Category Archives: Uncategorized

Toilets with plastic bottles? IIT-Madras students show the way

Toilets with plastic bottles? IIT-Madras students show the way. Times of India, January 22, 2017.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The method involves using discarded PET bottles filled with savudu sand (aquifer sand).
  • The students built a bench using PET bottles on the IIT-M campus last month.
  • SYNK, the collective behind the project, intends using it to build toilets in rural areas.

CHENNAI: A group of 13 IIT-Madras students has designed and tested a construction model using PolyEthylene Terephthalate (PET) bottles for bricks and hopes it will revolutionise future government-sponsored sanitation programmes.

SYNK, the collective behind the project, intends using it to build toilets in rural areas. It can help reduce plastic waste, said manager Arpan Paul.

The method involves using discarded PET bottles filled with savudu sand (aquifer sand). “This is not construction grade sand. The type we used for our experiment is what you would find at a landfill,” said W Keerthana, a students. A little water poured into the PET bottle is drained and then filled with sand to make it strong like a brick.

As a test, the students built a bench using PET bottles on the IIT-M campus last month. “We sourced 3500 plastic bottles from nearly 10 restaurants in Velachery and Adyar,” said Paul, adding that the method is cost effective and quick. “It cost us around Rs 4,000 to procure the sand.”

Read the complete article.

SuSanA is turning 10 – Celebrate with us on 17 January 2017

SuSanA was born in January 2007 when a range of sanitation enthusiasts from various organisations met in Eschborn to coordinate their activities for the International Year of Sanitation. That’s almost 10 years ago and we cordially invite you to celebrate SuSanA’s anniversary with us!

Together with the SuSanA Core Group, key donors and partners, we will be looking back at SuSanA’s achievements and impact during the last 10 years and we will be reflecting on the way forward to discuss SuSanA’s contribution to the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development.

The Celebration Ceremony will be livestreamed and we cordially invite you to join us online!

The theme of the anniversary is: “10 years SuSanA: How the changed sanitation paradigm contributes to the Sustainable Development Goals”

With the SDGs and the 2030 Agenda, many of SuSanA’s positions are now on the highest political agenda; nonetheless the challenges ahead are huge.

During the celebration, the final draft of the updated SuSanA Vision Document “Contribution of Sustainable Sanitation to the 2030 Agenda of Sustainable Development” will be presented.

We invite you to watch the celebration online and to share your ideas, thoughts and comments on how SuSanA can positively contribute to the challenges ahead via the SuSanA Forum.

When: Tuesday, 17th January 2017, from 10:00 – 12:00 CET and 13:00-14:00 CET

Where: Via Skype for Business or via Skype Web App 

For more Information please visit the SuSanA Forum: http://forum.susana.org/component/kunena/10-announcements-regarding-susana/20041-susana-is-turning-10–celebrate-with-us-on-17-january-2017
We look forward to meeting you online.

SuSanA Secretariat (Arne Panesar, Cecilia Rodrigues, Doreen Mbalo, Annkathrin Tempel, Antonio Seoane, Manuel Greulich and Martin Puszies)

23rd SuSanA Meeting in Chennai on 18 February 2017

We are pleased to announce the 23rd SuSanA meeting organised by the India Sanitation Coalition, Ecosan Services Foundation and the Indian Institute of Technology Madras together with the secretariat of the Sustainable Sanitation Alliance (SuSanA).

The meeting will take place in Chennai, India on February 18 February 2017 at  IIT Madras, prior to the FSM4. It is complemented by a SuSanA WG 7 Meeting (WASH in Schools) and an Open Exchange Forum on 17 February 2017.

This meeting is the 2nd SuSanA meeting held in India and will be a great opportunity to meet and network with  SuSanA partners based in India.

To register for the SuSanA meeting click here. For further information about the outline and goals visit this link: http://www.susana.org/en/events/susana-meetings/2017/530-23rd-susana-meeting-chennai

If you have any questions or comments please post them on the SuSanA Forum:

http://forum.susana.org/component/kunena/232-susana-meetings/19761-23rd-susana-meeting-17-18-february-2017-registration-is-open-now

Looking forward to seeing you at the 23rd SuSanA meeting!

Ending open defecation: The drive must go beyond mascots, jingles – even toilets

Ending open defecation: The drive must go beyond mascots, jingles – even toilets. Scroll.In, January 3, 2017.

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Image credit: NDMC handout

Even as Mumbai enlists the star power of Salman Khan to end open defecation and Delhi has its turbaned Swachh Sewak mascots patrolling the streets, whistling at and fining the guilty, the underlying lacunae that make people defecate in the open see little discussion and go almost completely unaddressed. A problem that should not take more than a year to be solved nationally, if addressed in mission mode, drags on through one scheme after the other.

The populist efforts are driven more by the aim of safeguarding the sensibilities of the privileged than out of a feeling of empathy for those who must go through the indignity of open defecation. A sincere desire to solve the problem is wanting. The Swachh Bharat Mission makes the right noises but lacks in empowering municipal officials adequately. Nice videos and musical jingles can only take you so far. The real difference comes from silent work carried out by a taskforce staffed with deeply committed and talented people.

In the urban context, especially, the issue becomes more complex. Land is scarce and has higher economic value, and urban planning and equitable housing policies have been neglected for a very long time. Open defecation arises from a neglect of these fundamental issues rather than just from the absence of adequate toilets. While we decide what we want to do with planning and governing our cities better, in the interim, it should not be difficult to construct a high number of high quality toilets, which become a natural attraction for those defecating in the open.

Read the complete article.

Is Exposure to Animal Feces Harmful to Child Nutrition and Health Outcomes? A Multicountry Observational Analysis

Is Exposure to Animal Feces Harmful to Child Nutrition and Health Outcomes? A Multicountry Observational Analysis. Amer Jnl Trop Med & Hyg, Dec 2016.

Authors: Derek Headey, Phuong Nguyen, et . al.

It has recently been hypothesized that exposure to livestock constitutes a significant risk factor for diarrhea and environmental enteric disorder in young children, which may significantly contribute to undernutrition. To date, though, very little research has documented the extent of exposure to animal feces and whether this exposure is associated with child anthropometry in large samples and diverse settings.

This study investigates these issues using data from the Alive and Thrive study conducted in rural areas of Ethiopia, Bangladesh, and Vietnam. These surveys used spot-checks to collect data on proxies of hygiene behaviors such as the cleanliness of mothers, young children, and the homestead environment, including the presence of animal feces. Animal feces were visible in 38–42% of household compounds across the three countries and were positively associated with household livestock ownership and negatively associated with maternal and child cleanliness.

One-sided tests from multivariate least squares models for children 6–24 months of age indicate that the presence of animal feces is significantly and negatively associated with child height-for-age z scores in Ethiopia, Bangladesh, and in a pooled sample, but not in Vietnam.

There is also suggestive evidence that animal feces may be positively associated with diarrhea symptoms in Bangladesh. The results in this article, therefore, contribute to a growing body of evidence suggesting that animal ownership may pose a significant risk to child nutrition and health outcomes in developing countries.

WASH Benefits studies published in 2016

WASH Benefits Studies Published in 2016 – The WASH Benefits Study provides rigorous evidence on the health and developmental benefits of water quality, sanitation, handwashing, and nutritional interventions during the first years of life. The study includes two, cluster-randomized controlled trials to measure the impact of intervention among newborn infants in rural Bangladesh and Kenya. The studies are large in scope (> 5,000 newborns per country) and will measure primary outcomes after two years of intervention.

December 2016 – Adapting and Evaluating a Rapid, Low-Cost Method to Enumerate Flies in the Household Setting. Marlene K. Wolfe, Holly N. Dentz, Beryl Achando, MaryAnne Mureithi, Tim Wolfe, Clair Null, Amy J. Pickering. Am J Trop Med Hyg 2016 16-0162.

October 2016 – Occurrence of Host-Associated Fecal Markers on Child Hands, Household Soil, and Drinking Water in Rural Bangladeshi Households. Alexandria B. Boehm, Dan Wang, Ayse Ercumen, Meghan Shea, Angela R. Harris, Orin C. Shanks, Catherine Kelty, Alvee Ahmed, Zahid Hayat Mahmud, Benjamin F. Arnold, Claire Chase, Craig Kullmann, John M. Colford Jr., Stephen P. Luby, and Amy J. Pickering. Publication Date (Web): October 13, 2016. Environ. Sci. Technol. Lett.  DOI: 10.1021/acs.estlett.6b00382.

June 2016 – Towards a Scalable and Sustainable Intervention for Complementary Food Safety.  Rahman MJ, Nizame FA, Nuruzzaman M, Akand F, Islam MA, Parvez SM, Stewart CP, Unicomb L, Luby SP, Winch PJ. Food and Nutrition Bulletin. 2016 Jun;37(2):186-201.

June 2016 – Hygiene Practices During Food Preparation in Rural Bangladesh: Opportunities to Improve the Impact of Handwashing Interventions. Fosiul A. Nizame, Elli Leontsini, Stephen P. Luby, Md. Nuruzzaman, Shahana Parveen, Peter J. Winch, Pavani K. Ram, Leanne Unicomb. Published online June 13, 2016, doi: 10.4269/ajtmh.15-0377. Am J Trop Med Hyg 2016 vol. 95 no. 2 288-297.

June 2016 – Soil-Transmitted Helminth Eggs Are Present in Soil at Multiple Locations within Households in Rural Kenya. Lauren Steinbaum, Sammy M. Njenga, Jimmy Kihara, Alexandria B. Boehm, Jennifer Davis, Clair Null, Amy J. Pickering. PLOS ONE, Published: June 24, 2016.

June 2016 – Hand- and Object-Mouthing of Rural Bangladeshi Children 3–18 Months Old. Kwong LH, Ercumen A, Pickering AJ, Unicomb L, Davis J, Luby SP. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2016 Jun 4;13(6).

May 2016 – Vitamin B-12 Concentrations in Breast Milk Are Low and Are Not Associated with Reported Household Hunger, Recent Animal-Source Food, or Vitamin B-12 Intake in Women in Rural Kenya. Williams AM, Chantry CJ, Young SL, Achando BS, Allen LH, Arnold BF, Colford JM Jr, Dentz HN, Hampel D, Kiprotich MC, Lin A, Null CA,Nyambane GM, Shahab-Ferdows S, Stewart CP. J Nutr. 2016 May;146(5):1125-31.

What is the evidence on top-down and bottom-up approaches in improving access to water, sanitation and electricity services in low-income or informal settlements?

What is the evidence on top-down and bottom-up approaches in improving access to water, sanitation and electricity services in low-income or informal settlements? 2016.

Authors: Annamalai TR, Devkar G, Mahalingam A, Benjamin S, Rajan SC, Deep A. EPPI-Centre, Social Science Research Unit, UCL Institute of Education, University College London. eppi

What do we want to know?
This systematic review examines the evidence on the effectiveness of different urban-planning approaches in providing access to water, sanitation and electricity services in low-income or informal settlements in Low- and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs). The study was funded by the Department for International Development (DFID) of the UK government and conducted by the Indian Institute of Technology Madras.

What did we find?
This review found that top-down efforts are ineffective for connecting populations to centralised water, sanitation or electricity services. Bottom up, participatory approaches are effective for local sanitation solutions, but not for water supply or connectivity to other services.

Services provided by public or private agencies through centralised planning and implementation (top-down) appeared effective in individual studies for connecting populations to water, sanitation and electricity. However, where studies were sufficiently similar to justify pooling findings in a statistical meta-analysis, this conclusion was not confirmed. Qualitative synthesis of contextual factors suggest a need for the customisation of solutions to meet local needs, and better delivery of services by alternative/non-government service providers.

Participatory (bottom-up) approaches adopted by NGOs and CBOs suit the construction and maintenance of toilets, which can be standalone, and statistical meta-analysis confirms their effectiveness for individual but not community toilets. Although studies of bottom-up approaches to improving water access appeared positive more often than studies of top down approaches, this difference was not statistically significant in a meta-analysis. Moreover, bottom-up approaches suffer from problems of scaling-up. Replication of successful models may not always be possible, since the same conditions may not be present in different locations.

Neighbourhoods without security of tenure are rarely served well top-down. Bottom-up approaches are also limited in this context, and also in Africa where efforts may be hampered by particularly modest levels of economic development. Public-private partnerships show promise for top-down approaches to improving water supply. Bottom-up, NGO led initiatives for improving water supply need the cooperation and support of the public sector.