Category Archives: Resources

The Guardian – Can mapping faecal flows cut the crap in developing cities?

Can mapping faecal flows cut the crap in developing cities? | Source: The Guardian, June 16, 2016 |

Human waste often ends up in drains, rivers, fields and on beaches, but fast growing cities can use data grabs to improve their sanitation conditions

Rapid urbanisation in many parts of the developing world is putting an increasing strain on the ability of cities to deliver critical services such as water and sanitation. More than half of the world’s population – 54% – live in urban areas and some 700 million of them do not use an improved sanitation facility, where human waste is separated from human contact.

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Children fish on a river bank in one of downtown Jakarta’s slum areas next to public toilets. Photograph: Bay Ismoyo/AFP/Getty Images

But even where there are such facilities, this does not necessarily translate into environmentally safe practices. More than two billion people in urban areas use toilets connected to septic tanks or latrine pits that are not safely emptied or that discharge raw sewage into open drains or surface waters. With another 2.5 billion people expected to live in cities by 2050, authorities urgently need to keep up with the growing urban population, ensure equitable access to improved sanitation, and safeguard the appropriate and environmentally-safe management of human waste.

Believe it or not, mapping the journey of faecal waste is an important part of the solution. IRC’s new sanitation assessment tool offers a simple representation of the volumes of sludge safely (and unsafely) dealt with at each stage of the sanitation chain, allowing city planners to determine where the biggest losses are and where to focus their (often limited) budgets.

Although tools to assess faecal sludge management (FSM) do already exist, they are either not able to include qualitative information or the scorecards they provide do not give adequate explanations for a bad score, nor do they provide actual volumes, which makes it difficult to translate the results into action. IRC’s tool, however, analyses the availability and enforcement of policy and legislation, and the presence of and adherence to health and safety through specific scorecards.

Read the complete article.

Approaches to Capital Financing and Cost Recovery in Sewerage Schemes Implemented in India: Lessons Learned and Approaches for Future Schemes

Approaches to Capital Financing and Cost Recovery in Sewerage Schemes Implemented in India: Lessons Learned and Approaches for Future Schemes, 2016. Water and Sanitation Program.

This report aims to highlight some of the successful financial management practices adopted by Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) in India when implementing sewerage schemes. The findings are presented in two parts – the first part of the report discusses the approach adopted for capital financing of sewerage schemes in the state of Tamil Nadu, and the second part presents the findings from a review of the operational expenditure and revenue generation of various ULBs across the country.

The aim of the report is to share successful capital financing and cost recovery practices adopted by ULBs in India and enable improvement in provisioning of sewerage systems (only where feasible and economically viable, typically only in larger towns with a population greater than 50,000) and ensure availability of sufficient funds for proper Operation and Maintenance (O&M) of the schemes implemented.

 

Global Waters Radio: Eddy Perez on Lessons Learned and New Trends in the Sanitation Sector

Global Waters Radio: Eddy Perez on Lessons Learned and New Trends in the Sanitation Sector | Global Waters, June 2016 |

Eddy Perez is a Professor of Practice in Sanitation at the Emory School of Public Health’s Center for Global Safe Water, Sanitation and Hygiene. eddy

In his recent conversation with Global Waters Radio, Perez talks about his career in the sanitation sector, shares lessons he has learned along the way, and explains why sanitation improvements in both rural and urban areas must remain a programming priority in international efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Perez discusses both the challenges and opportunities inherent in the global development community’s pursuit of SDG 6.2, which within 15 years aims to “achieve access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all and end open defecation” — an enormous task.

Link to the podcast/complete article.

A Community Approach to Better Public Health in Rural Liberia

A Community Approach to Better Public Health in Rural Liberia. Global Waters, June 2016

Liberia is no stranger to difficult times, having weathered a devastating Ebola outbreak and now struggling through a slow economic recovery. Lost amid the headlines from these events is the story of Liberia’s quiet public health victories.

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Residents of Lofa County’s Vahun district in Liberia gather to discuss strategy for sustaining recent local sanitation improvements. Photo Credit: Global Communities

Half of Liberia’s 4.5 million people live in the countryside and roughly the same amount practice open defecation.

This practice has jeopardized public health by facilitating the spread of diseases that cause diarrhea, Liberia’s sixth leading cause of death and the primary cause of childhood morbidity and mortality.

However, thanks to two programs that championed community-led sanitation improvements, USAID has now helped 1,500 Liberian communities achieve open defecation-free (ODF) status — fueling optimism about continued public health improvements in the near term

Read the complete article.

The Knowledge Base for Achieving the Sustainable Development Goal Targets on Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene

The Knowledge Base for Achieving the Sustainable Development Goal Targets on Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 536; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060536

Authors: Guy Hutton and Claire Chase

Safe drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) are fundamental to an improved standard of living. Globally, 91% of households used improved drinking water sources in 2015, while for improved sanitation it is 68%. Wealth disparities are stark, with rural populations, slum dwellers and marginalized groups lagging significantly behind. Service coverage is significantly lower when considering the new water and sanitation targets under the sustainable development goals (SDGs) which aspire to a higher standard of ‘safely managed’ water and sanitation.

Lack of access to WASH can have an economic impact as much as 7% of Gross Domestic Product, not including the social and environmental consequences. Research points to significant health and socio-economic consequences of poor nutritional status, child growth and school performance caused by inadequate WASH. Groundwater over-extraction and pollution of surface water bodies have serious impacts on water resource availability and biodiversity, while climate change exacerbates the health risks of water insecurity.

A significant literature documents the beneficial impacts of WASH interventions, and a growing number of impact evaluation studies assess how interventions are optimally financed, implemented and sustained. Many innovations in behavior change and service delivery offer potential for scaling up services to meet the SDGs.

 

The Developing World Urgently Needs Phages to Combat Pathogenic Bacteria

The Developing World Urgently Needs Phages to Combat Pathogenic BacteriaFront. Microbiol., 08 June 2016. Authors: Tobi E. Nagel,  Benjamin K. Chan, et. al.

With the growing global antimicrobial resistance crisis, there is a critical need for alternatives to conventional antibiotics, especially in developing countries. Virulent bacteriophages (phages) represent a viable antibacterial technology that could be particularly beneficial, since phages are active against antimicrobial-resistant bacteria, easy to isolate from contaminated environments, and relatively inexpensive to produce.

We discuss here examples of infectious diseases that significantly affect developing countries, phage applications that could be especially impactful in those settings, and special considerations for implementing phages in the developing world.

USAID – More Than Just Toilets: Report on USAID’s Response to the Global Sanitation Challenge, 2015

More Than Just Toilets: Report on USAID’s Response to the Global Sanitation Challenge, 2015. USAID.

Improving sanitation can have a significant impact on health, the economy, and personal security and dignity, especially for women and girls. Investments in sanitation reduce health care costs and boost productivity, as time available for work and school increases.

Despite these compelling benefits, the world did not meet the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 7c of halving the number of people without access to improved sanitation between 1990 and 2015. The slow progress in sanitation access is related to some daunting challenges. Sanitation is not a glamorous topic, is often overlooked, difficult to discuss, and in many cultures considered taboo. Sanitation generally suffers from a lack of political prioritization, particularly when compared with drinking water.

USAID’s efforts to address sanitation inequalities and access issues focus on sustainably improving sanitation services beyond just the provision of latrines. Sanitation is closely linked to issues of safe drinking water and hygiene, and USAID’s programs and funding for sanitation activities are bundled together under the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) key issue.