Category Archives: Africa

Fecal Sludge Management in Madagascar – WASHplus

 

What Kenya Can Teach The U.S. About Menstrual Pads

What Kenya Can Teach The U.S. About Menstrual Pads | Source: NPR, May 10, 2016 |

The United States is only just starting to get periods — or, at least, acknowledging that products for “that time of the month” aren’t optional for menstruating women.

In 40 states, plus the District of Columbia, pads and tampons are subject to sales tax. Earlier this year, when President Obama was asked why they haven’t been exempted like other necessities, he said, “I suspect it’s because men were making the laws when those taxes were passed.”

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Faith Wanjoki of ZanaAfrica gives a lesson on how to use a sanitary pad in a classroom in Kisumu, Kenya. Her colleague, Catherine Onyango, sits by her side. ZanaAfrica Foundation

But there’s a movement to fight these taxes, and several states have eliminated them. Next up: New York, which has just passed a bill that’s awaiting Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s signature.

Meanwhile, one country is way ahead of the U.S. when it comes to understanding that pads and tampons shouldn’t be taxed.

It’s Kenya.

Kenya repealed its value added tax on pads and tampons back in 2004 to lower the price consumers pay. And since 2011, the Kenyan government has been budgeting about $3 million per year to distribute free sanitary pads in schools in low-income communities.

That’s not to say Kenya is an ideal place to get one’s period. Many Kenyan girls still don’t have access to sanitary products, so they use unhygienic materials like chicken feathers, cheap mattresses and newspapers to fashion makeshift pads, says Megan White Mukuria.

Mukuria is the founder of ZanaAfrica Foundation, which delivers health education — and sanitary pads — to help girls stay in school. A girl who is embarrassed to stain her uniform (or has an infection) is one who is likely to skip class and eventually drop out, Mukuria explains. UNESCO estimates that more than two million Kenyan girls need support in order to get menstrual hygiene products.

Read the complete article.

Evolution of Solid Waste Management Policy Landscape in Kenya: Analysis of evolvement of policy priorities and strategies

Evolution of Solid Waste Management Policy Landscape in Kenya: Analysis of
evolvement of policy priorities and strategies, 2016.

Tilahun Nigatu Haregu, Blessing Mberu, Abdhalah K. Ziraba. African Population and Health Research Center, Nairobi, Kenya

Introduction: Since independence, there have been various policy frameworks developed to guide the management of solid wastes in Kenya. Analysis of the progressive development of the policy landscape would be useful to inform the implementation of existing policies and the formulation of future policies relevant to solid waste management in the country.
Objectives: To explore the evolution of solid waste management policies in Kenya from the
perspective of policy priorities and strategies for solid waste management that address health outcomes.

Methods: This study was an integrative synthesis of the policy priorities and strategies
stipulated by the major solid waste management policies in Kenya since independence and
how they address SWM associated health outcomes. The synthesis addressed the
evolvement, devolvement and segmentation of solid waste management policies as well as
the institutional mechanisms for policy processes and external policies shaping the policy
landscape.

Results: Analysis of the progressive development of policy architecture indicated that solid waste management policies in Kenya has evolved to specificity in terms of focus, functions and scope. There is a magnificent shift from focusing criminalizing offences to promoting good practices; from generic Acts to specific ones; and from centralized mandates to more decentralized responsibilities. The roles of local level implementation mechanisms is also increasing. However, the environment perspective is more emphasized than the health and economic perspectives of solid waste management principles.

Conclusion: Despite the progressive and chronological development of solid waste
management policy priorities and strategies, their focus on environment dominates over
health outcomes.

Three out of five Ghanaians practice open defecation, UNICEF says

Three out of five Ghanaians practice open defecation, UNICEF says | Source: Pulse.com, April 30, 2016 |

Three out of five Ghanaians practice open defecation, UNICEF says, adding that Ghana could take 500 years to eliminate the practice due to the slow pace at which strategies, laws and interventions are being implemented. ghana-odf

Open defecation is the practice of attending natures call in the bush, at the beach, in drains and dump sites. The Chief Officer at the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, WASH, Unit of UNICEF Ghana, David Duncan, notes that in the last 25 years, Ghana made one percent progress at eliminating the practice.

Duncan made these known at a workshop in Cape Coast for members of the Parliamentary Press Corps on open defecation. According to him, though the current pace is nothing to write home about, he was hopeful Ghana could achieve an Open Defecation Free society within the four-year national target if actions are expedited on all fronts.

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Policy Note: Should Public Toilets Be Part of Urban Sanitation Solutions for Poor Families Living in Slums?

Policy Note: Should Public Toilets Be Part of Urban Sanitation Solutions for Poor Families Living in Slums? April 2016. Emory University’s Center for Global Safe Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene.

Although households would prefer to have private facilities, conditions suggest that shared public toilets will, for the foreseeable future, continue to be the main available option for defecation in the slums of Accra. In this context, efforts are needed to improve existing and new public toilets to make them hygienic and safely managed in order to provide sanitation services that result in public health benefits.

Since public toilets do not meet the JMP criteria for an improved toilet, they also do not meet current government of Ghana standards. This in turn creates a disincentive for local governments to invest in public toilets and related safe management of the fecal sludge as part of their urban sanitation services.

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USAID Ethiopia Water Fact Sheet

USAID Ethiopia Water Fact Sheet, March 2016. USAID Ethiopia.

Water cuts across nearly every aspect of USAID programming. Used for drinking, hygiene, and health care, water is also needed to irrigate crops, feed livestock and develop renewable energy. Scarce water supplies can become potential sources of conflict.

USAID incorporates WASH activities within its governance, health, nutrition, resilience and emergency assistance activities with a focus on sustainability. USAID also helps strengthen the Ethiopian Government’s capacity to coordinate WASH and water resource management.

 

SWIFT Story of Sustainable Change: Improving access to safe, sustainable sanitation in Nadapal, Turkana

SWIFT Story of Sustainable Change: Improving access to safe, sustainable sanitation in Nadapal, Turkana, 2016. OXFAM.

In Nadapal, a village in northern Kenya, residents had no access to sanitation, and instead practised open defecation in the bushes. Illnesses including diarrhoea, malaria and cholera were common. swift

Now, however, many of the households in Nadapal have built their own latrines within easy reach and have access to safe, sustainable sanitation for the first time, after Practical Action began implementing the Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) approach.