Category Archives: Latin America & Caribbean

Latin American and Caribbean countries agree on joint sanitation monitoring

Sanitation in Guatemala. Photo: LatinoSan 2013

Delegates attending LatinoSan 2013 have agreed to set up a Latin-American and Caribbean Observatory on Sanitation. The observatory will monitor progress on sanitation in those countries that have signed up to the LatinoSan initiative. Sub-regional and national sanitation scorecards are already available online.

There will also be a Regional Meeting of Ministries of Sanitation every 2 years.


These are two of  the commitments written up in the Panama Declaration at the conclusion of  the 3rd Latin American and Caribbean Sanitation Conference, LatinoSan 2013. The conference took place in Panama City from 29 to 31 May 2013.

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Latinosan Panamá 2013 – 3rd Latin American Sanitation Conference, 29-31 May 2013

The Republic of Panama is organizing the Third Latin American Sanitation Conference on 29-31 May 2013. The theme is:  “Universal Sanitation: New Challenges, New Opportunities”.

Latinosan is held every three years.

Latinosan 2013 consists of two events: a technical conference and a meeting of senior officials that will result in the Declaration of Panama.

Main topics:

  • the status of sanitation at regional and country levels
  • institutions and public policy
  • human rights and sustainable development
  • post-2015 goals: regional and global

For more information visit the conference website: (Spanish only)

Preventing sanitation failure by using evidence-based behaviour change

Mass media campaign with loudspeaker rickshaw, Bangladesh. Photo: Eawag

Evidenced-based methods are more cost effective than traditional NGO awareness raising approaches to ensure sustained behaviour change in the WASH sector, says environmental psychologist Prof. Hans-Joachim Mosler.

Prof. Mosler

Two of his presentations on evidence-based behaviour change are now available online.  An accompanying guideline for behaviour change [1] was published in June 2012.

Mosler begins his first presentation with examples of failed sanitation and water projects. What they have in common is that they focus on hardware and neglect behaviour change. In one striking study, the construction of new school latrines actually increased health risks among girls because hygiene behaviour did not improve [2].

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Peace Corps/Peru – Build Your Own Soap Dispenser

Got Soap? A Volunteer in Peru put together this great tutorial on how to build your own soap dispenser.

Materials : 2 liter soda bottle, 3 liter soda bottle, 1 “closet bolt” or other bolt (1/4”x 2”), 5 of ¼” nuts, 2 rubber washers, Africano contact glue, screw(s) to attach holder to wall. Drill & bit. 

Remove bottle labels and cut off both bottle bottoms. Cut off top of the 3 L bottle, about 2” from cap, so that it creates a 2” diameter hole.

Mount the inverted 3L bottle on a wall or suspend by string as standard Tippy Tap.

Drill a clean 3/8” hole in the center of the 2 L cap. Smooth edges with steel wool or sandpaper.

Plunger assembly: Thread all nuts up to the bolt head, glue one rubber washer to inside of cap and the other to underside of bolt head (or nut), (contact cement MUST be slightly dry before assembly). Slide open end of bolt through cap hole and thread on bolt cap.

Put the cap on the 2L bottle and insert entire unit into the 3L holder.
Fill with liquid soap (thicker the better). You may coat the 2 washer contact surfaces with Vaseline for better seal.

Living without sanitary sewers in Latin America

Rojas, F. (2012). Living without sanitary sewers in Latin America – The business of collecting fecal sludge in four Latin American cities. World Bank, Water and Sanitation Program (WSP), Latin America and the Caribbean.

The present report spotlights the major challenges and the opportunities that lie ahead in fecal sludge management and summarizes the findings from four case studies that describe the current and potential market for sludge removal, collection, and disposal in peri-urban areas. These areas,
inhabited by a variety of ethnic, religious, and cultural groups,
typically struggle with high population density, insufficient land use planning, high citizen insecurity, and low coverage with basic services.

The report demonstrates how technical, financial, environmental, social, regulatory, political, and institutional factors interact to create supply and demand in four markets where coverage with sanitary sewerage services is below the regional average, namely: Santa Cruz (Bolivia), Guatemala City (Guatemala), Tegucigalpa (Honduras), and Managua

Even though households in the four areas studied have onsite sanitation systems (latrines and toilets), fecal sludge and excreta often drain into the streets, and there is no control or treatment of the sludge, posing a risk for public health and the environment.

First ever National Sustainable Sanitation Conference in Haiti

Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods (SOIL) and UNICEF are organising Haiti’s first ever National Sustainable Sanitation Conference. It will be held in Port-au-Prince on 12-13 June 2012.

The conference aims to share information about innovative waste treatment technologies such as composting toilets and bio-systems, among NGOs and the Haitian government.


  • Overview of National Sanitation Strategy presented by DINEPA’s Sanitation Office (DA)
  • Presentations of lessons learned from previous projects and ongoing sustainable sanitation projects in Haiti
  • Ateliers focused on different components of sustainable sanitation
  • Stakeholder feedback
  • Open forum to discuss National Standards for Composting Toilets and Biogas
  • Production of a public document summarizing the findings of the conference

SOIL, US-registered non profit, has been promoting ecological sanitation solutions in Haiti since 2006.

For the full announcement and more information go to:

Disney’s 1940s sanitation and hygiene promotion films

Still from Disney short film "Cleanliness Brings Health"

In the 1940s, the Walt Disney Studios produced a series of educational films on sanitation and hygiene promotion for developing countries. The films, in the Health for the Americas series, were aimed at Latin America. They were commissioned by the now defunct Office of the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs (CIAA), which was later renamed Office of Inter-American Affairs (OIAA).

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