Here is a compilation of WASH related news, views and articles worth reading in July 2018.
Compiled by: Henry Anyanwu
Mobile Communities in Ethiopia Seek Fixed Solutions to Their Water and Sanitation Challenges
By Wendy Putnam on USAID Global Waters
In many respects, Ethiopia’s lowlands represent the final frontier for the country’s ambitious plans to improve water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) coverage through its One WASH National Program. These harsh, arid lands are home to predominantly pastoral communities that roam with their livestock in search of water and grazing lands. Water sources are few and far between, and even when available often do not provide safe drinking water. Open defecation is the norm for a mobile population that lacks a fixed address upon which to build longer-lasting sanitation infrastructure. Adding to these challenges are the pressures of regular droughts, depleted groundwater tables, and a lack of institutional capacity on the human and data side.
Even a country as energized to tackle these WASH gaps as Ethiopia needs to harness additional resources, innovative approaches, and partnerships to meet its 2020 goal of increasing basic water access to 83 percent of its population (from 65 percent nationwide as of 2016) and certifying 80 percent of its communities as open defecation free (from 29 percent as of 2015). The four-year USAID Lowland WASH Activity aims to accelerate progress in both these areas along with improving efficiency of natural resource management, water governance, and data management. These goals align with USAID’s current approach to water security.
“Lowland WASH was created with the longer term picture in mind — to build resilience — so that when the next drought comes, Ethiopia will be in an even stronger position to get through it,” said former U.S. Chargé d’Affaires Peter Vrooman, describing the activity at its launch event on …read more
Sinking land, poisoned water: the dark side of California’s mega farms
By Alissa Greenberg on The Guardian
The floor of the Central Valley is slumping, and there is arsenic in the tap water. Now it seems the two problems are connected
Isabel Solorio can see the water treatment plant from her garden across the street. Built to filter out the arsenic in drinking water, it hasn’t been active since 2007 – it shut down six months after opening when the California town of Lanare went into debt trying to keep up with maintenance costs.
“It’s cruel to be living in a state that’s so powerful, so rich, but we can’t count on clean water,” said Solorio, 51, sipping from a bottle amid her flowers and cactus collection.
Towns across the Central Valley region of California have had tap water arsenic levels above the federal limit for almost two decades, levels that research suggests can raise the risk of a variety of cancers and lower IQ in children. During the same period, locals and scientists have noticed another odd phenomenon: the valley is sinking, at rates as fast as 25cm a year. Now it seems that …read more
Water Stress Is a Threat We Can’t Ignore
By Hayden Higgins on Water Reasearch Institute
We measure water stress with satellites, model it with algorithms, see it in empty riverbeds and experience it with dry taps.
But how do we define water stress? Where does it come from? How will climate change disrupt the supply and demand for water? What is the relationship of water to food and energy?
These questions and more are explored by Charles Iceland, director of Global and National Water Initiatives, in a new podcast. With Aqueduct, he monitors water stress around the world, identifying shrinking reservoirs to watch and dangerous areas for river floods …read more
Money from waste? Revamp your view on sanitation
By Daniel Ddiba on The Water Blog
As an undergraduate student in Kampala, my head was full of thoughts about how I was going to make a living after my studies. Back then Rich Dad Poor Dad was still a best-seller, and I thought to myself: I can become a billionaire if I sell a billion of something to a billion people. Needless to say, it would have to be something that anyone can afford, like toothpaste or chewing gum.
So, I wondered, what does every human need? It dawned on me: everyone needs water, food, and energy, every day. The next question was how I could make valuable goods from all the three as a civil engineer.
A fascination with sanitation
Over the course of my studies, I became interested in the intimate connections between water, food, and energy. I learnt about the water and nutrient cycles, and how we can recover resources from waste and use them to fertilize crops and generate energy.
The world’s population is rapidly growing, and much of this growth is happening in low- and middle-income countries. Most people now live in cities, and this proportion is likely to increase with time. These cities are going to be thirsty, hungry, and energy demanding, and we will need to …read more
Mutual Accountability Mechanism
On Sanitation and Water for All
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) require that governments engage with all actors through participatory multi-stakeholder processes, and that they demonstrate accountability in the decisions that they are taking in ensuring universal access to water and sanitation services, leaving no-one behind.
SWA’s Mutual Accountability Mechanism is designed to respond to these obligations of participation and accountability. It reflects the vision, principles, obligations, requirements and challenges set by the SDGs, as well as incorporating the SWA Framework of Guiding Principles, Collaborative Behaviours …read more
Young African geologists seek to unlock potential of groundwater
By PAMACC News Agency on Environews Nigeria
Five African early career research scientists took to stage at the 41st Water Engineering and Development Centre’s (WEDC) International Conference at the Egerton University in Kenya to showcase ongoing research achievements so far under a project to unlock the potential of groundwater for the poor.
Drawn from Kenya, Uganda, Malawi and Ethiopia, the young researchers discussed some of the complex social science, physical science and practical issues, given their experience in two research areas namely: “Gro for GooD”, through which scientists are developing a ground water risk management in Kenya, and the “Hidden Crisis”, which is unravelling current failures for future success in rural groundwater supply.
“Am not shy to say that it is my first time to participate in a research of this magnitude,” said Willy Sasaka, Assistant Hydrogeologist from the Rural Focus Company, which is coordinating the Gro4GooD research in Kenya.
Guided by scientists from the University of Nairobi, Oxford University, the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, and the University of Barcelona, the research project has led to discovery of two paleochannels in Kenya’s Kwale County, …read more
Team Waveney walk for water challenge diary – 30 July – 3rd August 2018
By Temitope on Hope Spring Water
Weather wise the second day of Team waveney walk for water challenge, is worst than the first day. The rain was heavier and there was thunder. Given that they are trying to experience what water poor communities in Africa go through, will the team carry on with the planned walk for water challenge or postpone?
Hope Spring was fortunate to be selected, as the beneficiary of a fundraising and water poverty alleviation challenge organised by Tara Darral. We posted about the challenge on our website, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
We created this blog post, to bring information about Team Waveney walk for water challenge together on one page. The main part of this blog post is the daily walk for water diary and picture Tara send to us each day of the challenge …read more
Clean water for the residents of one of Africa’s largest rubbish dumps
50,000 people benefit from new water network in Dandora, Nairobi
As a small-scale trader dealing with recycled hair extensions, Susan Nyambura requires regular supply of clean water to wash her second-hand products before selling them in the local market.
Susan, 45, lives in the informal settlement of Dandora, in Kenya’s capital city, Nairobi. Dandora is home to one of the largest rubbish dumps in Africa, sprawling across 30 acres.
The dump was officially deemed full up 20 years ago but is still in active use, with residents relying on the site to find and re-use waste – despite the high health risks due to high levels of toxins in the site.
For Susan, the rubbish dump is the main source of her income. Every day she trawls the huge site looking for old hair extensions that she can re-use …read more
Report Launch: Global Review of National Accountability Mechanisms for SDG 6
By Kiana Alavi on End Water poverty
Between October 2017 – March 2018, a study was conducted on national accountability mechanisms for the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6. This research was led by partners and members of organisations including Coalition Eau, End Water Poverty, Watershed Empowering Citizens Consortium, the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) with the support of Sanitation and Water for All (SWA).
The study results are based on more than 1,000 survey responses, interviews and validation meetings with stakeholders working on water resources, drinking water and sanitation in 25 countries. Stakeholders included governments (national and decentralised), civil society organisations (CSOs), non-governmental organisations, development partners, UN agencies, research and education institutions, and think tanks …read more
Insights dialogue on “Sanitation & Tourism” in India
By Cor Dietvorst on IRC
Tourism-related economic losses from inadequate sanitation are estimated to be US$ 266 million.
A dialogue in the Insights series organised by the India Sanitation Coalition (ISC), IRC and TARU Leading Edge was held on 20 February 2018 in Goa, India, one day before the SuSanA India Chapter Meeting. The theme was “Sanitation & Tourism”.
The dialogue was was moderated by Sanjay Gupta (Independent consultant for Water and sanitation) and had active participation from Vinay Kumar (Executive Engineer, Mysore), Jaikant Shroff (General Manager, Vivanta By Taj Panaji, Goa) and Tallulah D’Silva (architect and activist, Goa).
A 2011 World Bank study estimated that annual tourism-related economic losses from inadequate sanitation are US$ 266 million. Discussions focused on the impact of poor water and sanitation services on tourism and local communities, current sanitation practices in popular tourist destinations in India, sanitation methods employed in Indian cities that attract tourists, and possible steps to augment sanitation measures …read more
The Global Disability Summit: prioritising accessible taps and toilets
By Priya Nath on Water Aid
Picture this: you’re in class at school when you suddenly need the loo. The only toilet block is outside the main school building and when you’ve finally navigated your way to it, you find the door is narrow and has steps leading up to it. You can’t get in. Why? Because you use a wheelchair.
Or another scenario: you have no direct water supply in your home. There’s a meeting to discuss building new water points in your neighbourhood, but you aren’t invited to it simply because you’re a person with a disability and not usually included in these sorts of decisions. Yet if that water point isn’t designed well, clean water will be close by, but you won’t be able to access it.
Finding a decent toilet to use or clean water to drink and wash with is still a daily struggle for too many people around the world …read more
Ending Cholera – Global Roadmap to 2030
By Sarah M Crass, MPH on World Vision International
The introduction to this webinar read as follows: “Cholera remains a significant public health problem with the latest reports stating 132,121 cases in 38 countries, including 2420 deaths. In October 2017, the Global Task Force On Cholera Control partners (of which World Vision is included) called for a commitment from all stakeholders to support cholera affected countries to end cholera transmission…” – but to end cholera takes a personal commitment from each of us within this Community of Practice. We must shift from treating cholera as a Disaster Management responsibility but commit to understanding where there are Cholera hotspots in our own countries and programmes; let us commit to having a conversation across our sectors on what our role and responsibility is in cholera prevention, preparedness AND response. Take some time today to review and share the tools provided in this CoP Webex session. Will you initiate a cholera conversation in your office? Together, let’s eradicate cholera from our collective workplans! …read more
Can Flexible Funding Lead to Better and Longer Lasting Results When it Comes to Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Interventions?
By Susan Davis On WASHfunders
In June 7th, a rather rainy day at the Philanthropy House in Brussels, Belgium, Improve International convened a group of 14 people for the 3rd gathering of the Funder Collective for More Effective Partnerships. Over coffee, they met or got re-acquainted. Then representatives of three different types of funders – the Stone Family Foundation, Vitol Foundation, and Viva con Agua — talked about their take on a similar topic: Can flexible funding lead to better and longer lasting results when it comes to water, sanitation, and hygiene interventions?
An active discussion led to the following key takeaways:
“DO WE WANT ORGANIZATIONS WHO ARE GOOD AT PITCHING AND WRITING PROPOSALS, OR ORGANIZATIONS WHO ARE GOOD AT ACHIEVING RESULTS?”
One foundation’s golden rules for funding are: tenacious management; a compelling service or product; and potential for breakthrough. Once they find an organization they believe in, they fund towards its business plans or annual plans, even through challenging times.
“PILOTS NEVER FAIL. BUT THEY NEVER SCALE.”
Thus, flexible funding is less about supporting projects, and more about supporting people to achieve impacts.
FLEXIBLE FUNDERS ARE PATIENT.
They don’t require rapid results or a high number of beneficiaries …read more