Tag Archives: hygiene

Toilets, trash and social status: the top 10 emergency hygiene challenges

Toilets, trash and social status: the top 10 emergency hygiene challenges | Source/Complete article: Kathy Migiro, Thomson Reuters Foundation | Feb 17 2014

Excerpts:  NAIROBI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – More than 900 beneficiaries, field practitioners and donors named their most pressing gaps in emergency water, sanitation and hygiene promotion (WASH) services in a 2013 survey.

Congolese refugees gather around dry water taps at Bukanga camp, Uganda, July 17, 2013. REUTERS/James Akena

Congolese refugees gather around dry water taps at Bukanga camp, Uganda, July 17, 2013. REUTERS/James Akena

The Humanitarian Innovation Fund (HIF), which carried out the survey, plans to solve them through open innovation, where grants of up to $20,000 are given to the best new ideas.

Here are the top 10 gaps HIF will tackle (in no particular order):

1)    Latrine lighting – In many refugee camps, latrines are not lit at night making them dangerous for women to use.

Challenge: To light communal latrines at night in a cheap and sustainable manner.

2)    Space saving jerrycan – In emergencies, agencies traditionally buy and distribute jerrycans, which can mean transporting 15 or 20 litres of air. Collapsible jerrycans only last a couple of months before they start leaking.

Challenge: To design a 15 litre jerrycan, costing less than $5, with limited volume when stored, lasting one year.

3)    Excreta disposal in urban emergencies – Earthquakes and floods often cut off urban water supplies and damage toilets. When large numbers of displaced people gather in safe places like schools, sanitation facilities get overwhelmed. Many agencies build raised latrines. But they need to be emptied frequently, with waste being dumped in purpose-built pits or rivers, creating health risks.

Challenges: To develop new products to provide safe excreta disposal in urban environments after disasters. Solutions should consider not only containment, but also emptying and disposal mechanisms.

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“We Can’t Wait”, say WSSCC, Unilever and WaterAid on World Toilet Day

We Can’t Wait – Governments, civil society and business should work together to tackle sanitation for women’s health; say Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council, Unilever and WaterAid

Dowwload the report here. 

ImageA collaborative approach between governments, civil society and business is essential to getting the Millennium Development Goal sanitation target back on track. This is critical to improve the health and prosperity of women worldwide, says a new report jointly published by the United Nations hosted organisation Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council, international development organisation WaterAid and Unilever’s leading toilet brand Domestos.

The report, We Can’t Wait, was presented today at a UN event in New York which celebrates recognition of the first official World Toilet Day. The day serves to remind the world that over 2.5 billion people lack access to an adequate toilet, with devastating consequences in particular for the well-being, health, education and empowerment of women and girls worldwide.

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Request for Proposals: “GSF Mid-Term Evaluation Consulting Services”

ImageThe Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) has specified in its Medium Term Strategic Plan 2012-2016 that all programmes funded by WSSCC’s Global Sanitation Fund (GSF) are subject to independent mid-term and five-year evaluations. These evaluations are aligned with the overall GSF financing mechanism, which is based on a five-year programme cycle.

Therefore, WSSCC is now calling for proposals by 7 June 2013 for “GSF Mid-Term Evaluation Consulting Services”. For more information about the consultancy, please click on this link:


The mid-term evaluations of GSF programmes in ten countries will be clustered in two batches of five countries in 2013 and 2014/2015 respectively. The assignment covers design and implementation of the mid-term evaluations as well as analysis, consolidation and dissemination of findings as per the Terms of Reference.

As of 31 March 2013, the GSF programmes are implemented in ten countries: Cambodia, Ethiopia, India, Madagascar, Malawi, Nepal, Nigeria, Senegal, Tanzania and Uganda. In addition, programme preparation is on-going in another six countries; Bangladesh, Benin, Burkina Faso, Kenya, Pakistan and Togo. Sanitation and hygiene awareness-raising and promotion activities in the first ten countries with GSF programmes has resulted in 1.4 million people having improved toilets, and more than 1 million people in nearly 4,000 communities who are now living in open defecation free environments.

Global Sanitation Fund helps 1.4 million people gain improved sanitation


Children in Senegal carry signs to show support for good hygiene practices including handwashing in a celebration confirming this village in Senegal has improved sanitation. The ceremony is in Agnam Civol, a village which was declared open defecation free thanks to efforts through GSF financed programmes in 2012.

The Global Sanitation Fund Progress Report 2012, a new report from the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC), details programmatic results, reporting methodology and financial data from Global Sanitation Fund (GSF) programmes in Africa and Asia.

In 10 countries – Cambodia, Ethiopia, India, Madagascar, Malawi, Nepal, Nigeria, Senegal Tanzania and Uganda – Global Sanitation Fund Sub-grantees have implemented sanitation and hygiene awareness-raising and promotion activities resulting in:

  • 1.4 million people with improved toilets.
  • More than 1 million people in nearly 4,000 communities now live in open defecation free environments.
  • Almost 10,000 communities have participated in demand-creation activities.
  • 3.8 million people have heard about the importance of good hygiene through community activities and communications campaigns.

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Request for Proposals: The effects of poor sanitation on women and girls in India

The SHARE Research Consortium and the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) have joined together to issue a Request for Proposals (RFP) with a total value of £400,000 for research on sanitation and women in India. Four priority research questions have been identified, further details are available in the revised RFP documents:

1. The conditions and effects of WASH in health facilities, particularly around childbirth

2. Operational research into menstrual hygiene management

  • Psycho-social stress linked to ignorance, taboos, shame and silence around menstruation
  • The link between menstrual hygiene and infections and/or other health related impacts
  • Operational research on the design and unit costs for safe reuse and disposal options

3. Psycho-social stress resulting from violence experienced by women in the course of using sanitation facilities or practicing open defecation.

4. The practice of limiting, postponing or reducing food and liquid intake to control the urge to urinate or defecate: the prevalence of this behaviour and related health risks.

Proposals must be led or co-led by an Indian research institution. SHARE and WSSCC envisage making three or four grants of which at least £200,000 is earmarked for questions 1 and 2 above. However, depending on the quality and size of the proposals received, SHARE and WSSCC may make a single grant only or, alternatively, more grants of lesser value.

The deadline for submission of proposal is 17:00 GMT on 29th March 2013For full details please refer to the RFP document. Results will be announced by the end of April.

Sanitation and Hygiene Policy – Stated Beliefs and Actual Practice: Burera District, Rwanda

Sanitation and Hygiene Policy – Stated Beliefs and Actual Practice: A Case Study in the Burera District, Rwanda, 2012.

Nelson Ekane, Madeleine Fogde, Marianne Kjellén and Stacey Noel. Stockholm Environment Institute.

In Rwanda, sanitation and hygiene are high on the government’s development agenda, and it prescribes a range of guidelines and standards for toilet technologies appropriate for different regions. This working paper presents these prescribed guidelines and standards, specifically those pertaining specifically to urine diversion dry toilets (UDDTs), as well as those on the use of treated human excreta as fertilizer, and on pit latrines (“drop and store”). It then describes how these guidelines and standards are enforced at the community level – specifically in the Rugarama sector, Burera District – and presents the prevailing sanitation and hygiene norms and practices, moving on to discuss how and why the prescribed guidelines and standards match or do not match prevailing practices. The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in Rwanda is carrying out a water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) in the dostrict of Burera and three other districts in the country.

This study shows that health, hygiene, convenience, and safety aspects of sanitation in the study area remain unsatisfactory, and are not aligned with national guidelines and standards. Most of the toilets in these communities are neither properly constructed nor properly used. Reasons for the contradictions between prevailing practice and national guidelines and standards include the following: people do not place a high priority on toilets; financial constraints limit household investment in toilets; there is a lack of proper understanding of prescribed sanitation and hygiene guidelines and standards; and there are challenges in carrying out sanitary inspections. For the productive sanitation system in particular, poor understanding of how the system works was identified as the main cause of the mismatch between standards and practice. This study posits that a common understanding of prescribed guidelines and standards at all levels of society is vital to ensure health and safety, improved livelihoods, and to maintain minimum hygiene and sanitation standards.

Impact of Infectious Diseases on Cognitive Development in Childhood and Beyond: Potential Mitigational Role of Hygiene

The Open Infectious Diseases Journal, 2012, 6, 65-70

Impact of Infectious Diseases on Cognitive Development in Childhood and Beyond: Potential Mitigational Role of Hygiene

M. Khalid Ijaz and Joseph R. Rubino

Enteric infections in the early years of childhood can exacerbate underlying malnutrition and, if not addressed, can lead to a vicious and synergistic cycle of malnutrition-enteric infection-malnutrition. Cognitive impairment is a key detrimental outcome associated with this cycle of malnutrition and enteric infection. Mechanistically, diversion of metabolic resources away from the developing brain under conditions of nutritional stress may underlie the impairment of cognitive function. Evidence indicates that the effects of the synergy between malnutrition and enteric pathogens last far beyond the time of infection and can lead to long-term effects on cognition. Indeed, emerging evidence suggests a potential for later-life vulnerability to neurodegenerative diseases as a consequence of enteric infectious diseases on early-life brain development. Simple interventions for improving hygiene have proven to lessen the burden of enteric infectious disease. The mitigational role of good hygiene practices has the potential to break the vicious cycle of malnutrition and enteric infection, and contribute to improving the cognitive development potential of children at risk.