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

Compiled by:  Henry Anyanwu


New film for World Toilet Day: towards the 80% in Ga West, Ghana

On Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor


Complex problems require multi-faceted responses.

In Ga West, Ghana, we are creating a public-private response to sanitation.

The challenge is significant: like other urban centres in Ghana, around 80% of the population lacks access to a clean, safe toilet.

This has serious consequences for people’s dignity, health and ability to work or attend school.

But solving the challenge is not easy. It requires addressing issues such as:

  • Incentivising landlords to invest
  • Increasing public financing
  • Stimulating customer demand
  • Strengthening entrepreneurs

Our work has been supported by RVO, and delivered in …read more



Carp ‘annihilated’ as Iraq’s water pollution woes worsen

By ALI JABAR on Fox News

In this Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018 photo, dead carp float in the Euphrates River, near the town of Hindiyah, 80 kilometers (50 miles) south of Baghdad, Iraq. Officials and fishermen are at a loss to explain how hundreds of tons of carp have suddenly died in fish farms in the Euphrates River, fueling anxieties about soaring water pollution. Local authorities used excavators to skim dead fish from the river surface, where residents and local farmers have long complained about substandard water management. (AP Photo/Ali Abdul Hassan)

Iraqi officials and fishermen are at a loss to explain how hundreds of tons of carp have suddenly died in fish farms in the Euphrates River, fueling anxieties about soaring water pollution.

Local authorities used excavators to skim dead fish from the river surface near the town of Hindiyah, 80 kilometers (50 miles) south of Baghdad, where residents and local farmers have long complained about substandard water management.

The fish were being farmed in cages for sale in domestic markets, where grilled carp is considered a national dish, called masgouf.

Ayad Talibi, head of Iraq’s Fish Producers’ Syndicate, called it “annihilation” and a blow to the country’s “strategic fish reserve.”

Water pollution and scarcity have been on the forefront of Iraqi discourse …read more



UN Security Council Examines the Connection Between Water Risk and Political Conflict

By  Manish Bapna, Kitty van der Heijden, Susanne Schmeier and Charles Iceland on World Resource Institute

From record drought in Cape Town to deadly floods in Kerala, water has been top-of-mind for many this year. Water crises can shake societies, destroy livelihoods and threaten prosperity for decades. They can also be the spark that sets aflame a powder keg of social and political issues, resulting in violent conflict.

The UN Security Council recently turned its attention to the relationship between water risks and conflict within and between countries. At an October 26th Arria-formula meeting organized by the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Security Council members and UN member countries convened on the topic of water, peace and security. The goal: Explore ways for the UN system to systematically address water scarcity as a root cause of conflict. The Water, Peace and Security Partnership (WPS), which is working to map and predict water threats to security, was highlighted as one initiative that can help tackle this growing global challenge.

Water Risks Are Security Risks

Thirty-six countries already experience high water stress, meaning that water demanded by cities, farms and industries eats up almost the entire available supply every year. Rapid population growth and appetites for water-intense goods like meat and thermal power are further fueling the demand for scarce resources …read more



Prevention Instead of Reaction: Tackling Zambia’s Cholera Crisis

By Bubala Muyovwe and Kiana Alavi on End Water Poverty

A year has passed since the last cholera outbreak in Zambia, which lasted roughly seven months (October 2017 – May 2018) and resulted in approximately 5,900 cases and 114 deaths. There were numerous causes responsible for this outbreak, such as poor food handling. However, the biggest contributor to this occurrence was the contaminated water from shallow wells of the country’s capital, Lusaka.

This outbreak led to an instant shift of focus from the Government and other actors such as the private sector, health facilities and organisations on providing the necessary support to respond to the crisis. During this period, response efforts included cholera and handwashing training for healthcare workers and teachers as well as a … read more



Hope Spring WASH run Abuja, Nigeria.

By Temitope On Hope Spring Water
Hope spring wash run, fun run Abuja

Hope spring wash run, fun run Abuja

The WASH run was attended by different WASH-based organizations and professional runners. The Nigeria Country Director of Hope Spring Water Charity Foundation, Mr. Temple Oraeki, opened the event with a brief talk on the essence of the run, which was to sensitize the public on their human rights to WASH and draw the attention of the private sector to invest in WASH. He further stated that the event could not have happened at a better time than this time for three reasons;

  1. The Federal Government of Nigeria has just recently declared a State of Emergency in the WASH sector and this sensitization would serve as a galvanized action to set the ball rolling in revamping the WASH sector in Nigeria
  2. Nigeria is building up to the election period and this campaign would serve to ask citizens to demand for their rights to WASH from aspirants. He also stated that the event would serve as a platform to promote the Vote4WASH campaign.
  3. The world marks the World Toilet Day, every 19 November and this event highlights this remarkable day and calls for action to change the status quo, …read more



3 hard truths about the global sanitation crisis

By Seema Thomas on The Water Blog

Today when you go to the toilet, be it in someone’s basic latrine in a rural village you might be visiting, in a public toilet where you work, or on a comfortable water-flushed ‘loo’ at home, take a moment to think about those not as fortunate as yourself.

As you sit (or squat) and contemplate, consider these three hard truths about sanitation:

  1. One quarter of the world’s population do not have access to a decent toilet. At present roughly 1.8 billion people use unsafe toilets/latrines or lack access to any facility. In cities alone, over 80 million people practice open defecation. If lined up, these people without toilets in cities and towns, would stretch around the world 29 times! Despite significant gains — over 2.1 billion people gained access to improved toilets or latrines since 1990 — sanitation was one of the most off-track Millennium Development Goals.
  2. Only 39% of human waste is ‘safely managed’ globally, with only 2.9 billion people using a safely managed sanitation service –  that is an improved sanitation facility which is not shared with other households, and where excreta are disposed of in situ or transported and treated off-site. The resulting diarrheal and related diseases lead to the deaths of thousands of people every day, and countless other negative impacts, including the stunting of children.
  3. The total global costs of inadequate sanitation are estimated at US$ 260 billion per year – that is, …read more



On World Toilet Day, Let’s Talk Toilets

On The World Bank

If you have a toilet or a latrine at home, you are luckier than the 2.3 billion people around the world who still lack access to this most basic of amenities. If you have a toilet that is linked to a system that safely conveys, treats and disposes of your household’s waste, you are luckier than the 4.5 billion people who do not have “safely managed sanitation.”

World Toilet Day is an opportunity to remind ourselves of the urgent actions needed to achieve adequate and equitable sanitation for all by 2030. Today, only 68 percent of the world’s population has access to basic sanitation and only 39 percent benefits from safely managed sanitation…read more



Solid waste: the next “Cinderella” of the WASH sector?

By Seleen Suidman On IRC WASH

Almost two years ago, I packed my bag and left for Uganda and Rwanda to do my master thesis research about urban sanitation. I was quite new in the field and I had no idea about the ins and outs of the sanitation sector, which I learned belonged to the WASH sector, including (drinking) water, sanitation, and hygiene. While doing research I went on field trips. During one of these trips I followed a small business which was tasked with the emptying of onsite pit latrines in an informal settlement in Kigali.

I will try to sketch the image of what went down: five employees, wearing overalls, gloves and mouth caps, vaccinated against diseases like Hepatitis B. The tasks were divided: two men were emptying the pit, one man was getting jerrycans of water to clean the place and the barrels in which the faecal sludge was stored, and two men were walking up and down bringing the equipment and taking full barrels to the truck. The two men emptying the pit had to take out the solid waste first with a hooking instrument before they were able to connect a small pump (see pictures). They had to do this because of the clogging effect of solid waste on the pump. Although the men were protected, manually emptying a part of the pit brought them in close contact with human faeces, putting their health at risk. The pit was 10m3 and it took them around seven hours to empty it. The need to manually remove the solid waste out of the pit before the actual mechanical emptying of the faecal sludge could take place was the main reason for this time inefficiency…read more



Launch of the Mutual Accountability Mechanism

On Sanitation and Water for All

On 13-15 November SWA kicked-off the implementation of the Mutual Accountability Mechanism (MAM) with a meeting of the MAM pioneer countries. Nine of the 11 pioneer countries were represented (Mali, Morocco, Zambia, Malawi, Costa Rica, Kenya, Nigeria, Portugal and Viet Nam), 8 through governments officials. Representatives from other SWA constituencies these countries also attended, to ensure the multi-stakeholder nature of the MAM was reflected.

The meeting covered the ground from explaining what the Mutual Accountability Mechanism is, why it has been developed from the previous commitments process, and how it can be implemented by all constituencies. The role of these pioneer countries is not only to be among the first countries to make commitments, but also to provide feedback and learning on what the challenges in implementing the mechanism might be.

All countries present, as well as WSSCC and USAID, explored how they will manage the process towards identifying commitments and tabling them at the next Sector Ministers Meeting. WSSCC has already put one of their commitments on the table, which is to support 10 countries (among which may be pioneer countries) in implementing the Mutual Accountability Mechanism.

One of the most significant outputs of the meeting …read more



Webinar Explores Barriers to Effective Sanitation Enterprises

On Global Waters

The provision of sustainable sanitation for all is one of the world’s most important development priorities, yet 4.5 billion people lack access to a safe toilet. Past efforts to provide greater sanitation access, such as direct government provision and full, blanket subsidies for toilets, have proven to be ineffective or unsustainable in many developing countries, prompting some to focus on market-based sanitation (MBS) as an alternative. However, market-based approaches have proven difficult to scale up.

Subhash Chennuri explores some of the barriers to scaling up MBS in “Designing Effective Sanitation Enterprises,” a recent webinar based on findings from a desk review of MBS development interventions from USAID’s Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Partnerships and Learning for Sustainability (WASHPaLS). The review provides a new, more specific framework for understanding some of these barriers to scaling market-based sanitation.

Chennuri, an associate director at FSG and a co-author of the desk review, focused his presentation on a key component of the framework—the design of a successful sanitation enterprise. He began the webinar with a recap of an earlier WASHPaLS’ webinar to help participants understand the key role of sanitation enterprises in an MBS framework, saying, “The design of the enterprise is crucial to… the success of MBS interventions.”

The purpose of this webinar was to delve into the four components of a sanitation enterprise—target markets, product systems, sales & marketing, and delivery models—and discuss the barriers associated with each. This framework …read more



World Toilet Day and Nigeria’s sanitation challenges

On Environews Nigeria

“We go to the stream, we don’t have water here, even toilets; we usually use the bush. A woman was bitten by a snake while defecating in the bush and another one was bitten when she went to pick firewood for cooking.

A major outcome of the lack of sanitation facilities is open defection

“We want the government to help us, especially on these toilet and water issues. Some women urinate anywhere and get infected; majority of us are having infections and treating infections in hospitals is quite expensive,” says Hannatu Peter, an internally displaced person residing at the New Gongola IDPs camp in the FCT.

Strange as the testimony may sound, this is a typical scenario in several communities, particularly in the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps across the country, as poor living conditions and dearth of sanitation facilities are peculiar features of such neighbourhoods.

A major outcome of the lack of sanitation facilities is open defection which, according to sanitation experts, usually provokes the outbreak of waterborne diseases such as cholera and dysentery in such communities, particularly among the children.

According to Nigeria Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Poverty Diagnostics Report, the country’s sanitation sector is in a critical condition.

The report shows that the economic growth of Nigeria, which has a population of over …read more



The Crisis in the Classroom: The State of the World’s Toilets 2018

On WaterAid
Today, 620 million of the world’s schoolchildren almost twice the population of the USA  do not have decent school toilets. This is more than an inconvenience. This is a crisis.

Wherever they are in the world  London or Lagos  children are entitled to the human rights of sanitation, good health and quality education. But every year, diarrhoea and intestinal infections together kill nearly 140,000 school-age children.

Our report, The Crisis in the Classroom: The State of the World’s Toilets 2018, reveals the countries where children are struggling most to access a toilet at school and at home, and highlights those that have made good …read more



When nature calls, where do you go?

By Philippa Lysaght On UNICEF Connect

© UNICEF/UN062213/Sokhin Grade 1 student Vanka, 9, shows how she flushes the new toilet that was built in Sali Primary School in Sali village, Guadalcanal Island, Solomon Islands.

When you get that feeling … when you can’t hold it any longer and you just have to go … where do you do it?

I grew up in Australia and remember spending summers in the outback. When nature called, I would have to use an outhouse — a long drop toilet in a tiny shed in the backyard. I would go as quickly as possible, terrified that a snake lived in the toilet and would attack me if I took too long. Now, living in New York City, there are plenty of places to go when nature calls.

But not everyone has that luxury. 4.5 billion People around the world don’t use safe sanitation, which is a toilet that prevents contact with human waste and a system that disposes of that waste.

Around 892 million people use no toilet at all, and when nature calls, they go out in the open. That means children are growing up with human waste in their environment, putting them at risk of deadly diseases.

To mark World Toilet Day, we decided to look around the world to see where children go when nature calls on them. …read more



World Toilet Day 2018 Infographic: Why Period Friendly Toilets Matter

By WASH United on World Vision International

On any given day, 800 million women and girls menstruate. In order to manage their menstruation safely, hygienically, with confidence and with dignity, they need a private space to attend to their menstruation related needs, such as washing themselves and changing materials. For most women and girls, this will be a toilet …read more



SUSTAINABLE WASH FINANCE SERIES: Finance and Marketing for CLTS and Rural WASH: Challenges and Opportunities in West and Central Africa

By Florencia Rieiro On WASHfunders

Photo: Daniele Riggi


The WCA regional workshop mainly focused on fostering discussions across two leading areas: i) how to reach the last mile, and ii) how to make sanitation programming and approaches sustainable in the longer term. Across both of these areas participants took into account the different aspects of inclusion and sustainability (enabling conditions; social norms; taboos and behaviour change; and physical and technical settings) for all WCA countries to reach and maintain total open defecation free (ODF) status by and after 2030.

Sanitation finance and sanitation marketing (SanMark) were two of the aspects widely discussed by the participants, and their relevance for making sanitation policies and programmes equitable, inclusive and sustainable was made visible throughout the week.

Current challenges to finance and access sanitation facilities
During the week the participants shared different challenges in regards to finance and access to sanitation in the WCA region, and despite the diversity of socio-cultural and economic contexts and backgrounds, several of the barriers overlapped and …read more





Share This