Category Archives: East Asia & Pacific

Sanitation projects will go down the toilet unless we ask people what they really want

Sanitation projects will go down the toilet unless we ask people what they really want. The Conversation, November 27, 2016.

Countries have a lot of work to do to achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. But development projects don’t always go the way you expect.

A resettlement project in Laos provided taps and toilets as a way to improve hygiene and health outcomes for communities.

stages

Stages of water development project planning. GCI/UQ

Three years after resettlement a project team formed to address health issues found that the new brick toilet facilities were being used to store rice. The practice of “open defecation” was continuing in nearby farmland.

The community members explained that keeping rice dry and safe from animals was their highest priority. They also thought it was more hygienic for faeces to be washed away, rather than concentrated in one place such as a toilet.

How did this mismatch occur? There had been limited community participation, no awareness-raising and no sense of community ownership generated during the project planning. Getting these things right will be fundamental to achieving any of the development goals.

Read the complete article.

USAID; IUCN – Viet Nam: Ha Long Bay boat waste collection and treatment

Viet Nam: Ha Long Bay boat waste collection and treatment: final report, 2016. USAID; IUCN.

INTRODUCTION
There are approximately 500 boats cruising through the bay waters, of which about 300 are dayboat and 200 are overnight-boats. In this report, bay waters refers to the three bays: Ha Long, Bai Tu Long and Lan Ha. Many of the boats that operate in the bay can be compared to floating hotels and thus generate lots of waste: both solid waste and waste water but also air pollutants (black fumes) and noise pollution.

Waste water includes black water (toilet waste), grey water (wastewater from sinks, baths,
showers and laundry) and bilge water (oily water that accumulates in the lowest part of a
ship). Hereafter, we identify and recommend concrete solutions to collect and treat waste water from such cruise boats and remove floating waste from the bay’s water. Indeed, it is necessary to implement active and concrete measures in order to address the decreasing environmental quality of the Ha Long Bay and restore the unique natural beauty of this important tourist location and World Heritage Site.

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Philippines: Results of an end-line evaluation of a large scale UNICEF water, sanitation and hygiene typhoon recovery programme

Philippines: Results of an end-line evaluation of a large scale UNICEF water, sanitation and hygiene typhoon recovery programme. REACH Initiative, November 7, 2016.

On the 8th November 2013, ‘Super Typhoon’ Haiyan (locally known as Yolanda) first made landfall, lashing coastal communities across the central island of the Philippines. With Tsunami-like storm surge and winds reaching up to 375 kilometres per hour, it was one of the most powerful storms in recorded historyphats-300x169

In the direct aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan, access to safe water and sanitation was severely compromised across affected areas of the Philippines. One year after Typhoon Haiyan, REACH undertook a baseline assessment to inform the UNICEF funded Phased Approach to Total Sanitation (PhATS) programme. The programme was aligned with the National Sustainable Sanitation Plan, and aimed to end the practice of open defecation in the targeted areas through facilitating changes in social norms and fuelling demand for sanitation and hygiene; sustaining demand through supply side interventions; and promoting good governance, resilience and disaster risk reduction.

The programme was implemented through a coalition of 12 NGOs (Action Against Hunger; Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development; Arche Nova, A Single Drop for Safe Water; Catholic Relief Services; International Medical Corps; Islamic Relief Worldwide; Oxfam; Plan International; Relief International; Save the Children and Samaritan’s Purse), 40 municipal government authorities, the Department of Health and the Department of Education.

In February and March 2016, as the Haiyan PhATS programme was transitioning over to Government-led implementation, REACH conducted an end-line assessment to measure the changes in knowledge, attitudes and practices of the population in the targeted areas. Overall the assessment found a higher awareness of and importance given to improved practices relating to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) in the households and schools within the geographical areas covered by the Haiyan PhATS programme. More households were found to have their own improved sanitation facilities, and improvements in handwashing practices (reported frequency and when practised) were recorded. Increases in access to school WASH facilities and presence of mechanisms to support and maintain improved WASH practices in schools were also found.

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Using microfinance to facilitate household investment in sanitation in rural Cambodia

Using microfinance to facilitate household investment in sanitation in rural Cambodia. Health Policy and Planning, November 2016.

Authors: Kimberley H Geissler-1, Jeffrey Goldberg-2 and Sheila Leatherman-3. Author affiliations: 1 – University of Massachusetts School of Public Health and Health Sciences, Amherst, MA 01003, USA. 2 – Office of Water, Bureau for Economic Growth, Education, and Environment, US Agency for International Development, Washington, DC, USA. 3 – Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, USA

Improved sanitation access is extremely low in rural Cambodia. Non-governmental organizations have helped build local supply side latrine markets to promote household latrine purchase and use, but households cite inability to pay as a key barrier to purchase.

To examine the extent to which microfinance can be used to facilitate household investment in sanitation, we applied a two-pronged assessment: (1) to address the gap between interest in and use of microfinance, we conducted a pilot study to assess microfinance demand and feasibility of integration with a sanitation marketing program and (2) using a household survey (n = 935) at latrine sales events in two rural provinces, we assessed attitudes about microfinance and financing for sanitation.

We found substantial stated intent to use a microfinance institution (MFI) loan to purchase a latrine (27%). Five percent of current owners used an MFI loan for latrine purchase.

Credit officers attended 159 events, with 4761 individuals attending. Actual loan applications were low, with 4% of sales events attendees applying for a loan immediately following the event (mean = 1.7 loans per event).

Ongoing coordination was challenging, requiring management commitment from the sanitation marketing program and commitment to social responsibility from the MFI.

Given the importance of improving sanitation coverage and concomitant health impacts, linking functional sanitation markets to already operational finance markets has the potential to give individuals and households more financial flexibility.

Further product research and better integration of private vendors and financing modalities are necessary to create a scalable microfinance option for sanitation markets.

Fed up with no sewers, Pakistan’s slum residents go DIY

Fed up with no sewers, Pakistan’s slum residents go DIY | Source: Reuters, Oct 13 2016 |

In Orangi Town, home to an estimated 2.4 million people, residents have given up waiting for the government to install public services – and built them by hand

KARACHI, Pakistan, Oct 13 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – For Sultana Javed, one of dozens of residents living without proper sanitation on her street in the Orangi Town slum, the final straw came when her toddler daughter fell into the soak pit where the family disposed of their waste.

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An aerial view of informal settlements in Orangi Town, Karachi on October 4, 2016. Thomson Reuters Foundation/Aamir Saeed

Since moving to the Gulshan-e-Zia area of the slum in Karachi nine years earlier, Javed had poured waste into the soak pit, a porous chamber that lets sewage soak into the ground and is often used by communities that lack toilets.

Javed, whose son caught dengue fever from mosquitoes near the pit outside their home, began mobilising others among 22 families on her street to install their own sewerage system.

“We are fed up with stench of wastewater and frequent mosquito-borne diseases like malaria and dengue fever. So, we have decided to lay a sewerage pipeline in our street on a self-help basis,” Javed, 45, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Read the complete article.

Better Nutrition Alone Won’t Stop Stunting, Study Says

Better Nutrition Alone Won’t Stop Stunting, Study Says | Source: The Cambodia Daily, Sept 27 2016 |

Despite steady gains over the past two decades, about a third of Cambodia’s children are still stunted—leaving them smaller, prone to illness and cognitively impaired—according to new research that suggests a more flexible approach is needed to continue progress.

Increased education among parents, better maternal care, improved sanitation and higher incomes were credited as the key drivers in reducing stunting from 51 percent of children in 2000 to 34 percent in 2014, according to a study released last week.

The researchers from the U.K. said that there seemed to be divergent causes for the drop in rural and urban areas.

The study, titled “What Explains Cambodia’s Success in Reducing Child Stunting: 2000-2014?,” also finds that programs focused exclusively on improving child nutrition had not shown sure signs of success.

Read the complete article.

SNV publications on urban sanitation

SNV’s Urban Sanitation & Hygiene for Health and Development (USHHD) programme works with municipal governments to develop safe, sustainable city-wide services. The programme integrates insights in WASH governance, investment and finance, behavioural change communication and management of the sanitation service chain. We engage private sector, civil society organisations, users and local authorities to improve public health and development opportunities in their city.

As part of our USHHD programme, we have a long term partnership with the Institute for Sustainable Futures, University of Technology Sydney focused on knowledge and learning to improve practice and contribute to the WASH sector knowledge and evidence. Our recent collaborative efforts have resulted in the following papers:

Are we doing the right thing? Critical questioning for city sanitation planning (2016)
Cities are clear examples of complex and rapidly changing systems, particularly in countries where urban population growth and economic development continue apace, and where the socio-political context strongly influences the directions taken. The concept of double-loop learning can be usefully applied to city sanitation planning. This paper prompts practitioners, policy-makers and development agencies to reflect on their approaches to city sanitation planning and the assumptions that underlie them.
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Exploring legal and policy aspects of urban sanitation and hygiene (2016)
During 2012-2014, SNV did four country reviews of legal arrangements for urban sanitation and hygiene in Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Indonesia. Based on these experiences, this guide was developed to provide support and guidance for WASH practitioners undertaking a scan of legal arrangements to inform the design (use of frameworks and tools) and delivery (advocacy for improvements) of urban sanitation and hygiene programs.
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A guide to septage transfer stations (2016)
Septage transfer stations have the potential to significantly reduce the amount of faecal sludge entering the environment by providing a local solution for septage disposal. Localised transfer stations shorten the time required for local operators to collect and transport septage, and they will be able to use smaller vacuum tanks that can navigate the densely populated residential areas. This guide provides information on the salient aspects of selecting, designing, building, operating and maintaining a septage transfer station.
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Financing sanitation for cities and towns (2014)
Planning and financing for sanitation in cities and towns in developing countries is often ad hoc and piecemeal. Stronger capacity to plan financing for sanitation infrastructure (and services) for the long term will lead to better outcomes. Planning for adequate long-term services requires consideration of the complete sanitation service chain over the lifecycle of the associated service infrastructure. This paper focuses on access to the upfront finance and other lumpy finance needs for initial investment and for rehabilitation and/or replacement as physical systems approach their end of life.
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For further information about these papers or the organisations, please contact:
Antoinette Kome (SNV) – akome@snv.org
Juliet Willetts (ISF) on Juliet.willetts@uts.edu.au