Category Archives: Europe & Central Asia

Now available on WSUP-website for free download: masters-level professional training module “Water and Sanitation for Urban Low-Income Communities”

WSUP/WEDC have developed a teaching resource on urban WASH that is now available online for free, It aims at helping the urban WASH sector to professionalize. We hope it will be helpful for academics and practitioners to use or adapt if they feel it can be of value to them.

In short: this is a masters-level professional training module called “Water and Sanitation for Urban Low-Income Communities”. It was primarily designed to give engineering masters students in low-income countries an overview of things they need to know in order to apply their technical skills in low-income communities, and that’s how WSUP and WEDC are currently using it, in partnership with universities in Africa and Asia. But of course it may be adaptable to other teaching contexts.

It’s designed for classroom delivery, over about 45 hours of contact time. It’s made up of 16 thematic units, and within each unit the materials essentially comprise a Powerpoint presentation plus Lecturer Notes outlining the unit’s aims and content, and providing guidance on how to deliver the class. Some units are flexible in content, to enable adaptation to local contexts.

It can be delivered as an off-the shelf package; or you might want to cut-and-paste parts of it into your own materials; or you might simply use it as guidance in developing other materials.

It’s absolutely free to download, but we do ask that you fill in a brief Use Request Form explaining who you are and how you might use it: evidently, it’s useful for us to be able to communicate this to the funder of the work (DFID).


For information, we expect to have a French-language version available within the next few months.

The module was developed by (alphabetical order): Louise Medland, Guy Norman, Brian Reed, Pippa Scott, Regine Skarubowiz, and Ian Smout; inputs also came from Richard Franceys and Valentina Zuin.

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!

My toilet: global stories from women and girls

You are invited to view an exciting new exhibition by WSUP, launched to mark World Toilet Day.

My Toilet documents women and girls and their toilets to build a visual representation of the day to day reality and the effect this has on their lives, both positive and negative.

Keyla, 4, by her toilet in Bolivar, Ecuador. Photography Karla Gachet. Panos Pictures for WSUP.

Keyla, 4, by her toilet in Bolivar, Ecuador. Photo: Karla Gachet, Panos Pictures for WSUP.

The images and stories show that, although the type of toilet changes from country to country, the impacts have recurring themes. Having can mean a better chance of education, employment, dignity, safety, status and more. Wherever you are in the world, a toilet equals far more than just a toilet.

Get involved on social media!
Help spread this message by sharing a picture of yourself holding up a sign with the hashtag #ToiletEquals followed by a word, or a few words, to describe what having a toilet equals for you and for millions of others around the world. All the tweets and pictures will be shown on the My Toilet website.

Visit the exhibition!
Images from 20 countries, spanning every continent, will be exhibited at The Royal Opera Arcade Gallery, London SW1Y 4UY. The gallery is open to the public from 17 – 22 November 2014, 10am – 5pm daily. Entry is free. We hope to see you there!

Turning sweat into drinking water for Unicef

Unicef Sweden is using a “Sweat Machine” to help raise awareness and funds for drinking water projects.

Visitors at the Gothia Cup youth soccer tournament in Gothenburg in July handed in their sweaty shirt after a workout on an exercise bike and got a cup of clean drinking water in return.

For every kilometer cycled and glass of purified water that was drunk, sponsors Apothek Hjärtat (a pharmacy chain) and the Swedish Postcode Lottery donated money to Unicef.

Photo: Deportivo / Unicef

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Prince of Orange sets royal record for toilet bowl throwing

HRH Willem-Alexander The Prince of Orange, Rhenen, 30 April 2012 Photo: NOS

A Dutch royal record for toilet bowl throwing was set today during the Queen’s Day celebrations in Rhenen. HRH Willem-Alexander threw an orange toilet bowl further than his fellow princes to clinch the royal title.

Willem-Alexander attributed his success to his experience in the sanitation sector. The Prince of Orange is Chair of UNSGAB, the United Nations Secretary-General’s Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation.

An annual toilet bowl throwing competition started in 2000 in the village of Achterberg, part of the municipality of Rhenen. The Prince of Orange’s throw was well short of the competition record of 10.56 m set in 2007.

Watch a video of the Prince’s toilet bowl throw here and a video of the 2008 toilet bowl competition below.

Senior Programme Officer, Sanitation and Hygiene Specialist Asia, IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre, The Netherlands [deadline 01 April]

Germany: Metalheads get their own personal toilet

The personal Metal Mobil WC, 2012 model. Photo:

Nowadays some (older?) fans of black metal, death metal, gothic metal and the like are not averse to a bit of luxury. Since 2007, the organisers of Wacken Open Air (W:O:A), an annual heavy metal festival in Germany, offer attendees the chance to rent a personal mobile toilet. Costing 120 Euros each, there are 150 MMWCs (Metal Mobil WCs) on offer. The MMWC provider will clean your toilet too, for an additional 25 Euros.

In 2011 all 150 personal toilets were booked within 4 hours, according to the festival web site.

The vast majority of the 80,000 festival goers will still have to queue, as usual, in front of the public mobile toilets available for free on the festival site.

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