Category Archives: Campaigns and Events

#Sanitation events at 2017 Stockholm #WWWeek

Sanitation-at-WWWeek-2017

From 27 August – 1 September, 2017 there will be nearly 50 sanitation events to choose from at World Water Week in Stockholm.

You can learn about everything from Sanitary Safety Plans to the Second Sanitary Revolution, from sanitation in small towns to wastewater management for indigenous peoples, and from inclusive sanitation to sludge based solid fuel .

View the full list at:
programme.worldwaterweek.org/events/all/all/all/sanitation/www2017

Accelerate India Sanitation Business Challenge launching today – Toilet Board Coalition & Sankalp Forum

Accelerate India Sanitation Business Challenge launching today – Toilet Board Coalition & Sankalp Forum

CALL FOR APPLICATIONS NOW OPEN TO 10 JULY 2017 – TOILET ACCELERATOR INDIA EDITION tbcindia

Do you have a business or business idea for toilet innovations and service models, circular economy waste management and resource recovery, or mobile, digital and e-heath applications for sanitation in India?

Apply for over 100,000 Euro in support from global brand companies by 10 July 2017!

The Toilet Accelerator India Edition challenge calls for applications from businesses that are addressing the most challenging water and sanitation issues in the country.

Continue reading

Celebrating Menstrual Hygiene Day 2017 – Water Currents

Celebrated worldwide on May 28 each year, Menstrual Hygiene Day (MHD) is a global initiative that brings together organizations, individuals, and the media to raise awareness about menstrual hygiene management (MHM). mhday

This issue of Water Currents contains information on MHD events, select 2017 and 2016 publications and videos on the topic, links to relevant websites, and news articles. (Photo Credit: USAID/WASHplus)

Events 
Menstrual Hygiene Day, May 28, 2017. WASH United, 2017. The theme for 2017’s advocacy event is “Education about Menstruation Changes Everything.” MHD raises awareness of the challenges women and girls worldwide face due to their menstruation and highlights solutions that address these challenges. The MHD website features campaign materials, a list of events, and fact sheets and other resources.

Menstrual Hygiene Management in Emergencies: Global Guidelines and Lessons Learned from the Philippines. UNESCO, May 2017. A recording of this webinar, held May 17, will soon be available on the Schools & Health website. Marni Sommer discussed the soon-to-be published Menstrual Hygiene Management in Emergencies toolkit developed by Columbia University and the International Rescue Committee in partnership with the global humanitarian response community. Another presentation described the MHM response in the Philippines to Typhoon Haiyan.

Publications and Videos 
Menstrual Hygiene Management Policy Brief. SHARE, January 2017. This policy brief summarizes previous research on MHM, defines knowledge gaps that still exist, and sets out clear recommendations for improving policy and programs globally.

#InDeepShit

By Ingeborg Krukkert, Lead Asia Programmes | Sanitation and hygiene specialist, IRC

Human beings are being used to plug the gaps in failing sanitation systems – Bezwada Wilson.

#InDeepShit is the title of an event I attended on Saturday 22 April 2017. Talking about toilets and who is able to use one – or not; talking about who cleans them and how – sometimes literally with their hands deep in shit. I know this does not sound like an event a sane person would like to join on their day off. But you are mistaken! And I was not the only one. Around 80 young and critical people in the room showed that this was an event important enough to spend their free Saturday morning on.

I was triggered by the quote on the invitation saying: “Any human cannot clean somebody’s shit for the sake of roti. This is Independent India?”. The quote is from Bezwada Wilson, an Indian activist against manual scavenging. He was one of eight very interesting speakers invited to address the meeting. They covered a wide range of challenges: from barriers disabled people face when wanting to use a toilet (“we can’t hire you because we do not have a toilet for you”), to safety issues for transgender people (“we have progressive laws on paper, but this is not what I encounter in real life”), to accountability and manual scavenging.

Nine years

Almost nine years ago Bezwada Wilson was an inspiring and eloquent speaker at the IRC Symposium on Urban Sanitation for the Poor. Nine years and the same problems still need to be addressed. At that time he said: “sanitation is much broader than simply toilets. Effective sanitation also requires hygiene education – people have to change their practice as well as get access to toilets. It is inevitable that the main focus is on the early part of the chain (building toilets), but there is increasing awareness that the most difficult problems relate to the removal of faecal sludge […]. In many cities, treatment, disposal or reuse is not managed” and – as Bezwada Wilson put it so eloquently in his presentation during the symposium: “human beings are being used to plug the gaps in failing sanitation systems”.

Bezwada Wilson

Bezwada Wilson

Nine years later, this is exactly what is happening with the Swachh Bharat Mission. With the hard deadline of 2019 to reach the target of a toilet for every household, state and districts seem to have no choice but to focus on constructing toilets and on doing it fast. More than 700 million toilets to go…. There is no time to focus on use, no time to focus on what is happening with all that human waste after using the toilet, no focus on what happens when the pit is full, and no focus on who is emptying the toilet or how it is done.

Nine years of activism and there is still manual scavenging. Bezwada Wilson has not changed; he seems more motivated than ever. And with reason! It’s not only about dignity, safety is a huge issue too. Workers are dying, even in 2017, he points out referring to the recent sewage plant accident in Noida.

Chief Executive VK Madhavan from WaterAid India, however, also sees positive developments. He acknowledges that we cannot change where we are born, or in which family or caste. So true and yet so easy to forget: that privilege – or not – is no contribution of us as individuals, no contribution at all. What we can do is provide a space to those who are denied to speak up or to interact with the government. That is why WaterAid India together with Youth Ki Awaaz organised this event. Youth Ki Awaaz is India’s largest platform where young people can publish their stories to drive impact.

And this is what Bezwada Wilson has also done. He is founder and National Convenor of the Safai Karmachari Andolan (SKA), a national movement committed to the total eradication of manual scavenging and the rehabilitation of all scavengers for dignified occupations. SKA was instrumental in eradicating manual scavenging in as many as 139 districts in India since 2009. He created a change of perspective. And he is not alone. Mrs Lali Bai, a former manual scavenger, also shared her experiences with us. She is now an activist and founder of Rashtriya Garima Abhiyan, a national campaign for dignity and eradication of manual scavenging. For a long time many of us, including government officials, ignored or even denied the existence of manual scavenging. But there are many examples that manual scavenging is still going on as this picture from Cambodia shows.

Manual scavenger in Cambodia (photo by Danny Dourng)

Manual scavenger in Cambodia (photo by Danny Dourng)

Any shortcuts to change?

In India more and more authorities start to acknowledge the problem. Our role is to provide space to make this happen. It all goes terribly slowly though and I asked the panel if there is no shortcut to change. Nobody could answer that question. Can you?

The blog was originally posted on 24 April 2017 on the IRC website.

UNC Water Institute 2017 Water and Health Conference

The Water Institute at UNC Welcomes You: October 16-20, 2017

  • Abstracts for presentations and side events are due May 24, 2017

The 2017 Water and Health Conference: Where Science Meets Policy, organized by The Water Institute at UNC, considers drinking water supply, sanitation, hygiene and water resources in both the developing and developed worlds with a strong public health emphasis. WHConference-noyear-01-e1488910497389.png

Water and Health Conference Themes

  • Climate resilience
  • WaSH and gender
  • Drinking water safety
  • Addressing disparities in WaSH: Rural, peri-urban, and indigenous populations
  • WaSH in non-household settings
  • From evidence to action

New for 2017: separate tracks for high-income and low- and middle-income countries.

Link to conference website.

Toilet Accelerator & SaTo toilet products named as finalists in the first-ever World Changing Ideas Awards

Announcing The Winners Of The 2017 World Changing Ideas Awards.  Fast Company, March 20, 2017.

Our 25 expert judges combed through more than 1,000 entries from around the world to find the most innovative ideas to make the world better. poster

Here they are: the winners of the first-ever World Changing Ideas Awards. We sifted through more than 1,000 truly impressive entries to find the ones our panel of judges thought were the best combination of creative problem solving and potential to change our world for the better. We have crowned 12 winners–along with 192 finalists–which you can read more about below (make sure you also read our predictions for the world changing ideas of next year). Each of these projects represents the best of social entrepreneurship, where innovation and impact are intersecting.

SOME OF THE WORLD CHANGING IDEA FINALISTS

The Toilet Accelerator
Toilet Board Coalition
Supporting innovation in sanitation

Edible six-pack rings
E6PR
Packaging that breaks down in water

SaTo sanitary toilet products
Lixil
Low-cost sanitation for developing countries

Read the complete article.

12th SuSanA Thematic Discussion: “Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) in Schools – A neglected issue”

While nowadays the topic of MHM is gaining more and more attention, it has widely been neglected in the past. SDG4 (education), SDG5 (gender equality) and SDG6 (water and sanitation) require female friendly sanitation facilities and available informational materials at schools around the globe.

Taking into account the magnitude of the population affected by issues around MHM, schools provide an ideal environment to reach girls as well as young women and to address taboos and misconceptions in a culturally sensitive manner.

The question, however, is how to approach the topic in a culturally sensitive manner?

Running for two weeks from today (March 27 until April 09) the discussion on the SuSanA forum will look at two areas:

Week 1: Breaking the taboo around MHM                                           Thematic Lead: Dr. Marni Sommer (Associate Professor, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health)

 Week 2: Infrastructural barriers and how to monitor MHM            Thematic Lead: Thérèse Mahon (Regional Programme Manager South Asia, WaterAid)

During the discussion, regular summaries of forum entries will be posted to keep you updated on our conversation.

Coordination on behalf of the SuSanA secretariat for this thematic discussion will be carried out by Dr. Bella Monse, Jan Schlenk and Mintje Büürma. For any questions, you can post on the forum or contact us directly at info@susana.org.

To join the discussion, follow: http://bit.ly/2nZn4n6

And to read the first contribution by Marni Sommer, click on: http://bit.ly/2n9JLkv