Facilitating handwashing where water is scarce – EAWAG

Facilitating handwashing where water is scarce – EAWAG, October 22, 2018.

Even though the water we’ve used for washing our hands is barely contaminated, it usually disappears down the drain, never to be used again. A newly developed system allows handwashing water to be recycled, thus not only saving water, but also helping to prevent infectious diseases in developing countries. eawag

Every year, according to WHO figures, around four million people die as a result of diarrhoeal diseases or respiratory infections. Particularly in developing countries, these deaths are largely attributable to poor hygiene – the problem would be significantly alleviated by regular handwashing.

But how can this be achieved in places where people lack access to safe water, or piped water is unavailable? This issue is being addressed by a group of environmental engineers led by ETH Professor Eberhard Morgenroth (Head of Process Engineering at Eawag), carrying out research as part of the Blue Diversion AUTARKY project.

They have now developed a grid-free treatment system allowing greywater – relatively clean wastewater from showering, bathing or handwashing – to be repeatedly recycled.

As Morgenroth points out, while commercial systems are already available which enable greywater to be treated on-site for use in toilet flushing, the recycled water does not meet the required quality standards to be used for other purposes.

Read the complete article.

Bill Gates Launches Reinvented Toilet Expo Showcasing New Pathogen-Killing Sanitation Products That Don’t Require Sewers or Water Lines

Bill Gates Launches Reinvented Toilet Expo Showcasing New Pathogen-Killing Sanitation Products That Don’t Require Sewers or Water Lines. Gates Foundation Press Release.

Gates Foundation and Global Partners Announce Commitments to Advance Commercialization of Disruptive, Off-Grid Toilet Technologies

BEIJING, November 6, 2018 – The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, with the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) and the China Chamber of International Commerce (CCOIC), today joined global innovators, development banks, private-sector players, and governments at the Reinvented Toilet Expo in Beijing.

Together, they committed to accelerate the commercialization and adoption of disruptive sanitation technologies world-wide over the next decade. Rapid expansion of new, off-grid sanitation products and systems could dramatically reduce the global human and economic toll of unsafe sanitation, including the deaths of half a million children under the age of 5 each year and the more than $200 billion that is lost due to health care costs and decreased income and productivity.

A range of companies from around the world came together at the Expo to display a new class of sanitation solutions that eliminate harmful pathogens and convert waste into by-products like clean water and fertilizer—all without connections to sewers or water lines.

Companies from China (Clear, CRRC, EcoSan), the United States (Sedron Technologies), India (Eram Scientific, Ankur Scientific, Tide Technocrats), and Thailand (SCG Chemicals) announced the availability of the world’s first pathogen-killing reinvented toilets and small-scale waste treatment plants (called omni-processors), which are now ready for sale to municipal and private entities. LIXIL, headquartered in Japan, announced plans to bring to pilot a household-level reinvented toilet based on a leading prototype.

Read the complete article.

Water access and sanitation shape birth outcomes and earning potential

Water access and sanitation shape birth outcomes and earning potential. Mongabay, November 8, 2018. mongabay.png

  • Spending more time per day fetching water increased Indian women’s risk of delivering a low birth weight baby, a study has said.
  • Open defecation and using a shared latrine within a woman’s building or compound were also associated with higher odds of low birth weight and pre-term births, respectively, compared to having a private household toilet.
  • The researchers believe that improving water, sanitation and health access and/or reducing gender-based harassment could reduce these adverse birth outcomes.
  • Another study pointed out that enhanced access to a reliable and proximate water supply reduced the time spent by women in collecting water and the proportion of hard labour performed by women. In addition, the thus freed may be spent on other income generating activities.

Read the complete article.

USAID WASHPaLS Webinar Explores Barriers to Effective Sanitation Enterprises

USAID WASHPaLS Webinar Explores Barriers to Effective Sanitation Enterprises

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. market-based-sanitation-blog.png

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.

Read the complete article.


Indigenous plants for informal greywater treatment and reuse by some households in Ghana

Indigenous plants for informal greywater treatment and reuse by some households in Ghana. Journal of Water Reuse and Desalination (2018) 8 (4): 553-565.

Poor greywater management is one of Ghana’s sanitation nightmares due to longstanding neglect. This study looks at local practices of informal phytoremediation, and identifies commonly used plants and benefits. Greywater (kitchen, bathroom and laundry) is mainly disposed of into the open, with few using septic tanks and soakaway systems.

The majority of respondents perceived plants as agents of treatment and most could list 1–2 beneficial functions of the plants. A total of 1,259 plant groups were identified which belonged to 36 different plant species. The top five indigenous plants used are sugarcane, banana/plantain, taro, sweet/wild basil, and dandelion.

The major plant benefits identified were food and medicine. Statistically, no association was identified between the numbers of plants grown and their perceived plant roles, with the exception of an association between plant numbers and benefits. There is demand for improving local practices of using plants in greywater treatment and reuse, since native plants also come with other benefits.

Association of intestinal pathogens with faecal markers of environmental enteric dysfunction among slum‐dwelling children in the first 2 years of life in Bangladesh

Association of intestinal pathogens with faecal markers of environmental enteric dysfunction among slum‐dwelling children in the first 2 years of life in Bangladesh. Tropical Medicine and International Health, August 2018.

Objective – Environmental Enteric Dysfunction (EED) can be assessed by faecal biomarkers such as Myeloperoxidase (MPO), Neopterin (NEO) and Alpha‐1 anti‐trypsin (AAT). We aimed to test the association of intestinal pathogens with faecal markers of EED among slum‐dwelling children in first 2 years of life.

Methods – The MAL‐ED birth cohort data of Bangladesh site were used to conduct this analysis. Multivariable analyses using Generalized Estimating Equations (GEE) were performed to test the association between intestinal pathogens and faecal markers of EED.

Results – Giardiasis, ascariasis and trichuriasis were the most frequent parasitic infections and Campylobacter spp., Enteroaggregative Escherichia coli (EAEC) and Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) were the common bacterial pathogens observed in stool samples of the children. Giardiasis was found to be significantly associated with MPO and AAT concentrations. A significant association was found between trichuriasis and NEO. Trichuriasis and giardiasis were significantly associated with EED score. Children with EAEC had significantly higher MPO concentrations.

Conclusion – The study results imply the importance of intestinal pathogens in contributing to intestinal inflammation and increased intestinal permeability in young children.

Vacancies at the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council

The Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) is pleased to share the following vacancy announcements. Please note the positions, locations, application deadlines and information links below.

Position:              Head of Global Policy, Strategic Engagement & Innovation (P5)
Location:              Geneva, Switzerland
Deadline:             11 November 2018
More info:           https://jobs.unops.org/Pages/ViewVacancy/VADetails.aspx?id=16666

Position:              Safely Managed Sanitation Services Study Consultants (IICA-3)
Location:              Home based
Deadline:             11 November 2018
More info:           https://jobs.unops.org/pages/ViewVacancy/VADetails.aspx?id=16603

Position:              Partnerships Officer (P3)
Location:              Geneva, Switzerland
Deadline:             14 November 2018
More info:           https://jobs.unops.org/Pages/ViewVacancy/VADetails.aspx?id=16694

Position:              Head of Corporate Communications and Advocacy (P4)
Location:              Geneva, Switzerland
Deadline:             16 November 2018
More info:           https://jobs.unops.org/Pages/ViewVacancy/VADetails.aspx?id=16716#7

For more information on salary scales, please visit this United Nations International Civil Service Commission page.