these directions could help to achieve improved sanitary conditions in Bo City and its environs and also reduce the spread of preventable diseases.

Water and sanitation in health centres in Mali – podcast

Water and sanitation in health centres in Mali – podcast | Source: The Guardian, April 28, 2015 |

Lucy Lamble presents this edition of the Global development podcast, looking at how the lack of water and sanitation is affecting health centres in Mali. Just 20% of the country’s health facilities provide clean water.

Photo from WaterAid

Photo from WaterAid

She visits Diatoula, 15km south-east of Bamako, a community of 1,000 people which has one health centre, and hears from Nurse Vinima Baya about how they cope with the lack of water within the facility, with patients and their families gathering buckets of water from the village well.

At Kalabancoro town on the outskirts of Bamako, Lucy visits a clinic opened in 2013, which has done much to improve healthcare for local residents – but where staff still have to buy safe drinking water or ask patients to bring it in.

We hear from experts including Mamadou Diarafa Diallo, WaterAid’s country representative in Mali, and Maggie Montgomery, from WHO’s Water, Sanitation and Health unit, on the problems the country faces in improving access to safe water.

Public Finance for WASH initiative launched


Today sees the launch of Public Finance for WASH, a research and advocacy initiative aiming to increase awareness of domestic public finance and its critical importance for water and sanitation provision in low-income countries. Check out our website

This is a collaborative initiative between IRC, Water & Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP), and Trémolet Consulting. A key aim is to offer easy-to-read but rigorous information about domestic public finance solutions: our first three Finance Briefs are now available for download from our website, and over the coming year we will be building a comprehensive resource library.

And just to make sure we’re on the same page: what exactly is domestic public finance? Essentially, it’s money derived from domestic taxes, raised nationally (e.g. by the Kenyan government) or locally (e.g. by Nairobi’s municipal government). This money is going to be critical for achieving the water and sanitation SDGs: so how can we all work together to ensure that what we’re doing is supporting (not inhibiting) the development of effective public finance systems? And how can public finance be spent in ways that catalyse the development of dynamic markets for water and sanitation services?

To find out more, please check out the website. If you’d like to become involved in any way, get in touch!

Why Latrines Are Not Used: Communities’ Perceptions and Practices Regarding Latrines in a Taenia solium Endemic Rural Area in Eastern Zambia

Why Latrines Are Not Used: Communities’ Perceptions and Practices Regarding Latrines in a Taenia solium Endemic Rural Area in Eastern Zambia. PLoS Neg Trop Dis, Mar 2015.

Authors: Séverine Thys , Kabemba E. Mwape, et al.

Livestock owners from small scale farms are most vulnerable for Neglected Zoonotic Diseases (NZD) in developing countries and their risk behavior leads to more intense and complex transmission patterns. Studies in Africa have shown that the underuse of sanitary facilities and the widespread occurrence of free-roaming pigs are the major risk factors for porcine cysticercosis. However the socio-cultural determinants regarding its control remain unclear. We hypothesize that via a bottom-up culture-sensitive approach, innovative control strategies can be developed that are more adapted to the local reality and more sustainable than current interventions.

By assessing the communities’ perceptions, practices and knowledge regarding latrines in a T. solium endemic rural area in Eastern Zambia, we found that more than health, seeking privacy underlies motivation to use latrines or not. The identified taboos related to sanitation practices are in fact explained by the matri- or patrilineal descent and because men are responsible for building latrines, sanitation programs should focus more often on men’s knowledge and beliefs. In order to contribute to breaking the vicious cycle between poverty and poor health among livestock owners in developing countries, disease control strategies should always consider the socio-cultural context.

Trémolet Consulting – Toilets on Credit, 2015 (video)

Published on Feb 3, 2015

Can microfinance help increase access to sanitation? Today, 2.5 billion people do not use proper sanitation facilities. Essential services for maintaining latrines and treating faecal sludge are also underdeveloped. In many places, toilets can cost up to one year of income for poor households. Private operators of sanitation services do not have enough capital to acquire more equipment and respond to growing demand.

Since 2010, Trémolet Consulting and research partners based in Kenya MicroSave have been exploring the potential of microfinance for helping sanitation markets to develop. The research, funded by SHARE/DFID, culminated with an action-research in Tanzania in which financial institutions were trained to provide financial services for sanitation. This film explains why microfinance should be explored further, and potentially, included in sanitation programmes.

The film also presents what has been done in Tanzania under the action-research and takes the views of households, sanitation entrepreneurs, microfinance institutions and researchers.


World Bank – Promoting Handwashing and Sanitation Evidence from a Large-Scale Randomized Trial in Rural Tanzania

Promoting Handwashing and Sanitation: Evidence from a Large-Scale Randomized Trial in Rural Tanzania, 2015. World Bank.

Authors: Bertha Briceño, Aidan Coville, Sebastian Martinez

The association between hygiene, sanitation, and health is well documented, yet thousands of children die each year from exposure to contaminated fecal matter. At the same time, evidence on the effectiveness of at-scale behavior change interventions to improve sanitation and hygiene practices is limited.

This paper presents the results of two large-scale, government-led handwashing and sanitation promotion campaigns in rural Tanzania. For the campaign, 181 wards were randomly assigned to receive sanitation promotion, handwashing promotion, both interventions together, or neither. One year after the end of the program, sanitation wards increased latrine construction rates from 38.6 to 51 percent and reduced regular open defecation from 23.1 to 11.1 percent.

Households in handwashing wards show marginal improvements in handwashing behavior related to food preparation, but not at other critical junctures. Limited interaction is observed between handwashing and sanitation on intermediate outcomes: wards that received both handwashing and sanitation promotion are less likely to have feces visible around their latrine and more likely to have a handwashing station close to their latrine facility relative to individual treatment groups.

Final health effects on child health measured through diarrhea, anemia, stunting, and wasting are absent in the single-intervention groups. The combined-treatment group produces statistically detectable, but biologically insignificant
and inconsistent, health impacts. The results highlight the importance of focusing on intermediate outcomes of take-up and behavior change as a critical first step in large-scale programs before realizing the changes in health that sanitation and hygiene interventions aim to deliver.

Making WASH facilities accessible for the disabled and elderly

Horizontal handrail the full width of the door on the inside. Internal bolt.

Horizontal handrail the full width of the door on the inside. Internal bolt. Credit: WaterAid/Stephen Sagawa

WaterAid has published a compendium of low-cost technologies to improve the accessibility of household WASH facilities for the disabled and elderly in rural areas of sub-Saharan Africa. There are sections on reaching facilities, latrines, bathing, waterpoints and handwashing. It can be used by staff such as health workers and community volunteers.

Cover - Compedium of accessible WASH technologies

The compendium and all images in it are free to download at:

Related web sites: