The snails spreading fever across Africa | Source: CNN Health, Feb 9, 2016 |
According to WHO, 90% of those requiring treatment for schistosomiasis live in Africa, but most of them live around lake and river regions. The factor helping the disease persist, is poor sanitation.
“The problem that sub Saharan Africa has is a lack of fresh water, safe water, and adequate sanitation,” says Fenwick. “People who need to urinate and defecate tend to do so on the open ground, and their excreta can be washed into water where the eggs will then infect snails.”
Infections primarily affect young children, but symptoms can take years to appear, making finding and treating those infected a challenge.
Read the complete article.
Recovering energy from waste can power Africa | Source: by David Kariuki, Cleanleap, Feb 10 2016.
Production of electricity from waste has the potential of providing up to 83.8 TeraWatt hours (TWh), which is about 20% of the electricity needed in Africa by 2025. This is according to a study co-authored by the European Commission Joint Research Centre (JRC). However, this requires stringent waste management policies to be put in place, and today Africa lacks the adequate infrastructure needed to install these environmentally friendly methods.
Waste to Energy Project
Like some other parts of the world, most of the waste in Africa is burned without tapping the potential of gases (which usually end in pollution) or dumped in landfills without protecting groundwater. Many of the developed countries that have a high percentage of waste to energy recovery, have strict emissions laws that regulate waste handling.
Waste in Africa, according to JRC, can be used to produce energy in two ways. The first is using Waste-to-energy (WTE) incineration plants where the trash is burnt to produce steam that turns turbines. The report notes that these are few in this part of the world because of the high initial costs of establishment. Strict measures are needed to ensure the plants do not pollute the environment via toxic by-products.
February 18, 2016 Webinar, 9:00 a.m EST- WASHing away diseases: two hands at a time
Please join the Global Public-Private Partnership for Handwashing and the USAID/WASHplus project for a webinar discussing why water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) matter to neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), and addressing the need for new approaches for multi-sector initiatives to promote equity, poverty alleviation, health, and well-being.
Featuring speakers from WaterAid, Sightsavers, the FHI 360-led USAID/WASHplus project, and USAID, this webinar is an excellent opportunity for those working in both WASH and NTDs to learn about the global landscape of WASH/NTD strategy and glean practical insights from projects that are operating in this context.
This webinar will include brief presentations on:
- The link between WASH and NTDs
- How we can work together to achieve common goals through the World Health Organization’s Joint WASH-NTD strategy; and
- Integration in practice.About the speakers:
- Renuka Bery, MPH, Senior Program Manager for the USAID/WASHplus project, has an extensive background in WASH integration.
- Sophie Boisson, PhD, Technical Officer for Water, Sanitation, Hygiene and Health at the World Health Organization.
- Edouard Tianhoun, RN, MSc, WASH-NTD Coordinator for the USAID/WASHplus Burkina Faso pilot project, has been in involved in WASH programs in his native Burkina Faso since 2011.
- Yael Velleman, MSc, Senior Policy Analyst on Health and Sanitation, leads WaterAid’s strategy, advocacy, and research agenda on health.
- Merri Weinger, MPH, Senior Environmental Health Advisor at USAID’s Bureau for Global Health, has over 30 years of experience in health programs at USAID, WHO, and PAHO.
- Geordie Woods, MPH, Technical Adviser-NTDs at Sightsavers, specializes in health behavior and strategic communication with a technical focus that includes NTDs and WASH.
WASH in Emergencies Problem Exploration Report: Faecal Sludge Management, 2016. Humanitarian Innovation Fund (HIF).
This report puts forward a few areas for further exploration and development.
Easy to implement, portable toilet systems: New toilet system designs are needed that can allow for the better management of faecal sludge accumulation and can facilitate regular emptying. The designs should also consider the integration of additive mixing and dosing devices.
Standardised guidelines for assessing existing sanitation equipment: Guidelines could propose a method for evaluating available local equipment such as sewer trucks (e.g. number, state, storage capacity, spare parts and connecting), and other tools such as de-sludging pumps.
New protocols for the treatment and control of faecal sludge accumulation: Studies have shown that it is more reliable to consider the control of the accumulation before the latrine is in use, than to try to absolutely reduce existing sludge volume. It is clear that some additives work but further research is needed to understand how and when to use these. Research and experimentation studies should continue to test and compare bio-additives, as well as define new protocols and objectives.
Evaluation of speedy aerobic and anaerobic treatment concepts: Additional research needs to be carried out to assess the field effectiveness of both speedy aerobic and anaerobic treatment concepts in reducing the volume of sludge collected from pits. For anaerobic process concepts, feasibility studies can also help determine if biogas resulting from the process can be used for downstream application.
Guidelines for assessing and improving dumping sites: Practical guidelines for assessing existing dumping sites would be very beneficial, as well as suggested solutions and options on how to improve the capacity of storing and disposing of faecal sludge during a period of emergency. However, even with such guidelines, the process would not be straightforward as setting up or improving a dumping site requires skilled people, qualified in the area of environmental engineering.