Tag Archives: Afghanistan

SACOSAN 7: registration closes 15 December

SACOSAN logo

South Asian Conference on Sanitation (SACOSAN),  a government led biennial convention held on a rotational basis in each SAARC country (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka), provides a platform for interaction on sanitation.

SACOSAN VII will be held on 13-17 February 2018 in Pakistan, hosted by Ministry of Climate Change, Government of Pakistan.

The deadline for registration is 15 December 2017.

Below is an overview of the theme papers and country leads

Theme papers

Lead country

Sanitation as cross cutting (Health and Nutrition)

Afghanistan

Climate Change/Environment and Sanitation

Bangladesh

Sociology of Sanitation

Bhutan

Operation, Maintenance and Sustainability of WASH

India

Policy, Strategy and Sector Planning (institutional arrangements)

Maldives

Human Resource Development for WASH

Nepal

Accountability and Regulation

Monitoring and Evaluation

Pakistan or Sri Lanka? [conflicting info on website]

WASH Financing

Sri Lanka or Pakistan? [conflicting info on website]

For more information and updates go to: sacosan.com/

Webinar: Technology Applicability Framework (TAF) in Water and Sanitation

The RWSN secretariat announces the latest webinar of their mini-series 2016, which will take place on1 6.11.2016. The title of the event is “A tool for Monitoring the Scaling up of Water and Sanitation Technologies (TAF – Technology Applicability Framework)” and it will focus on the use of the TAF, which has been presented and discussed previously at the SuSanA Forum (here). The session will take place in English (2-3 PM Central European Time, please check your local time here) and in Spanish (4-5 PM Central European Time, please check your local time here). Thee two presenters and the titles of their presentations are:

  • Joshua Briemberg, WaterAid, Nicaragua: TAF as a participative planning and monitoring tool
  • Younes Hassib, GIZ, Germany: Scaling up sanitation solutions in Afghanistan

After the two presentations, you will have the chance to ask questions and participate in the on-line Q&A session and discussion around this topic.

Please use this link in order to register for the sessions.

Recordings and presentations of previous sessions of this mini-series of webinars are available for download and viewing here.

For more information on the Technology Applicability Framework (TAF), please visit: washtechnologies.net/en

Watch the video

UNICEF – Water, sanitation, and hygiene, champions in Afghanistan

Published on Jan 12, 2016

Zibulnissa, and Sedef, two female high school students from Afghanistan, attended in the first student-led conference on water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) in South Asia in 2015 in Sri Lanka’s capital, Colombo.

The conference brought together students from South Asia to share their views on how they can improve the use of safe drinking water, clean toilets, and handwashing in their countries, and enable them to advocate for recommendations to be incorporated into government policy and agendas.

USAID/Afghanistan – Latrine & Sanitation Options Manual

Latrine & Sanitation Options Manual, 2010. USAID/Afghanistan Sustainable Water Supply & Sanitation Project. usaid

OBJECTIVE OF THIS MANUAL

Poor sanitation is endemic across Afghanistan and exacts a heavy toll on public health. In response, the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development (MRRD), multiple donors, the United Nations, several implementers, and USAID are engaged in providing funding and technical leadership to sanitation programs and facility construction throughout the country. These resources are sorely needed, but money and technologies alone cannot solve the problem. Donors and implementers must agree to promote, and uniformly apply sound social development, public health, marketing, finance, and technical guidance to the health-focused planning of new investments and the delivery of sustainable sanitation services.

This Manual aims to meet these needs by serving as a practical guide for Component 2 of USAID‘s Sustainable Water Supply and Sanitation Project (SWSS) and the selection of sanitation technology options to satisfy local desires and meet national needs. While this Manual is developed specifically for SWSS, it is hoped that it will be a living document for the professionals and organizations working to address fecal contamination across Afghanistan.

INTENDED USERS OF THIS MANUAL
This Manual has been written for both engineering and non-engineering field practitioners responsible for the design, construction, and sustainable operation of sanitation programs and facilities. It is primarily intended as a guide for all aspects of SWSS‘ sanitation programs and facility improvements. The Manual is designed to be used by SWSS, its partners from across the United States Government (USG), and its Afghan collaborators to make appropriate choices and engage effectively with engineers working in the field.

USAID/Afghanistan – Afghan Sustainable Water Supply & Sanitation (SWSS) Project

Afghan Sustainable Water Supply & Sanitation (SWSS) Project, 2012. Sustainable Health Outcomes Unit, Project Final Report.

USAID/Afghanistan

Introduction
The USAID Sustainable Water Supply and Sanitation (SWSS) project, led by Tetra Tech ARD, was designed to improve the sustainability of rural infrastructure and the health of rural populations through a balanced commitment to providing water supply and sanitation facilities and improving community hygiene behaviors. It built upon the significant work done in the water supply, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) sector in Afghanistan over the previous five years. A national policy framework was in place, engineering standards were set, and over 100 projects had provided facilities in rural communities.

Despite this high level of investment, extremely low percentages of rural Afghans used improved water supplies or sanitation facilities. Widespread utilization of water systems, sanitation facilities, and a core set of hygiene behaviors is the foundation for achieving health impacts. Without health impacts, especially among women and children under the age of five, rural water and sanitation (WatSan) projects were not reaching their goal of reducing the time and money spent by farming families on treating diarrheal diseases, allowing them more time for activities that improve their economic well-being.

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Afghanistan, Kabul: toilet tribulations

For Kabul’s estimated population of 4-5 million there are only 35 public toilets, according to the municipal authorities.

“We need at least 65 extra public latrines in Kabul immediately,” Nesar Ahmad Habibi, head of Kabul’s waste management authority, told IRIN, adding that the lack of government action and limited resources had prevented the construction of sufficient public toilets in the city.

“We have even sent proposals to the president’s office but to no avail,” he said.

Many people are forced to defecate and urinate in the open: “It’s not that we don’t want to use a latrine, it’s because there is no latrine,” said Arifullah, a local man.

“If you have a pain in your stomach and there is no toilet how long can you wait?” asked another man.

Only five of the 35 public toilets have facilities for the disabled – well below what is needed given the large number of disabled people resulting from three decades of turmoil.

People who use the latrines have to pay a small fee to cover maintenance and cleaning – 5-10 Afghanis [10-20 US cents], a sum that the large number of extremely poor people in the city would prefer to avoid paying.

A rapidly growing population, lack of modern sewage systems, significant waste management problems and the lack of public toilets in Kabul are causing environmental and health risks, according to experts.

No soap

“I don’t use the latrines because they are extremely dirty,” said Abdul Jamil, a young man. “There is also no soap to wash your hands.”

None of Kabul’s public toilets provide soap or hand-drying facilities.

Whilst hand-washing is crucial for disease prevention, soap is also not available in toilets in most Kabul schools, officials in the Ministry of Education said.

“Inappropriate latrines, open defecation and poor waste management cause serious diseases and damage the environment,” Hassan al-Sayed, country director of the French NGO Solidarités, told IRIN.

Waste management

In September 2008 Kabul Municipality said that up to 90 percent of the 3,000 tons of solid waste produced in the capital every day was managed and dealt with.

However, officials say waste management capacities have deteriorated sharply in the past year: “Now we collect only about 50 percent of the solid waste produced in Kabul on a daily basis,” said Habibi, citing dwindling resources, staff reductions and broken-down trucks as major problems.

“For waste management in Kabul we need 17,500 staff but we have only 3,000; and we need 2,500 trucks but we only have 119.”

Rapid population growth and unregulated housing developments have created serious social and environmental challenges in Kabul, according to government officials.

Al-Sayed, whose organization has been helping households in Kabul to build hygienic latrines, emphasized the importance of public awareness about sanitation and hygiene.

“What if there are hundreds of safe latrines but people don’t use them,” he said, adding that people should know the risks of open defecation and unsafe latrines.

Only 12 percent of Afghans have access to improved sanitation and less than 25 percent have access to safe drinking water, according to the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

Most Afghans use the traditional dry vault toilet systems which were ranked the worst toilets in the world by WaterAid’s State of the World’s Toilets 2007 report.

Source: IRIN, 16 Nov 2009

Bringing proper sanitation to rural Afghanistan

The second Global Handwashing Day was celebrated on 15 October 2009 in Kabul and 34 provinces of Afghanistan.

“At home, I wash my hands every morning and noon and evening, and also when I come from the toilet,” said 11-year-old Abdullah Farzad.

Afghanistan’s mortality rates are among the highest in the world. One out of four children dies before her or his fifth birthday. High diarrhoea prevalence resulting from poor hygiene practices, lack of access to sanitation facilities and clean water impact heavily on children’s survival and development. According to a joint UNICEF/WHO report released this week, more than 80,000 children under five died as a result of diarrhoea in Afghanistan in 2007.

“When I started to go to school one year ago, one of the first things our teacher explained to us was the importance of washing the hands before eating,” said Abdullah. “Since then, I have explained this to my mother. In the beginning she was skeptical, but when I told her about the examples that we heard at school – from babies who get sick and die – she started to change.”

Promoting a life-saving intervention

The village of Sohol, Afghanistan is enclaved within mountains. Its residents have no running water and access to safe water and sanitation supplies has been difficult for many.

Despite its life-saving potential, hand-washing with soap is seldom practiced in Afghanistan and not always easy to promote. About 22 per cent of households have access to safe water and less than one out of 10 families has access to latrine facilities.

“We have a water-point in Sohol, our village. Usually it is my sister who goes to fetch the water in the morning and the evening, but sometimes I have to help her. It takes about ten minutes from our house to the water-point,” said Abdullah.

Although people may be aware that water alone is not enough, many families still do not want to invest in buying soap.

“In the past many parents said that it is too expensive to buy soap. Last year, community animators came and made clear to them how much this little investment can do, to ensure the health of their families.” said teacher Mohammad Abdullah.

“It was not easy to make them change their mind, because in a remote place like Sohol it is not always simple to have water and soap at hand when you should have it.”

The ‘Healthy School Initiative’

As a follow-up to the 2008 International Year of Sanitation, UNICEF has initiated clean village projects promoting sustainable behaviour changes on key hygiene practices among families.

The ‘healthy schools’ initiative – which includes the construction of separate toilets for girls and boys, safe drinking water systems and the training of teachers on effective hygiene promotion – is also being implemented.

To date, 1,000 schools with a total of about 320,000 students benefit directly from this intervention.

Abdullah’s school is also one out of 126 schools chosen across 11 provinces for a pilot project of the World Food Programme (WFP) and UNICEF, where water and sanitation facilities are combined with a hot meal.

Water-points, toilets and hygiene education are taken care of by UNICEF, while WFP is providing food commodities and kitchen equipment.

It is estimated that more than 70,000 school children participated in this year’s Global Handwashing Day in Afghanistan. In spite of continued conflict, they celebrated together with millions of other children across five continents.

Source: Cornelia Walther, UNICEF, 16 Oct 2009