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

Compiled by:  Henry Anyanwu


Here’s what everyone should know about waste

By Ede Ijjasz-Vasquez on The World Bank

Solid waste management is a universal issue that affects every single person in the world.

As you can see in our new report, What a Waste 2.0: A Global Snapshot of Solid Waste Management to 2050, if we don’t manage waste properly, it can harm our health, our environment, and even our prosperity.

Poorly managed waste is contaminating the world’s oceans, clogging drains and causing flooding, transmitting diseases, increasing respiratory problems from burning, harming animals that consume waste unknowingly, and affecting …read more


EU finances construction of public toilets in 14 towns in Ekiti

On Environews Nigeria

The European Union is financing the construction of model public toilets in 14 small towns in Ekiti West and Gbonyin Local Governments, Ekiti State, under its Water Supply and Sanitation Reform Programme (WSSSRP) III.

The project, titled: “Farewell to Open Defecation”, is being implemented by Bread of Life Development Foundation in collaboration with the Ekiti State Small Towns Water Supply and Sanitation Programme, Gbonyin Local Government, and Ekiti West Local Government.

Ekiti State has a safe sanitation coverage of 32% in rural and small towns, and 38% in urban towns; open defecation which is 68%, is the highest in the southwest Nigeria according to State Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) policy. In Gbonyin local government, a UNICEF 2014 survey shows that 92% of the communities are without public latrines; and in Ekiti West local government, 124 communities do not have any form of public latrines, according to the Ekiti West WASH profile 2014 report.

“Farewell to Open Defecation” will reduce open defecation in Ekiti State and its associated health effects; generally increase living standards; improve economic livelihoods through jobs and income creations; reduce economic losses due to incidences of diseases caused by poor sanitation and safe water; and result in safe …read more


Why a human rights based approach to water and sanitation is essential for the poor

By Christian Borja-vega and Eva Kloeve On The Water Blog


It may have taken decades, but access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation is now firmly recognized as a human right. How did this happen? What does it mean in practice? And how can it help the rural poor gain access? 

In July of 2010, the United Nations General Assembly “explicitly recognized the human right to water and sanitation and acknowledged that clean drinking water and sanitation are essential to the realization of all human rights” in Resolution A/RES/64/292. Despite these commitments, investments to date have largely proved insufficient to guarantee universal access. Today, 844 million people lack access to safe drinking water, and more than twice that number (2.3 billion) do not have access to adequate sanitation. Take the example of Mozambique. New World Bank research, the ‘WASH Poverty Diagnostic’, reveals that access to improved water on premises could be as low as 32 percent in rural areas, and as high as 69 percent in urban areas. The research finds that inequitable access is due to poor governance and lack of specific attention to the poor and vulnerable; not only it is a matter of life and death, water and sanitation are basic rights …read more


Help for São Paulo’s Complex Water Woes: Protect and Restore Forests

By Suzanne Ozment and Rafael Feltran-Barbieri – On Water Resources Institute

In 2014, São Paulo nearly ran out of water. Schools closed, crops faltered and reservoirs were left at a tiny 5 percent of their capacity for the city and its surrounding population of 22 million. It was the worst drought in eight decades.

The dry season of 2018 raised fears of another water crisis. And in coming years, warming temperatures will heighten Brazil’s water extremes, making both water scarcity and intense rainfall more common.

Managing alternating droughts and floods alongside threats to water quality will be a challenge—one that the city’s existing infrastructure isn’t equipped to handle. São Paulo already loses over 20 percent of its treated water due to leaking pipes before it reaches the taps of its residents …read more


Happy anniversary SDGs! But should we be celebrating?

By Kiana Alavi On End Water Poverty

Juenne Vert Togo

Anniversaries tend to be moments of remembrance and/or celebration. And on the third anniversary of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), it seems like we should all take a moment to remember the commitments made, as opposed to purely celebrating them.

In 2015, governments across all regions agreed to take the necessary steps with the aim of providing a sustainable world for generations to come. These steps were the 17 goals within the SDGs. However, three years since its inception, many countries are off track to reach not just one, but several goals. The 17 goals are all interlinked, which means that our inability to reach one goal could significantly impact our ability to reach another.

SDG 6 (ensuring available and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all) is an extremely crucial component of these global goals. According to the 2017 Joint Monitoring Programme Report by the World Health Organisation and UNICEF, 2.1 billion people lack access to safely managed water (and over 4.3 billion lack safe sanitation). Not reaching those who lack these crucial services goes against our fundamental human rights. The SDGs were to ensure we ‘leave no one behind’, but with billions left behind for just one of the 17 goals, it seems as though today should be viewed as less of a …read more


Hope Spring Water to build a borehole in Zhidu community in Abuja, Nigeria

By Jane Jerry Agwara On Hope Spring Water
Zhidu community current source of water

Zhidu community current source of water

Ever imagined that the federal capital territory of Nigeria is home to a community that relies on river as source of water?

Zhidu Community is a community at the heart of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT Abuja) but it’s residents still walk miles to a polluted river to fetch water for domestic use.

Although there is one community borehole, used by about 3,000 community members, with a gallon costing about 20-30 Naira. The question remains, how many gallons of water can these low income families afford a day for their domestic use? Let’s not forget that they still have to walk miles to buy the water.

Majority of the residents who can’t afford to buy water, have no other choice than to depend on this unhealthy water from the river which gets even more contaminated when it rains for their domestic use.

The good news is, we will be embarking on a project to build borehole in Zhidu for the people of Zhidu. We hope that this borehole will ameliorate the situation in the community.

Remember, Hope Spring Water Charity Foundation is …read more


Push to contain Zimbabwe cholera outbreak ahead of rainy season

By Christin Roby On Devex

In Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe, government officials have banned street food sales, and humanitarians are performing skits in an effort to sensitize populations and control a cholera outbreak that has so far claimed 38 lives, as the country also struggles with typhoid.

The cholera outbreak was declared in early September in the capital city of 2 million. Within weeks, the number of cases skyrocketed. As of Sept. 20, 5,404 suspected cases have been reported, including 81 confirmed, mostly originating from high-density suburbs.

“It is a cause of concern to have a cholera outbreak in the capital city considering that, with a largely mobile population, we have some cases reported elsewhere and it also signals that we do not have access to safe water and adequate sanitation,” Anderson Chimusoro, disease prevention and control officer at World Health Organization Zimbabwe, told Devex.  

The appearance of cases in at least 12 other districts across the country has led to national communication campaigns to inform residents of symptoms and prevention methods. Health messages around drinking safe water, handwashing, and proper food preparation have been delivered via mobile …read more


The Ripple Effect: Supporting Women’s Empowerment through Water

By Drew Slattery On USAID Global Waters

The Ripple Effect Study illuminates the critical intersection between women and water , enabling a greater understanding of the pathways to empowerment. Photo credit: Thomas Henriksson/SIWI; Speaker: Eliza Lasale, WASH Entrepreneur, Young Water Solutions

New research demonstrates that improving a woman’s access to water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) provides a multitude of indirect and positive impacts that often are overlooked in traditional development interventions. Benefits of this water access “ripple effect” go beyond the time savings and health outcomes that are well known across the sector. Referred to as “pathways to empowerment,” these now-quantifiable impacts cover a range of outcomes, including a more than 50 percent increase in female community leadership positions and shifts in gender norms within the community.

In 2018, USAID’s long-running partnership with The Coca-Cola Company, the Water and Development Alliance (WADA), collaborated with global research firm Ipsos to explore the intersection of water and women’s empowerment. Referred to as the Ripple Effect Study, this research rigorously assessed the role of water in enabling women’s empowerment and promoting gender equality.

During a World Water Week showcase event in Stockholm in late August, WADA, USAID, The Coca-Cola Company, Women + Water Alliance, Gap Inc., and Global Water Challenge (GWC) shared the details …read more


Iraqi city of Basra seethes over water crisis, unemployment

By Qassim Abdul-Zahra on Fox News

BASRA, Iraq – The brackish water pouring from the taps of homes in Basra has caused stomach ailments and skin rashes for thousands in the southern Iraqi city once famous for its network of freshwater canals that gave it the nickname the “Venice of the East.”

The contaminated water, along with other failing city services and soaring unemployment in Basra, has fueled violent unrest since July in Iraq’s oil-exporting capital.

During a week of demonstrations, protesters set fire to government buildings and offices of Iranian-backed militias that they blame for mismanagement and profiteering while residents struggle with poverty.

“We have a treasure trove of oil beneath our feet, so how is it possible we don’t have drinking water?” said Zein al-Abedein Abdullah, a 19-year-old being treated at the overcrowded Sadr Hospital after the simple act of brushing his teeth with tap water at home.

The violence in Basra is threatening to spread to other cities in Iraq’s southern Shiite heartland and the capital of Baghdad, where lawmakers are locked in a political struggle over who should be the next prime minister, with Iran and the United States each supporting rival factions.

There are concerns that sustained violence could also disrupt oil production in Basra, home to 70 percent of Iraq’s petroleum reserves, and at the country’s main seaport of Umm Qasr on the Persian Gulf. That could lead to renewed chaos just as Iraq is emerging from a long and bloody fight against the Islamic State group.

At least 15 people were killed and 249 injured in clashes between protesters and security forces in Basra so far this week, health officials say …read more


No calm after the storm for the Caribbean’s poorest children

By Manuel Moreno González On UNICEF connect

In Grand Turk Island, the capital island of the Turks and Caicos, 14-year-old Danessa Estime writes rap lyrics in her notebook about the night Hurricane Irma battered the island:

“Wake up, wake up!
But 5:32?
Why the hell am I waking up at 5:32?
Ma, what’s going on?
What do you want me to do?
Did something happen to be up at 5:32?
She is finally over,
Hurricane Irma is finally done.”

Hurricane Irma may be gone but hurricane season is far from over. Hurricane Maria, which has reached Category 5 is now advancing on the same islands that bore the brunt of Irma’s wrath.

The storm caused massive damage in parts of the Eastern Caribbean, Dominican Republic, Haiti and Cuba, wrecking homes, schools, health centres and basic infrastructure. In the aftermath of its relentless path, more than 270,000 children are in need; the vast majority already living in the most vulnerable communities. They are …read more

Five-month-old Recca Chery sits in his mother’s lap outside his home. A buzzing cloud of mosquitoes hungrily gathers around him. His mother, Berline Ditah, covers him with a blanket to protect him.


Rallying for School WASH in Addis Ababa

By Mathijs Veenkant On IRC WASH

Behaviours learned at school, like washing hands, stay with students for the rest of their lives and will influence those around them. The Ethiopian government is working hard to ensure that all children are enrolled in school and at the same time is challenged to provide adequate facilities for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH).

The Ministry of Education’s (MoE) latest national statistics show that only about 40% of primary schools in Ethiopia have a water supply, 19% have functional hand washing facilities, and 39% still has open defecation.

This is sobering for the prospects of children now growing up in Ethiopia. But the government and its NGO partners have collaborated to address the challenge with the launch of a strategy and action plan, and implementation guidelines.

In Addis Ababa, the city Education Bureau (AAEB), and the NGO Splash  …read more


How to improve sanitation across an entire city: the case of Visakhapatnam

By Neil Jeffery ON Water & Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP)

Half of the one billion people in the world who still defecate in the open live in India. Poor sanitation in India is not just a rural issue: at least 157 million urban poor Indians lack access to decent toilets and one in 10 deaths in India are related to poor sanitation.

The port city of Visakhapatnam, also known as Vizag, is the largest city and an industrial center in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh.

Water & Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP) has just completed a three-year programme in this city, funded by USAID, which has made a major difference to the lives of 250,000 residents and created a model for how cities in India can make rapid strides to improve sanitation.

The port city of Visakhapatnam, also known as Vizag, is the largest city and an industrial center in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh …read more

Public toilet in Visakhapatnam


Blunders, Bloopers and Foul-Ups: Sharing Failures in Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Programs

By Dani Barrington On Washfunders

Shit happens. It is known that international development programs don’t always go as planned, and the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) sector is no exception. Our programs often don’t achieve their stated aims, and sometimes actually cause harm to the intended “beneficiaries.” For example, you might have heard the statistic that up to 70 percent of handpumps installed in Sub-Saharan Africa are no longer working, but a lesser known (and more horrifying) failure of the sector may be accidents where children and the elderly have fallen into, and sometimes drowned in, improperly constructed pit latrines.

WASH researchers and practitioners routinely discuss …read more


Periods: they don’t need to be a pain

On World Vision International

Do you remember the first time you went to school with your period? I do. At my school in country Victoria only one toilet in the far end of the bathroom had a bin to dispose of sanitary products. Worried that the other girls would notice I was visiting that particular toilet and guess I had my period, I tried to sneak inconspicuously as not to raise suspicion. Convinced that I was the only one who had started menstruating, I did my best to keep it a secret.

Shame around menstruation, like I had when I first got my period, is a common phenomenon around the world. In Australia, whilst periods can unfortunately still cause embarrassment, most girls can easily and affordably access pads and tampons that allow them to continue to attend school during their period, just like I did. For many girls in low income households in places such as Uganda shame around menstruation is common place. Limited knowledge around sexual and reproductive health, a lack of menstrual hygiene products access and an absence of sanitary toilet facilities in schools can have a serious impact on girls education. In a study conducted on Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) in Uganda, it was found that about half of the females reported missing 1-3 days of primary school per month …read more



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