Here is a compilation of WASH related news, views and articles worth reading in August 2018.

Compiled by:  Henry Anyanwu


Happy International Youth Day!

By Kiana Alavi, Grace Campbell, Clinton Ezeigwe, Igor Vieira, Lucas Maximo and Katrina Kilkenny
 On End Water Poverty

Within the development sector, we talk about reaching the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030 on a daily basis. What we often forget is that reaching these goals provides an equal, cleaner and more sustainable world for future generations. It is noticeable that youth groups and activists are extremely passionate and enthusiastic about reaching the SDGs and are regularly finding innovative and creative ways to reach these goals. However, one of the biggest challenges they face is the lack of space provided to them to advocate for what they believe in.

That is why this year’s International Youth Day theme (safe spaces for youth) is extremely fitting, which includes the following:

  • “Safe spaces such as civic spaces enable youth to engage in governance issues.
  • Public spaces afford youth the opportunity to participate in sports and other leisure activities in the community.
  • Digital spaces help youth interact virtually across borders with everyone.
  • Physical spaces can help accommodate the needs of diverse youth especially those vulnerable to marginalisation or violence.” – United Nations

Each year, End Water Poverty (EWP) and its members and partners aim to find new ways to engage youth groups and provide them with a platform to speak about their work and the issues they are passionate about. As part of this goal, for International Youth Day, …read more


How many people can share a toilet?

 By Rebecca Jean Gilsdorf on The Water Blog

How many people can share a toilet? This question might sound like the start of a joke but it’s actually a serious issue for many across the world. That’s because an estimated 20 percent of the global population do not have their own toilets.

In urban areas, almost one person in ten uses a shared household toilet, i.e., a toilet shared with at least one neighboring household. But sometimes no one in the neighborhood owns a private toilet, so some of these families instead have no choice but to use community toilets – that are locally available and used by anyone who lives nearby. In such cases, hundreds of people might be using the same block of community toilets. Now let’s think about the other toilets we all use – when we’re out shopping or running errands, when we’re at work or school, or when we’re in transit. These public toilets might be used by hundreds or thousands of different people at different times of day.

Many of us go through the day without giving much thought to this. But for hundreds of millions of people worldwide who do not own their own toilet, these are daily realities. Additionally, even for households who have their own toilet, when they are outside of the home, they still need access to improved sanitation facilities. The illustration below depicts a day in the life of the Mijini family (Mijini means urban in Swahili). The …read more


Water, Security and Conflict

By Peter Gleick and Charles Iceland on World Resource Institute     

This paper summarizes our current understanding of water and security threats and their links to conflict, migration, and food insecurity. It is intended for professionals in the defense, diplomacy, and development fields. We review the key drivers behind growing water risk, describe and illustrate water and security pathways, and present approaches for reducing water related risks to global security.

Key Findings:

  • A wide range of water-related risks undermine human well-being and can contribute to political instability, violent conflict, human displacement and migration, and acute food insecurity, which in turn can undermine national, regional, and even global security.
  • Political instability and conflicts are rarely caused by any single factor, such as a water crisis. Instead, water crises should be seen as contributing factors to …read more


Business models for safe resource recovery from waste

On World Health Organisation

Humans generate millions of tons of waste every day that is rich in water, nutrients, energy and organic compounds. Yet, waste is not being managed in a way that permits us to safely derive value from its reuse.

This book provides a compendium of viable business models for safe resource recovery and reuse (RRR) based on analysis of over 60 case studies. The models were developed in collaboration with sanitation safety planning (SSP) and the WHO guidelines on safe use of wastewater to ensure public health is protected when …read more


Launch of SDG 6 indicator reports

On UN Water

The monitoring of progress towards SDG 6 is a means to making it happen. High-quality data help policy- and decision makers at all levels of government to identify challenges and opportunities, to set priorities for more effective and efficient implementation, to communicate progress and ensure accountability, and to generate political, public and private sector support for further investment.

UN-Water is later today launching seven reports that track progress towards the various targets set out in SDG 6 using the SDG global indicators:

  • Safe Treatment and Use of Wastewater (SDG indicator 6.3.1, WHO and UN-Habitat)
  • Ambient Water Quality (SDG indicator 6.3.2, UN Environment)
  • Water-Use Efficiency (SDG indicator 6.4.1, FAO)
  • Level of Water Stress (SDG indicator 6.4.2, FAO)
  • Integrated Water Resources Management (SDG indicator 6.5.1, UN Environment)
  • Transboundary Water Cooperation …read more


Water crisis salts the earth in Iraq’s long-neglected south

By Sinan Salaheddin on Fox News

Qassim Sabaan Ali has spent the past 15 years tending to orchards in southern Iraq, only to see them wither or die as saltwater has seeped into the once-lush soil.

The southern city of Basra was once known as the “Venice of the East” because of its freshwater canals, and Iraq itself is still known as the “Land Between the Two Rivers” — the Tigris and the Euphrates — which have nourished civilizations since antiquity.

But upstream dams in Turkey, Syria and Iran have shrunk the rivers and their tributaries, seasonal rainfall has dropped and infrastructure has fallen into disrepair. The result is an acute lack of freshwater that has allowed a salty tide from the nearby Persian Gulf to advance north from the Shatt al-Arab waterway — the confluence of the Tigris and the Euphrates that Basra residents depend on — and seep into once-lush farmland.

Ali’s fig, apple and palm trees are dying off, and …read more


Water Reuse Gets a New Take in South Africa

By Jeremy Gorelick On USAID Global water

Imagine that the drought-stricken city of Cape Town, South Africa, had ready access to an additional water supply—enough to satisfy nearly half of the city’s daily demand for drinking water.

Now imagine that this water source is not only of higher quality than water from the city’s reservoirs, but also that it would reduce marine pollution along Cape Town’s famous beaches and use less energy than seawater desalination.

This is not just a water utility manager’s dream. Rather, it represents a realistic estimate of the potential for utilizing reused water as one component of a city’s sustainable potable water supply.

Globally, water reuse has been recognized for decades as a key component of sustainable water management in water scarce environments. However, water reuse has not been widely implemented in South Africa, largely due to negative public perceptions. For example, while water reuse was previously proposed for the eThekwini (Durban) Municipality and the city of Cape Town, the tactic …read more


 How to survive a festival, WaterAid style

By Patrick Browne on Water Aid UK

#GoodLoos at Bestival

What a weekend – Bestival, you did yourselves proud!We bought our #GoodLoos to the party, and you joined us in your hundreds to check out the best loos on site, learn more about our work and help fund toilets in Rwanda! Over the weekend, you raised enough to build a fantastic 37 of them!Here are some of our best bits from the weekend…

Posted by WaterAid UK on Thursday, 9 August 2018

Losing your friends. Questionable tan lines from your wellies. Winding up in a long conversation with someone from a charity. The universal signs of a successful festival.

At WaterAid, we like to do festivals a little differently. Through our long-standing partnership with Glastonbury, as well as our presence at Camp Bestival, Bestival, Boomtown, Green Man, Shambala and The Good Life Experience this year, we’ve learnt a thing or two about how to party hard and come out the other side feeling fresh.

Here are our top six tips for how to survive a festival, WaterAid style…

A good loo goes a long way

Everyone knows the home comfort we miss the most at festivals is a …read more


World Water Week opens with call for more nature-based solutions

On Enviro News Nigeria

Poor water management and stressed ecosystems cause poverty and violent conflicts. To avoid a global water crisis, more nature-based solutions are urgently needed. These were key themes during the inauguration of World Water Week 2018 on Monday, August 27, which has brought world leaders, water experts, development professionals and business representatives from all over the world together in Stockholm, Sweden.

L-R: Torgny Holmgren, Executive Director of SIWI; Amina J. Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations; and Carin Jämtin, Director-General of the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, all spoke at the opening of the World Water Week 2018


There is a growing realisation that humans are increasingly vulnerable to water shortages, extreme weather and social unrest. Decades of unprecedented economic and population growth, rapid urbanisation and climate change have led to stressed ecosystems and high pressure on limited water resources. In response to this, societies must find and implement solutions that work with, rather than against, nature.

World Water Week, the leading meeting-place for the global water community, is this year focused on the link between water, ecosystems and human development. Some 3,700 participants meet in Stockholm from August 26 to 27 to discuss concrete solutions to the escalating water challenges.

“With the rapidly growing demand for water, it is becoming increasingly clear that water is everybody’s issue. Scarcity of water has become the new normal in so many parts of the world,” said Torgny Holmgren, Executive Director of SIWI, which organises World Water Week.

In his welcome address on Monday, Mr. Holmgren called for a …read more


When does money get results?

By Lukas Kwezi on IRCWASH

Paying for the water from the water pump

The UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) has worked with the Tanzania’s Ministry of Water and Irrigation (MoWI) over the past four years to develop a results based financing scheme based on the idea that Local Government Authorities (LGAs) could obtain much needed resources.

The scheme awards LGAs additional funding ‘bonuses’ based on improvements in local service delivery, and so is known as ‘Payment-by-Results’ (PbR). LGAs were benchmarked and rewarded against the functionality of water points with the hope that they would be motivated to increase their efforts on maintenance, and hence improve overall operational sustainability of water points in their jurisdictions. To date, however, DFID has only disbursed 6% of committed resources under PbR. With roughly 40% of Tanzania’s rural water points in need of repair, it wasn’t that this money wasn’t needed. So, what happened? …read more


Not all heroes wear capes

By Philippa Lysaght on

Humanitarians never think of themselves as heroes. Most of the humanitarians I’ve met consider themselves lucky to be to able help provide relief to people in need. Many humanitarians working in conflicts put their own lives at risk to support people – sometimes entire communities or cities – who are in urgent need of assistance.

While they are all heroic, humanitarians come in all shapes and sizes. In Syria I met Omar, a softly-spoken engineer who remained calm during the chaos – even when a mortar fell close to where we sat, he did not flinch, but carried on working. In South Sudan I met Marine, a French woman who doesn’t walk but runs everywhere, often holding two phones and having two different conversations. While they are both in the business of saving lives, they save them with very …read more



A network extension providing water access to 30,000 residents of Mombasa has now been completed, with the support of The Coca-Cola Foundation, County Government of Mombasa, Mombasa Water Supply and Sanitation Company (MOWASSCO) and Water & Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP).

On Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor

The network was inaugurated at Mishomoroni Grounds in Kisauni Sub County today and attended by Mombasa Deputy Governor, Dr William Kingi.

The partnership between The Coca-Cola Foundation, the County Government of Mombasa and WSUP is part of the Replenish Africa Initiative (RAIN), the Coca-Cola programme which aims to reach six (6) million people across the continent with improved access to safe water by the end of 2020.

“This project has complemented us in our focus of extending connectivity to the residents of Mombasa County, currently not in our system”, said Mr. Francis K. Kombe, the Chief Officer; Department of Water, Sanitation and Natural Resource, County Government of Mombasa and acting MD of MOWASSCO. “This will in turn …read more


Taps and Toilets Aren’t Enough: Designing WASH Programmes That Strengthen the System

By Vincent Casey and Hannah Crichton-Smith On WASHfunders

WaterAid/Behailu Shiferaw


Even in cases where development agencies successfully push for inclusion of WASH access in national policies, this does not necessarily bring about lasting, sustainable outcomes, unless there is also a robust supporting environment and strong government leadership at all levels.

Lasting services for the poorest and most marginalised will therefore only be achieved through efforts that focus on strengthening all aspects of the environment (or system) into which WASH services and behaviours are introduced.

Barriers to sustainability exist in institutional arrangements, sector coordination, planning, monitoring, financing, service delivery, accountability, water resource management, user demand and behaviour. These elements constitute critical components or ‘building blocks’ of a system that must be strong at the national and local level if the benefits of WASH programmes are to last.

Unless governments and WASH agencies …read more


Challenges facing SDG 2030 deadline for safe water and sanitation

By Lisa Cornish on Devex

Under goal six of the Sustainable Development Goals, governments are committed to targets for clean water and sanitation by 2030 — including universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene.

In the lead up to a High-level Political Forum held at the United Nations in July, which discussed progress and challenges on a range of SDGs, including goal six, WaterAid Australia drew attention to the challenges of achieving the objective.

By analyzing the most recent data from the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund, which shows the percentage of the population in each nation with access to basic water and sanitation, WaterAid showed that the goal is unlikely to be achieved by 2030. The current rate of progress will see centuries before …read more


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