Tag Archives: climate change

Opinion: Climate change is a threat and an opportunity for water and sanitation

Opinion: Climate change is a threat and an opportunity for water and sanitation. Devex, November 8 , 2016.

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When collecting water women from the local community must walk across an area of barren ground that has been contaminated with saline after Cyclone Aila struck in 2009 in Bangladesh. Photo by: WaterAid

Author: By Louise Whiting, WaterAid.

Climate change and water, sanitation and hygiene are inseparable. The persistent separation of climate policymaking and WASH service delivery, combined with incoherent climate finance strategies, risks restricting progress for both. In a cluttered and confusing climate change policy landscape, there are two crucial things to remember:

1. Climate change is water change, and it affects poor people most, especially those without access to water, sanitation and hygiene.

2. Although it’s a threat to global WASH access, climate change also represents a huge opportunity, if we play our cards right. Increasing political attention, growing climate finance, and a long-overdue focus on the threats to sustainable WASH services offer us new mechanisms to help achieve the target of universal access by 2030.

Fortunately, the U.N. annual climate talks taking place in Marrakech over the next two weeks now turn to the implementation of the historic Paris agreement signed in December 2016. The agreement came into force on Nov. 4, so it’s now time to face the multitude of critical decisions required to turn this agreement into meaningful action.

Read the complete article.

Linking WASH to other development sectors – Thematic discussion: 24th October – 12th November 2016

The Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) Community of Practice on Sanitation and Hygiene in Developing Countries and the Centre of Excellence in Water and Sanitation at Mzuzu University (Malawi) are holding a joint 3-week thematic discussion on linking water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) to other development sectors. The LinkedIn hosted CoP has over 6,200 members each working in WASH and other related sectors; this thematic discussion will be an opportunity to bring together sector practitioners and researchers to share knowledge, learn from each other, identify best practice and explore how WASH and other development sectors can collaborate in this SDG era.

The thematic discussion will take place on the CoP; with a coordinator moderating the discussions. The discussion will be split into three inter-linked sub-themes and conversation leaders will frame and prompt debates each week on:

  • 24 – 30 October – Theme 1: WASH and Nutrition – At a grassroots level, WASH and nutrition are not often combined, what are some examples of successful merging of these themes? What about the health impact and the perceptions and views of communities? If you had one area of WASH and nutrition which makes the biggest impact to focus on, what would it be?

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  • 31 October – 6 November – Theme 2: WASH and Disability – What are the barriers to accessing WASH people with disabilities in developing countries? Is standard CLTS inclusive?  How can schools in developing countries be more accessible?  What are some examples of successful merging of these two themes?

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  • 7 – 12 November – Theme 3: Climate Change and WASH –What are some of the local strategies in place to strengthen climate change resiliency and WASH objectives? If an ODF community build a pit latrine by cutting down old growth trees, have we made a positive or negative impact at a community level? Are there more innovative ways looking at not only the environment and human dimensions of these problems? What are some examples of successful merging of these two themes by field practitioners?

2016-10_thematic_discussions-week3_eflyerJoin us for the discussion with some of the following thematic experts:

  • Megan Wilson-Jones, Policy Analyst: Health & Hygiene, WaterAid for WASH and Nutrition discussion
  • Adam Biran and Sian White, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
  • Mavuto Tembo, Mzuzu University, Malawi

Weekly summaries of discussions will be posted on CoP as well as a synthesis report of overarching findings at the end.

To participate in the discussion, please join here:

WSSCC Community of Practice: www.linkedin.com/grp/home?gid=1238187

We look forward to some constructive and in-depth discussions!

How can we reach an SDG target when we’re moving in the wrong direction?

How can we reach an SDG target when we’re moving in the wrong direction? | Source: The Guardian, Oct 5 2016 |

Based on analysis we conducted, there are five targets needing complete turnaround: reducing inequality, limiting slum populations, reducing waste, combating climate change and protecting marine environments.

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Waste, and slum populations, are projected to double in some areas by 2030 – despite sustainable development goal targets to reduce them. Photograph: Kibae Park#111904/Flickr Vision

Reduce income inequality – target 10.1
Income inequality is set to worsen globally if current trends continue. Four out of five people live in countries where the bottom 40% has experienced slower growth than the average. Globally, since 2000, the bottom 40% has grown around half a percentage point slower than the average rate of growth annually.

Reduce slum populations – target 11.1
The number of people living in slums continues to rise, if the numbers follow their current course they are predicted to rise from 850 million today to over 1 billion people by 2030. The vast majority of this increase is due to take place in sub-Saharan Africa, where slum populations will almost double.

Reduce waste – target 12.5
Projections show that the total amount of solid waste generated globally will almost double from 3.5 million tonnes a day in 2010 to 6.1 million in 2025. Projected growth is mainly driven by emerging market economies in east and south Asia where waste generation is forecast to triple, and other developing countries where it is projected to double. This of course is on top of what is already quite a high level per capita in OECD countries.

Combat climate change – target 13.2
While this target does not refer to a quantifiable indicator, reduction in greenhouse-gas emissions is a useful proxy. Significant growth of greenhouse gases is projected to occur in emerging markets, on top of already high levels in OECD countries. These emissions need to be reduced in order for the world to be able to address climate change effectively.

Protect marine environments – target 14.2
Projections show that 90% of reefs will be under threat by 2030, up from a starting point of 75% in 2007. While harmful coastal practices like overfishing are of current concern, part of the increased threat is due to anticipated thermal stress and acidification linked to carbon emissions.

Read the complete article.

Recent studies on sanitation acess & violence,and others

Below are links to the abstracts or full text of recently published articles:

Access to sanitation and violence against women: evidence from Demographic Health Survey (DHS) data in Kenya. Int J Environ Health Res. 2016 June.
Abstract: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26593879

This study analyzed 2008 Kenya Demographic Health Survey’s data and found women who primarily practice open defecation (OD), particularly in disorganized communities, had higher odds of experiencing recent non-partner violence

Untangling the Impacts of Climate Change on Waterborne Diseases: a Systematic Review of Relationships between Diarrheal Diseases and Temperature, Rainfall, Flooding, and Drought. Environ Sci Technol. 2016 Apr 25.
Abstract: http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acs.est.5b06186

Key areas of agreement include a positive association between ambient temperature and diarrheal diseases, with the exception of viral diarrhea and an increase in diarrheal disease following heavy rainfall and flooding events. Insufficient evidence was available to evaluate the effects of drought on diarrhea. There is evidence to support the biological plausibility of these associations, but publication bias is an ongoing concern.

The Impact of a School-Based Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Program on Absenteeism, Diarrhea, and Respiratory Infection: A Matched–Control Trial in Mali. Amer Jnl Trop Med Hyg, Current issue
Abstract – http://www.ajtmh.org/content/early/2016/04/21/ajtmh.15-0757.abstract

We found that a school-based WASH intervention can have a positive effect on reducing rates of illness, as well as absence due to diarrhea. However, we did not find evidence that these health impacts led to a reduction in overall absence. Higher absence rates are less likely attributable to the intervention than the result of an imbalance in unobserved confounders between study groups.

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Crappy climate news: More heat means more diarrhea

Crappy climate news: More heat means more diarrhea | Source: The Daily Climate, Mar 2, 2016 |

A look at recent trends suggests developing countries will be burdened with millions more cases of diarrhea as the planet heats up

New climate research just plain stinks. As temperatures rise so, too, do cases of diarrhea in many countries. climate

The findings are serious, potty humor aside: The types of bacteria scientists expect to incite this surge already cause half a million deaths a year, mostly in developing countries that lack access to clean water.

Globally there are about 1.7 billion cases of diarrhea disease every year, according to the World Health Organization. These diseases, caused by bacteria like E. coli and Shigella, cause extreme dehydration, starving the body of necessary water and salts. With all causes taken into account—viral infections, bacteria, parasites, food allergies—around 760,000 children aged 5-years-old or younger die from diarrhea each year.

The study, published this week by Emory University scientists in the Journal of Infectious Diseases, highlights the interconnected nature of climate change, infectious disease and children’s health. Efforts to treat current diarrhea diseases risk being overwhelmed as temperatures rise and spur more illness.

800,000 more cases of diarrhea by 2035

In Bangladesh alone the Emory University researchers estimate an additional 800,000 cases of E. coli-driven diarrhea by 2035. Temperatures are projected to increase .8 degrees Celsius by then. By the end of the century, when temperatures are expected to be 2.1ºC higher than today, the researchers estimated an additional 2.2 million cases.

Read the complete article.

Q&A: Toilets confront climate change

Q&A: Toilets confront climate change. Source: SciDev, Jan 5, 2015.

  • Urban water shortages mean flushing toilets are poor option
  • Off-grid toilets are resilient after disasters like flooding
  • Households could hire rather than buy toilets

Two-and-a-half billion people worldwide have no access to safe, durable sanitation systems. Brian Arbogast, director of the water, sanitation and hygiene programme at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, tells SciDev.Net how innovative toilet technologies and business models could help fix this — and help communities cope with the devastation of climate change.

How does climate change impact sanitation?

With sea levels rising, you have flooding that causes huge health problems. As latrines and septic tanks get flooded and waste goes into the streets and streams, it can carry a lot of disease, including cholera, dysentery and typhoid.

The problem is that the world has only one gold standard for sanitation, which is having flush toilets connected to sewer lines, that are further connected to big and expensive wastewater treatment plants. Growing cities that already have water shortages may not have enough water for everybody to bathe and cook, let alone to flush toilets. So, are these cities going to follow the same path we have taken for the last century in developed cities?

Spending on sewer systems and treatment plants would be as bad an idea as building a new coal power plant. You are committing to the next 50 years and if you are going to have an infrastructure that requires a lot of water and electricity, you are only making your city less resilient in the face of climate change.

Read the complete article.

SuSanA – Compilation of 13 factsheets on key sustainable sanitation topics

Compilation of 13 factsheets on key sustainable sanitation topics, 2012.

This factsheet book is a compilation of 13 thematic factsheets which were produced by the eleven SuSanA working groups. What makes these factsheets special is that they are multi-authored by people from different organisations and by free-lance consultants. The factsheets were developed in a long process involving many discussions and review loops which were mostly carried out in public, e.g. at working group meetings, with the working group mailing lists or, since July 2011, also in the open SuSanA discussion forum (http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/6-susana-working-groups).

Table of Contents:

Executive Summary

WG 1: Capacity development
Capacity development for sustainable sanitation
Spuhler, D., McCreary, C., Fogde, M., Jenssen, P.

WG 2: Finance and economics
Financial and economic analysis
Parkinson, J., Hutton, G., Pfeiffer, V., Blume, S., Feiereisen, P.

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