Tag Archives: slums

Community Slum Sanitation in India A Practitioner’s Guide

Community Slum Sanitation in India: A Practitioner’s Guide, 2016. Water and Sanitation Program.

Based on the experience of slum sanitation initiatives implemented in a number of urban centers in India, over the last decades, this Guide draws out the critical drivers that appear to explain some facets of successful community slum sanitation initiatives.

Initiatives from the cities of Ahmedabad, Pune, Mumbai, Bhopal, Trichy, and Kalyani are used as the examples to learn from (based on convenience and easy availability of information).

A set of generic steps are identified and described thereafter for the preparatory, planning, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation stages of community sanitation initiatives.

WASHplus Weekly – World Habitat Day: Focus on Slums

Issue 164 | Oct 3, 2014 | World Habitat Day: Focus on Slums

The first Monday in each October is World Habitat Day. This year the theme is Voices from Slums. This issue of the weekly contains news of upcoming urban events, urban innovation awards, recent urban WASH studies, and other reports and resources on issues faced by the urban poor.


World Habitat Day: Voices from Slums, October 6, 2014Link
Each year World Habitat Day takes on a new theme chosen by the United Nations based on current issues relevant to the habitat agenda. The themes are selected to bring attention to UN-Habitat’s mandate to promote sustainable development policies that ensure adequate shelter for all. This year’s theme, Voices from Slums, is intended to give voice to slum dwellers for improving quality of living conditions in existing slums. This is the UN’s official website for the event. washplusweekly

International Conference on Urban Health, March 9-12, 2015, BangladeshLink
The International Society for Urban Health is an association of researchers, scholars, professionals, community members, and workers and activists from various disciplines, roles, and areas of the world whose work is directly related to the health effects of urban environments and urbanization. The International Conference on Urban Health provides an international forum for information exchange among urban health stakeholders. The theme for the 2015 conference is Urban Health for a Sustainable Future: The Post 2015 Agenda.


USAID/WASHplus Urban Health UpdatesLink
Urban Health Updates contains more than 800 peer-review articles and “gray” literature reports on health issues faced by the urban poor.

Urban Health: It’s Time to Get Moving! Global Health Science & Practice, May 2014. V Barbiero. Link
Policy makers must commit to a long-term action plan that addresses the triple burden of health issues faced by growing urban populations. A comprehensive global urban health strategy is in order; one similar to the global approach to HIV/AIDS, polio eradication, and malaria. The strategy should build on the urban experience, both positive and negative, from all regions of the globe and provide a clear vision and programmatic guidance.

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Campaign uses “Slum Britain art” for fundraising

Slums encroach on Buckingham Palace - still from Practical Action video

Slums encroach on Buckingham Palace – still from Practical Action video

A UK charity has set images of iconic landmarks like Buckingham Palace in typical South Asian slums for its latest campaign to tackle urban poverty. Practical Action’s Safer Cities Christmas appeal aims to provide clean water, sanitation and safe housing to over 4,000 poor people in Nepal and Bangladesh. The appeal is backed by the government’s UK Aid Match initiative which matches public donations pound for pound. UK Aid Match will award up to £120 million (US$ 200 million) in grants over 3 years.

Source: Practical Action, 20 Dec 2013 ; The Independent, 22 Dec 2013

India, Delhi: how sexual violence against women is linked to water and sanitation

Girls under ten being have been raped while on their way to use a public toilet, say women living in Delhi’s slums. In one slum, boys hid in toilet cubicles at night waiting to rape those who entered. These are some of the incidents mentioned in a recent briefing note based on research supported by WaterAid and the DFID-funded SHARE (Sanitation and Hygiene Applied Research for Equity).

The link between a lack of access to water and sanitation facilities and sexual violence against women is not well known and to date has received insufficient attention. The briefing note highlights this link within the context of urban slums in Delhi, and suggests how this problem can be addressed.

Lennon, S. 2011. Fear and anger : perceptions of risks related to sexual violence against women linked to water and sanitation in Delhi, India. (SHARE briefing note). London, UK, SHARE, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. 15 p. Available at: www.shareresearch.org/Resource/Details/violenceagainstwomen_india

When are communal or public toilets an appropriate option?

When are communal or public toilets an appropriate option?We would all prefer to have our own household toilet rather than just access to a communal or public toilet but in some low-income urban communities, provision of individual household toilets is problematic. A recently published Topic Brief from WSUP (Water & Sanitation for the Urban Poor) argues that, despite numerous challenges, communal or public toilets can be the most appropriate medium-term solution in some specific situations: notably in high-density slums with a high proportion of tenants and/or frequent flooding and water-logging. In such situations, what can be done to ensure that communal or public toilets provide a high-quality service of genuine benefit to all members of the community including women and the very poor? This Topic Brief offers an overview of these questions for sanitation professionals and planners.

Financing communal toilets
The financial sustainability and ongoing maintenance of communal and public toilets is a particular concern. The WSUP Practice Note “Financing communal toilets: the Tchemulane Project in Maputo” takes a look at issues around the financing of communal toilets in Maputo (Mozambique), including citywide scale-up costs.

These publications form part of a newly initiated series of Practice Notes and Topic Briefs, through which WSUP aims to share experience and stimulate debate about water and sanitation service provision for the urban poor.

To keep up to date with this growing publication series, go to http://www.wsup.com/sharing/index.htm or join our mailing list at http://www.wsup.com/news/index.htm.

India: land of many cell phones, fewer toilets

Rafiq Nagar, Mumbai. Every family has a cell phone, but no safe sanitation. Photo: Guy Walder, http://www.guywalder.com

In the wake of President Obama’s visit to India, AP journalist Ravi Nessman writes that “he will find a country of startlingly uneven development and perplexing disparities, where more people have cell phones than access to a toilet”.

Interestingly, Nessman ends his article by suggesting that the spread of cell phones could empower slum dwellers to demand better sanitation services.

The Mumbai slum of Rafiq Nagar has no clean water for its shacks made of ripped tarp and bamboo. No garbage pickup along the rocky, pocked earth that serves as a road. No power except from haphazard cables strung overhead illegally.

And not a single toilet or latrine for its 10,000 people.

Yet nearly every destitute family in the slum has a cell phone. Some have three.


It is a country buoyed by a vibrant business world of call centers and software developers, but hamstrung by a bloated, corrupt government that has failed to deliver the barest of services.

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Sierra Leone, Freetown: photographer documents extreme sanitation conditions in Kroo Bay slum

He then asked me: you want to know the truth? We’re all suffering here in Kroo Bay. He began talking about the water issues again and showing me his arms with open sores, “you see these, they move at night” – he was talking about the worms in his body.

Photographer Dominic Chavez spent a week documenting the life of communities in Kroo Bay, one of the worst slums in Freetown, Sierra Leone. He writes about his encounters in the summer 2010 issue of Global Health magazine, a publication of the Global Health Council.

[A]fter meeting a wonderful family who lived underneath a small bridge in Freetown. I was surprised by the amount of raw sewage and the lack of clean water. After visiting this family a couple more times they told me there were communities in Freetown much worse.

This was when I first heard of Kroo Bay, a difficult slum filled with good families and shanty structures overrun with garbage, extreme sanitation issues, and a long list of health conditions due to the lack of clean water. Some of the biggest issues they are facing are polio, ringworm, typhoid fever and malaria, not to forget a high incidence of child malnutrition.

Kroo Bay, Freetown. Photo: Dominic Chavez

In Kroo Bay, Chavez saw some of the worse conditions he had ever seen: homes without with dirt floors, no windows, no doors and roofs that provided no shelter from the heat and rain, and children “digging in heaps of trash and pools of blackened water”.

See the full story and pictures.