A Community Approach to Better Public Health in Rural Liberia. Global Waters, June 2016
Liberia is no stranger to difficult times, having weathered a devastating Ebola outbreak and now struggling through a slow economic recovery. Lost amid the headlines from these events is the story of Liberia’s quiet public health victories.
Residents of Lofa County’s Vahun district in Liberia gather to discuss strategy for sustaining recent local sanitation improvements. Photo Credit: Global Communities
Half of Liberia’s 4.5 million people live in the countryside and roughly the same amount practice open defecation.
This practice has jeopardized public health by facilitating the spread of diseases that cause diarrhea, Liberia’s sixth leading cause of death and the primary cause of childhood morbidity and mortality.
However, thanks to two programs that championed community-led sanitation improvements, USAID has now helped 1,500 Liberian communities achieve open defecation-free (ODF) status — fueling optimism about continued public health improvements in the near term
Read the complete article.
More Than Just Toilets: Report on USAID’s Response to the Global Sanitation Challenge, 2015. USAID.
Improving sanitation can have a significant impact on health, the economy, and personal security and dignity, especially for women and girls. Investments in sanitation reduce health care costs and boost productivity, as time available for work and school increases.
Despite these compelling benefits, the world did not meet the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 7c of halving the number of people without access to improved sanitation between 1990 and 2015. The slow progress in sanitation access is related to some daunting challenges. Sanitation is not a glamorous topic, is often overlooked, difficult to discuss, and in many cultures considered taboo. Sanitation generally suffers from a lack of political prioritization, particularly when compared with drinking water.
USAID’s efforts to address sanitation inequalities and access issues focus on sustainably improving sanitation services beyond just the provision of latrines. Sanitation is closely linked to issues of safe drinking water and hygiene, and USAID’s programs and funding for sanitation activities are bundled together under the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) key issue.
After a brief hiatus, USAID’s “Global Waters” magazine is back to bring you water-related stories from around the world!
The magazine continues to provide a visually captivating look at the experiences and views of top development professionals and beneficiaries through a new and improved online format. We hope you enjoy the latest articles. – The Water Team.
Features/articles in this issue include:
- Global Waters Radio: Chris Holmes on Water, Jobs, and Gender Equity
- Making Sanitation Services Affordable in Indonesia’s Cities
- Celebrating Water Heroes
- Breaking the Taboo: How School WASH Impacts Girls’ Education
- Putting Local Wealth to Work for Safe Water Access
- Changing the Landscape for Africa’s Urban Water Services
- Incubating Innovation: Solutions for a Parched Earth
USAID Ethiopia Water Fact Sheet, March 2016. USAID Ethiopia.
Water cuts across nearly every aspect of USAID programming. Used for drinking, hygiene, and health care, water is also needed to irrigate crops, feed livestock and develop renewable energy. Scarce water supplies can become potential sources of conflict.
USAID incorporates WASH activities within its governance, health, nutrition, resilience and emergency assistance activities with a focus on sustainability. USAID also helps strengthen the Ethiopian Government’s capacity to coordinate WASH and water resource management.
USAID and Global Waters Support Water and Jobs on World Water Day 2016
World Water Day , held every March 22, is a chance to raise awareness about the importance of water to sustainable development and offers the opportunity to reflect on progress made and challenges ahead.
This year’s UN-designated theme, Water and Jobs , focuses on the power that water and jobs have to transform people’s lives—nearly all jobs are related to water in some way. Water is vital to sustainable development. Access to safe and sufficient water supply, along with improved sanitation and hygiene, can unleash the economic potential of individuals and entire communities.
Through our ongoing water activities, USAID and its partners are lowering the number of people who face water insecurity and suffering from water-related diseases around the globe. Learn more about USAID’s Water and Sanitation Programs.
On World Water Day USAID is launching a new format for its Global Waters online magazine. Features in this issue include:
Join the Conversation:
- Follow us on Twitter @USAIDenviro
- Join the global dialogue through #Blue4Water and #WorldWaterDay
USAID/Rwanda’s Rwandan Rural Sanitation Program (RRSP RFA is now open and has a closing date of April 18, 2016.
The goal of the Rwandan Rural Sanitation Activity (RRSA) is to improve access to and encourage correct, consistent use of household sanitation and hygiene facilities in order to decrease childhood stunting and support the Government of Rwanda’s (GoR) work in sanitation.
The RFA can be found at www.grants.gov or directly at
Please pass it on to any organization you believe might be interested to apply.
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