Tag Archives: climate change

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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GIS & mapping tools for water and sanitation infrastructure

Continuing developments in GIS software are opening up a number of possibilities for capturing and processing geographical data, and then presenting it via the internet. The ability to manage information on water and sanitation services and then overlay it onto Google Earth images has wide-ranging benefits for project planning and design, and for monitoring, advocacy and accountability.

Practice Note 3 - GISThis Practice Note introduces three tools of this type – Google Fusion Tables as used by WSUP, WaterAid’s WaterPoint Mapper and Water For People’s FLOW – and briefly discusses the advantages and disadvantages of each.

Click on the image to download the Practice Note.

This document forms part of WSUP’s Practice Note and Topic Brief publication series. Further documents can be downloaded from the WSUP website  http://www.wsup.com/sharing/index.htm

Ghana – National WASH Conference to focus on climate change

Ghana’s 21st National WASH Stakeholders Conference dubbed Mole Conference, comes off in Accra on Tuesday on the theme, “Global Climate Change: A Challenge For The WASH Sector in Ghana.”

According to the Coalition of NGOs in the Water and Sanitation Sector (CONIWAS), the Mole XXI Conference, which will be held from July 20, 2010 to July 23, 2010, is focusing on Climate Change because it is becoming increasingly clear that the phenomenon poses a dire threat to the realisation of a world of hope, tolerance and social justice, where improved water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), help the poor and vulnerable to live in dignity.

“The poor people that CONIWAS seek to serve are already experiencing the impact of climate change in their day –to- day lives. As a result of climate change greater numbers of people lack access to adequate and safe water, health threats are increasing, more people are suffering from hunger, productivity in natural resource based livelihoods is declining and poor people are getting poorer,” a paper prepared by the planning committee of the conference and CONIWAS secretariat stated.

The coalition deduced that the poor in Ghana, as in the rest of Africa, are especially vulnerable to climate change, due to the range of negative impacts they must deal with, the sensitivity of most livelihoods to climatic changes, and people’s low adaptive capacity.

“The impacts of climate on the WASH sector in Ghana have become more apparent in the past five years than ever. Many communities are observing a drastic decrease in the yields of water facilities (boreholes and wells), many wells that previously provided sufficient water to communities are drying up, and reservoirs for urban water supply are under increasing threat of drying up with severe consequences on water supply, sanitation and hygiene,” the NGOs stressed.

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Providing toilets, safe water is top route to reducing world poverty: UN University

Mapping vulnerable communities essential to global health and poverty

Simply installing toilets where needed throughout the world and ensuring safe water supplies would do more to end crippling poverty and improve world health than any other possible measure, according to an analysis released [on 19 Oct 2008] by the United Nations University – International Network on Water, Environment and Health (UNU-INWEH).

The analysis says better water and sanitation reduces poverty in three ways.

  • New service business opportunities are created for local entrepreneurs;
  • Significant savings are achieved in the public health sector; and
  • Individual productivity is greater in contributing to local and national economies.

UNU-INWEH also calls on the world’s research community to help fill major knowledge gaps that impede progress in addressing the twin global scourges of unsafe water and poor sanitation.

Information gaps include such seemingly obvious measures as common definitions and worldwide maps to identify communities most vulnerable to health-related problems as a result of poor access to sanitation and safe water. UNU-INWEH also calls for creation of a “tool-box” to help policy-makers choose between available options in local circumstances.

[…]

In the analysis, prepared for global policy makers and released Oct. 20 at the start of a two-day UNU-INWEH-hosted international meeting [Sanitation: Innovations for Policy and Finance] in Hamilton, Canada, experts offer a prescription for policy reform.

[…]

The UNU-INWEH analysis identifies population growth, poverty, climate change, globalization and inappropriate policies on investment, urbanization, and intensification of agriculture as the five global trends most likely to exacerbate water supply and sanitation problems in years to come.

[…]

“As the International Year of Sanitation winds down, UNU invites and welcomes the help of all scientists who agree we can and must do more,” says Prof. Susan Elliott, a Senior Research Fellow at UNU-INWEH and a professor at McMaster University.

[…]

The “toolbox” idea would involve “a virtual library and database of educational materials, technologies, governance, models, etc. would facilitate information exchange of both established and innovative tools.”

As well, “validated models need to be developed that will predict the impact of climate change on water and wastewater infrastructure, water availability, water quality and waterborne / water-associated diseases.”

UNU-INWEH was created in 1996 to strengthen water management capacity, particularly of developing countries, and to provide on-the-ground project support. With core funding provided by the Government of Canada, it is hosted by McMaster University, Canada.

Source: UNU / EurekAlert, 19 Oct 2008 – see also Fiona Harvey, Financial Times, 20 Oct 2008 and Reuters, 19 Oct 2008