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Rural Water Supply – Water Currents, July 24, 2017

Rural Water Supply – Water Currents, July 24, 2017

This issue on Rural Water Supply highlights a wide range of publications and studies from 2016 and 2017, including presentations from the latest Rural Water Supply Network (RWSN) forum, reports from UNICEF, the Innovation Policy Platform, and others. watercurrents

Also included are links to websites with information on rural water supply issues. We would like to thank Sean Furey of RWSN for suggesting publications to include in this issue.

Publications 
Proceedings of the 7th RWSN Forum, November 29–December 2, 2016Skat Foundation, 2017. The 2016 RWSN Forum in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, was the first global gathering to consider the challenge of getting access to safe, affordable water worldwide by 2030. This website compiles all peer-reviewed materials presented at the conference.

Professional Water Well Drilling: A UNICEF Guidance NoteSkat FoundationUNICEF, 2016. With a particular focus on rural and small town water suppliers, this guidance note provides practical advice for organizations and individuals that are trying to raise the professionalism of groundwater development in Africa.

Local Government and Rural Water Services That Last: A Way ForwardRWSN, 2017. The paper highlights the role local governments can and do play in ensuring sustainable water service provision, the challenges that they face in fulfilling these roles and responsibilities, and the opportunities for overcoming these challenges.

Read the complete issue.

Shared toilets as the path to health and dignity

Shared toilets as the path to health and dignity. World Bank Water Blog, July 19, 2017.

Mollar Bosti is a crowded slum in Dhaka, Bangladesh, home to 10,000 people: garment workers, rickshaw drivers, and small traders, all living side-by-side in tiny rooms sandwiched along narrow passageways.

With the land subject to monsoon flooding, and no municipal services to speak of, the people of Mollar Basti have been struggling with a very real problem: what to do with an enormous and growing amount of human faeces.

Traditionally, their ‘hanging latrines’ consisted of bamboo and corrugated metal structures suspended on poles above the ground, allowing waste to fall straight down into a soup of mud and trash below. Residents tell stories of rooms flooded with smelly muck during monsoons; outbreaks of diarrhoea and fever would quickly follow.

But conditions have improved for much of the slum. With help of a local NGO, the residents negotiated permission for improvement from a private landowner, and mapped out areas of need. Today, they proudly show visitors their pristine, well-lit community latrines and water points. They report fewer problems with flooding and disease.

Read the complete article.

Plastic bottle battle: members respond to our new environment series

Plastic bottle battle: members respond to our new environment series. The Guardian, July 2017.

The Guardian’s Bottling It series is shining a light on the problem of what to do with the 1m plastic drinking bottles produced every minute. Your replies were thoughtful and inspiring

We often hear from members about our environment reporting – you tell us that you value it and would like us to increase our focus in this area.

A cat crouches on a polluted beach strewn with plastic bottles near Dakar in Senegal. Photograph: Nic Bothma/EPA

A cat crouches on a polluted beach strewn with plastic bottles near Dakar in Senegal. Photograph: Nic Bothma/EPA

So we were interested in hearing your views on our Bottling It series, which asks who is responsible for the world’s plastic binge, and how we might solve the environmental crisis it is creating. Thank you to all who got in touch – your thoughts were informed, passionate and often inspiring, which is why we have published a selection of them below.

The series has been very well read, and this week continues with our reporter Nicola Davis documenting her attempts to avoid buying anything with plastic in it or on it. Do you want to join her? Let us know how you get on using #nomoreplastic on Twitter and Instagram.

Read the complete article.

We make fake poo in a laboratory – to improve sanitation in Bangladesh

We make fake poo in a laboratory – to improve sanitation in Bangladesh. Phys.org, July 12, 2017.

Across the world, almost three billion people do not have the luxury of a flushing toilet. Instead they rely on static sanitation systems, like pit latrines to deal with their waste. As these are not often connected to a sewer, they require manual emptying and disposal.

Poor understanding of the risks involved means that untreated sludge is often thrown into nearby fields and rivers. The impact of this can be devastating.

Manual emptying. Credit: sswm.info

Manual emptying. Credit: sswm.info

Yet is is estimated that every dollar invested in better sanitation returns up to US$5.50 in social and economic benefits. These come through increased productivity, reduced healthcare costs and prevention of illness and early death.

A crucial part of improving sanitation lies in researching and developing simpler, more efficient ways of treating sludge in places where a sewerage and centralised waste water treatment is not available.

My research is part of a partnership with the engineering firm Buro Happold (BH) who were asked by WaterAid Bangladesh to find a sludge treatment technology which was effective, practical and affordable.

After considering options which included biogas and pit additives – products used to try and reduce sludge volume – the company opted for unplanted drying beds. They are simple in design and make use of the reasonable amount of sunshine in Bangladesh.

Read the complete article.

Meeting the Sanitation Needs of the Poor with Serviced Toilets

Meeting the Sanitation Needs of the Poor with Serviced Toilets, June 2017. Innovation Policy Platform.

  • Waterless and diverting toilets offer improved sanitation options suited for unserved urban slums.
  • Aspirational name, branding, and design help make toilets attractive
    for users.
  • Low costs and innovative payment  models make units affordable.
  • Waste is removed in portable containers and often used to make fertilizer or briquettes.

Strengthening Governance of Local Water and Sanitation Utilities for Improved Service Delivery – World Bank

Strengthening Governance of Local Water and Sanitation Utilities for Improved Service Delivery, June 2017. World Bank.

This report provides an overview of capacity-building activities undertaken after 18 months of implementation of the PforR and draws the lessons learned that can be replicated by other similar programs in the region and beyond. worldbank

All activities in this report have been planned and implemented by the government and WSP provided funding and technical support. The remainder of this report is structured as follows: section two provides an overview of the design of capacity-building support.

Section three presents the methodology for the implementation of the capacity-building activities and the challenges faced during implementation.

Section four presents the case studies which provide detailed information on capacity-building support for procurement, citizen engagement, and M&E.

Section five draws lessons learned from the abovementioned case studies. Appendix B includes the main outputs and materials produced as part of the capacity-building support.

Bioloos: Helping Achieve the Goal of Water and Sanitation for All

Bioloos: Helping Achieve the Goal of Water and Sanitation for All. UN Foundation, June 13, 2017.

By Sanjay Banka, Managing Director of Banka BioLoo and a Steering Committee Member for Sanitation and Water for All school-bioloos

An excerpt: In most of Asia and Africa, basic water and sanitation services are provided by small and medium businesses, also referred to as social enterprises, as they help solve a crucial social problem.

India-based Banka BioLoo made a commitment to provide affordable and sustainable sanitation through Every Woman Every Child. The company has been relentlessly working to attain SDG 6 by collaborating with government bodies, Indian Railways, state-owned enterprises, public sector undertakings, publicly-listed and private companies, foundations, non-profit organizations, and construction, infrastructure, and plantation companies to provide sustainable bioloos in communities, schools, homes, institutes, offices, hotels, hospitals and health care facilities, work sites such as manufacturing facilities, factories, mines, and of course in trains.

Banka BioLoo’s solutions help:

  • Meet the need for basic, easy-to-install, and hygienic human waste disposal mechanisms in areas with no current infrastructure facilities; and
  • Address the need for a cheaper and easy-to-operate alternative to the traditional waste disposal system.

The bioloo – a simple toilet shelter attached to a small bio-digester tank with bacteria placed in it – treats the human waste at source. There is no need to transport the waste, no spoiling of the environment or groundwater, and no need for energy nor heavy infrastructure.

On the contrary, the system gives pathogen-free water that can be used for gardening and agriculture. For larger systems, biogas can be collected and used for heating and cooking. Bioloos can be installed anywhere – across terrains, in remote and hilly areas, and in hot and cold regions. The bio-toilet system disposes human waste in a 100% eco-friendly manner – saving energy, conserving water, and producing bio-gas.

Read the complete article.