Category Archives: South Asia

DFID should ensure sustainability of its WASH programmes – independent review

Richard Gledhill  ICAI

Richard Gledhill

By Richard Gledhill, ICAI lead commissioner for WASH review

62.9 million people – almost the population of the UK – that’s how many people in developing countries DFID claimed to have reached with WASH interventions between 2011 and 2015.

It’s an impressive figure. And – in our first ever ‘impact review’ – it’s a figure the Independent Commission for Aid Impact found to be based on credible evidence.

We assessed the results claim made by DFID about WASH, testing the evidence and visiting projects to see the results for ourselves. We  concluded that the claim was credible – calculated using appropriate methods and conservative assumptions.

But what does reaching 62.9 million people really mean? Have lives been transformed? And have the results been sustainable?

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Bangladesh – Faecal sludge management new sanitation challenge

Bangladesh – Faecal sludge management new sanitation challenge | Source: The Daily Star, May 18 2016 |

Emphasising the need for managing the faecal sludge (human excreta) speakers at a roundtable yesterday said this sludge will pose huge threats to environment and public health if not properly managed.

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Participants at a roundtable titled “Faecal Sludge Management: Second Generation Sanitation Challenge” at The Daily Star Centre in the capital yesterday, jointly organised by the newspaper, DSK, ITN-Buet, and Practical Action. Photo: Star

The construction of thousands of pit latrines without thinking of ensuring proper hygienic separation of excreta from human contact and faecal sludge management (FSM) eventually emerged as a second generation sanitation problem for the country, they said at a programme at The Daily Star Centre in the capital.

Practical Action Bangladesh, ITN-Buet, Dushtha Shasthya Kendra (DSK) and The Daily Star jointly organised the programme.

Prof Muhammad Ashraf Ali, a teacher of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, gave a keynote presentation on “Faecal Sludge Management: Key Issues and the Institution and Regulatory Framework.”

He mentioned that only four million or 20 percent of the total population of Dhaka city is currently under the sewerage network coverage while the rest 156 million are covered by on-site system. “In the absence of proper pit-emptying services in the latrines, the pit-contents are often drained into the surrounding low lying areas manually posing a great risk to cleaners and public health,” he observed.

Read the complete article.

Can collective action strategies motivate behavior change to reduce open defecation in rural India?

Can collective action strategies motivate behavior change to reduce open defecation in rural India? Waterlines, April 2016.

Authors: Payal Hathi, Dean Spears, Diane Coffey. RICE Institute.

The world’s remaining open defecation is increasingly concentrated in rural India. The Indian government’s efforts to reduce open defecation by providing subsidies for latrine construction have been largely unsuccessful in addressing the problem. It is now clear that behavior change must be the priority if progress on ending open defecation is to be made.

While community-led strategies have proven effective in various developing country contexts, there are serious reasons to question whether similar methods can work in rural India.  Through both quantitative and qualitative analyses, we find that strict social hierarchies that continue to govern daily interactions in rural life today obstruct the spirit of cooperation upon which such methods rely.

Additionally, caste-based notions of purity and pollution make the simple latrines used all over the developing world unattractive to rural Indians.  In a context where people identify most closely with their caste and religious groups rather than their geographical villages, our findings suggest that a more nuanced understanding of the idea of “community” is required.  More experimentation, both with community-led and other strategies, is needed in order to effectively move from open defecation to latrine use in rural India.

Bangladesh: First South Asian Nation To Become Open-Defecation Free – Analysis

Bangladesh: First South Asian Nation To Become Open-Defecation Free – Analysis | Source: Eurasia Review, May 9 2016 |

Bangladesh, once described as “bottomless basket”, has achieved remarkable success in many aspects of social sector, including sanitation. The strong political will of the government and an inclusive approach have brought fundamental change in the area of sanitation of the South Asian nation. In 2015, open-defecation in the country reduced to just 1%. Besides, improved sanitation coverage stood at 61%, an increase of 28% since 2003.

Bangladesh

Pastoral scene in Bangladesh.

A nationwide survey carried out in 2003 to assess the sanitation facilities in Bangladesh revealed an alarmingly poor condition. The survey found that only 33% of the households had access to hygienic latrines, while 42% people did not use any type of latrine, defecated in the open. The prevalence of abysmal poverty among rural people was identified as the most important reason for not having latrine. The review disclosed that almost 20% of the households had been very poor.

In order to improve the sanitation facilities throughout the country, the Bangladesh government undertook a series of measures activating its agencies from the national to the grassroots level after 2003. The primary responsibility of the sanitation sector is entrusted with the Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives.

Read the complete article.

If These Kids From MP Find Someone Defecating In Open, There’s A Funny Way They Tackle It – WaterAid India

Published on Apr 5, 2016

An inspiring story of a group of children from Sehore in Madhya Pradesh who set off at the crack of dawn to prevent people from defecating in the open using a unique method. See how these young crusaders in the fight against open defecation are inspiring their communities to stop open defecation.

The SDGs at city level: Mumbai’s example

The SDGs at city level: Mumbai’s example, 2016. Authors: Paula Lucci and Alainna Lynch. Overseas Development Institute.

How countries manage urbanisation over the next 15 years will define governments’ ability to achieve most of the Sustainable Development Goals.

  • Our analysis of performance over time (1998–2006) for three SDG targets in Mumbai (at city and slum settlement levels) suggests the target on access to water will be easier to achieve than the sanitation and housing targets.
  • However, data limitations at subnational level make it difficult to reach definite conclusions on trends over time, let alone to project performance through 2030 for
    these and other targets.
  • The SDGs provide an opportunity to set up-to-date credible baselines for cities and slums and to make historical data (where they exist) more accessible, for instance through user-friendly online portals. Having such data would highlight areas where progress needs to be accelerated or trends reversed, motivating city governments and campaigners to act.

Two Brilliant Solutions For Addressing India’s Huge Sanitation Crisis

My View: Two Brilliant Solutions For Addressing India’s Huge Sanitation Crisis | Source: The Better India, April 1 2016 |

India’s sanitation crisis is immense and not easily solved. Over 600 million people in rural and urban areas defecate in the open.  The nation cannot incessantly wait.  Two recently developed solutions may help.

The magnitude of India’s sanitation crisis may be summed up in one sentence: two-thirds of urban residents do not have toilets and access to the sewer grid, and over 600 million people in rural and urban areas defecate in the open. Where the grid does not serve toilets, faeces is periodically collected from unsustainable septic tanks and pit latrines to be discarded in open areas, landfill sites, lakes, and freshwater sources. The tragedy of our commons therefore multiplies manifold, as do health consequences.

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Bio toilets

Two Sustainable Solutions

The nation cannot incessantly wait. Two recently developed solutions may find mention here.

The first, the DRDO Bio-Digestion Toilet, a serendipitous innovation born from the need for sanitation for army personnel in the Himalayas, was not invented to address the civilian sanitation crisis.

Read the complete article.