The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) has granted 3.9 million Swedish crowns (US$ 587,000) for a three-year project on sustainable sanitation in flooded areas in India. The research project is lead by Stockholm Environment Institute in collaboration with the WASH Institute, India, and focuses on sustainable sanitation solutions in areas experiencing recurrent flooding. The state of Bihar is the most flood-prone state in India with more than 16 percent of the total flood-affected area and with more than 22 percent of India’s flood-affected population.
The current sanitation coverage in Bihar is less than 25 % but actual use is much lower.
Flooding and the sanitation-related issues that come with it strongly affect the most vulnerable individuals, children under five, the disabled, elderly and child-bearing women, through diarrheal diseases.
SEI announced the project at the Global Forum on Sanitation and Hygiene which took place from 9-14 October 2011 in Mumbai, India.
For more on the project go to the SEI web site.
Source: WSSCC Global Forum on Sanitation and Hygiene
International humanitarian organisation Action Against Hunger | ACF International has mounted an emergency response after the heaviest rainfall in almost a century destroyed major parts of Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, affecting more than 150,000 people. 50,000 people have sought refuge in dozens of temporary shelter sites throughout the capital.
On 1st September , more than 10 inches of rainfall dropped in a 12-hour period, flooding 50% of the capital and leaving tens of thousands of people homeless. The displaced have sought refuge at 88 temporary sites across the capital, each sheltering between 200 and 1500 people. The authorities are concerned about the inappropriate water and sanitation facilities at the temporary shelter sites and worsening hygiene conditions.
Working closely with the authorities and other humanitarian actors on the ground, Action Against Hunger is launching an emergency response to assist 6,000 people affected by the flooding by improving hygiene conditions in 12 temporary shelters with funding from the City of Paris and the French Foreign Ministry. Action Against Hunger plans to put in place sanitation systems to provide basic hygiene standards. 150 latrines as well as washing areas and showers will be constructed and hygiene kits will be distributed to the displaced. Action Against Hunger will also monitor the water and sanitation situation to ensure that a minimum of 15 litres of safe water per person per day is available in line with international minimum standards in disaster response.
The torrential rainfall in Burkina Faso was the worst since 1914. Existing systems are not adapted to deal with an emergency of this proportion. The situation also is precarious in neighbouring countries where torrential rainfall and flooding have affected 600,000 people.
Source: ACF International, 10 Sep 2009
In Médina Gounass neighborhood of Guédiawaye, a slum on the outskirts of Dakar, people use garbage “to shore up their flood-prone houses and streets”. “Garbage, packed down tight and then covered with a thin layer of sand, is used to raise the floors of houses that flood regularly in the brief but intense summer rainy season, and it is packed into the dusty streets that otherwise become canals. The water lingers for months in the low-lying terrain of this bone-dry country. Garbage is a surrogate building material, a critical filler to deal with the stagnant water — cheap, instantly accessible and never diminishing. The plastic-laden spillover from these foul-smelling deliveries pokes up through the sandy lots, covers the ground between the crumbling cinder-block houses, becomes grazing ground for goats, playground for barefoot, runny-nosed children and breeding ground for swarms of flies. Disease flourishes here, aid groups say: cholera, malaria, yellow fever and tuberculosis”.
[...] “In an upside-down world where garbage is sought for and dumped among homes, not removed, “people have no alternatives; they are left to themselves; they can only count on themselves,” said Joseph Gaï Ramaka, a leading Senegalese filmmaker, who made a documentary [see below] about an incomplete government effort, the Plan Jaxaay, to build modern housing for people in vulnerable neighborhoods.
Read more: Adam Nossiner, New York Times, 03 May 2009
Widespread flooding in southern Angola has been blamed for a surge in cholera, with 4,500 cases of the waterborne disease reported this year, and 150 fatalities.
“Stagnant ponds create further breeding sites for malaria-carrying mosquitoes; wells and latrines have been contaminated with floodwater, and local communities are cut off from their usual water sources. Without clean water families hit by the floods are at serious risk of death and disease”, said Adam Berthoud, Regional Public Health Advisor for Oxfam.
Read more: IRIN, 1 April 2008