Tag Archives: European Union

Kiribati’s North Tarawa declared first open defecation free island in the Pacific

Everyone on North Tarawa now has access to improved sanitation. Photo: ABC Radio Australia / UNICEF Pacific.

North Tarawa in Kiribati is the first island in the Pacific to be declared open defecation free, thanks to the “Kiriwatsan I Project”. The Ministry of Public Works is implementing this project with technical support from UNICEF and funding from the European Union.

North Tarawa is made up of a string of islets with a combined population of 6,102 (2010) and a land area of 15.26 sq.km.  Previously about 64 per cent of people used the beaches and mangroves for defecation and dumping their rubbish.

UNICEF spokeswoman Nuzhat Shahzadi says that diarrhoeal diseases cause 15 per cent of the deaths of children under five in Kiribati.

In March 2013, North Tarawa adopted the Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) approach following a training of trainers course conducted by Dr Kamal Kar. The CLTS pioneer wrote that he had convinced Kiribati President Anote Tong to set December 2015 as the target date for the whole nation to become open defecation free.

The villagers of North Tarawa dig shallow pits and use local materials like brick and coconut leaves to build the toilet superstructure. They keep water and soap in one corner. After using the toilet, the villagers sprinkle ash to stop the smell and flies getting in, and then keep it covered.

Ms Shahzadi said that the women and girls were very happy that no longer have to go out on the beach in the middle of the night if they need to use the toilet.

Source: UNICEF, 11 May 2013 ; Radio New Zealand International, 13 May 2013 ; ABC Radio Australia, 14 May 2013

Sustaining sanitation – Pan European Networks interviews Joep Verhagen

Joep-Verhagen-PEN-interviewIn an interview with Pan European Networks, IRC Senior Sanitation Specialist Joep Verhagen explains how sanitation efforts need to begin to increase their focus on sustainability.

EU aid for water and sanitation hit a record €1.6bn in 2009, but in March 2012 the EU announced plans to redirect development to ‘the world’s neediest nations’ with fears that this could harm sanitation efforts in Latin America, Asia and possibly some sub-Saharan African countries. Joep Verhagen shares his thoughts on the EU plans and on how knowledge-sharing partnerships and research are helping to provide sustainable solutions to existing rural and urban sanitation problems.

Read the full interview

Briefing Note on Mapping EU Support for Sanitation in Africa

The Briefing Note “Mapping EU Support for Sanitation in Africa”, published by the EU Water Initiative (EUWI) Africa Working Group, is based on a full study by WEDC in association with Hydroconseil. The purpose of the study is to obtain an overview of the status of the involvement of EU Member States and the European Commission in sanitation-related activities in Africa. It is anticipated that the findings of this work will have the potential to be used for both arguing for greater priority for sanitation within the international architecture and also for individual donors to use in discussing their own Official Development Assistance (ODA).

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A new sanitation champion?: European MP calls for more support for sanitation innovation

Bill Gates with Nirj Deva of the European Parliament's development committee

A British Member of the European Parliamentarian (MEP) wants the EU to spend more aid on innovative low-cost sanitation technologies. Nirj Deva MEP and Vice-Chairman of the European Parliament’s development committee launched his call after a meeting with philanthropist Bill Gates.

Following a question from Mr Deva regarding diarrhoeal diseases and possible solutions, Mr Gates told the committee that one of the greatest problems with clean water is contamination because traditional flushing toilet systems are expensive and unachievable.

Mr Gates pointed out that his foundation had funded projects to find innovative solutions to areas that are challenged either by water shortages or by flooding.

After praising Bill and Melinda Gates as “an outstanding example to philanthropists around the world” and the ability of private philanthropy to support innovative solutions, Mr. Deva added:

“One of the specific areas discussed was the high costs of sanitation and particularly flushing toilet facilities. It’s not a sexy subject but it is important that we invest in finding an innovative alternative. This is one area where the EU should improve its funding of innovation and I will seek to make this a priority for development funding in the future.”

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DFID: European Union raises profile of African sanitation

In this, the International Year of Sanitation, a group that is co-chaired by DFID is helping to improve water and sanitation throughout Africa by strengthening the links between African countries and the European Union.

Through a number of key meetings, the EU Water Initiative-Africa Working Group has brought about policy dialogue at the highest level and proved crucial in the development of an Africa EU Statement on Sanitation. (…)

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EU Sanitation Policies and Practices, Brussels, Belgium, 29 January 2008

Women in Europe for a Common Future (WECF) is organizing this high level policy event to open the the International Year of Sanitation. The meeting will address the need for better EU legislation on on-site wastewater and human waste treatment, and safe reuse of excreta and grey water in agriculture.

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