Water Currents – World Toilet Day 2019

World Toilet Day 2019: Water Currents, November 14, 2019

Toilets are more than a household necessity—they save lives, protect dignity, and create economic opportunity. This November 19, join the annual celebration of World Toilet Day to raise awareness of the importance of sanitation to lift people out of poverty. This year’s theme “Leaving No One Behind” emphasizes the importance of expanding sanitation access to the more than 4.2 billion people living without safely managed sanitation options. wtd

USAID goes beyond toilet construction to address weak demand and low capacity for sanitation improvements. The Agency’s comprehensive approach includes engaging the private sector to develop aspirational and affordable products, unlocking financing, and strengthening sanitation governance, coupled with behavior change to encourage use and maintenance. To learn more about USAID’s sanitation activities, follow us @USAIDWater or visit Globalwaters.org.

This Water Currents contains recent studies and resources related to the sanitation issues facing marginalized or special populations, such as people with disabilities, refugees, sanitation workers, and the urban poor.

Read the complete issue.

The association of water carriage, water supply and sanitation usage with maternal and child health

The association of water carriage, water supply and sanitation usage with maternal and child health. A combined analysis of 49 Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys from 41 countries. Authors: Jo-Anne L. Geere and Paul R. Hunter. International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health

Results: Compared to households in which no-one collects water, water fetching by any household member is associated with reduced odds of a woman giving birth in a health care facility. hw

Adults collecting water is associated with increased relative risk of childhood death, children collecting water is associated with increased odds of diarrheal disease and women or girls collecting water is associated with reduced uptake of antenatal care and increased odds of leaving a child under five alone for one or more hours, one or more days per week.

Unimproved water supply is associated with childhood diarrhea, but not child deaths, or growth scores.

When the percentage of people using improved sanitation is more than 80% an association with reduced childhood death and stunting was observed, and when more than 60%, usage of improved sanitation was associated with reduction of diarrhea and acute undernutrition.

Webinar: Examining the Sustainability of the Millennium Water and Sanitation Program (PEPAM/USAID) in Senegal

Webinar: Examining the Sustainability of the Millennium Water and Sanitation Program (PEPAM/USAID) in Senegal. Globalwaters.org, November 11, 2019.  Pepam.png

This evaluation addresses the Millennium Water and Sanitation Program (PEPAM/USAID) in Senegal. Implemented from 2009–2014 by Research Triangle Institute and a consortium of partners, PEPAM/USAID aimed to improve sustainable access to water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) in four regions of Senegal.

About the PEPAM Evaluation

This evaluation assessed PEPAM/USAID’s implementation approaches to understand the extent to which increased access to WASH services was sustained several years after the activity ended and why or why not these interventions endured over time.

In November and December 2018, an evaluation team (ET) conducted observations of 169 water points (WPs); water quality testing of 105 functional WPs; 514 water user surveys; 617 household sanitation/hygiene surveys with observations; and 56 qualitative interviews with government officials, implementers, local entrepreneurs, water committees, and community members.

Read the complete article.

Celebrating the Sanitation Learning Hub’s new lease of life

Celebrating the Sanitation Learning Hub’s new lease of life. CLTS Knowledge Hub, November 2019.

Over the past few years, the Sanitation Learning Hub has responded to this challenge by broadening its focus to include an array of community-focused approaches, as an innovator within the sector. clts

The Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) approach still plays an important part but is no longer the sole focus of the Hub, and a new, more encompassing name, the Sanitation Learning Hub, promotes and reflects this change in focus.

Going forward, the thrust of the Hub’s work will be to promote timely, rapid and adaptive learning and sharing, alongside honest reflections of what works and what doesn’t.

The Hub will also be playing an important role in tackling essential emerging questions and issues within the sector such as:

  • How to achieve safely managed sanitation for all
  • The complex and different challenges of urban, peri-urban and rural settings
  • How to ‘Leave No One Behind’ in programming
  • The value of gender transformative approaches
  • How to strengthen supply chains in order to climb the sanitation ladder
  • Better understanding of the links between sanitation, hygiene and other endemic issues such as undernutrition
  • The need to prioritise hygiene practices, especially handwashing
  • How to tackle ‘slippage’ back to open defecation.

Read the complete article.

Water, sanitation and hygiene in arid and semi-arid lands: What can we learn from the DREAM ASAL Conference 2019?

Water, sanitation and hygiene in arid and semi-arid lands: What can we learn from the DREAM ASAL Conference 2019? CLTS Knowledge Hub, November 2019.

From 29th September to 3rd October the DREAM ASAL (Development of Resilience Empowering Alternative Measures for Ethiopian Lowlands) Conference 2019 took place in the Ethiopian city of Samara, capital of the Afar region. asal.jpg

The five-day conference reunited key stakeholders from government, INGOs and CSOs not only from Ethiopia but also from Kenya, Pakistan, Rwanda and Somaliland.

It was organised by the Ethiopian Ministry of Agriculture and facilitated by the GIZ- Strengthening Drought Resilience (SDR) programme.

The DREAM Conference had two major aims: 1) discuss ways to control, eradicate and make beneficial use of invasive species in the arid and semi-arid lowlands (ASAL), and 2) gather innovative and tested methodologies and technologies in the area of community planning, land rehabilitation, livelihood development, rangeland development, and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) including disaster risk management, in the lowland areas of the horn of Africa.

Read the complete article.

Why are support mechanisms in rural sanitation programming important?

Why are support mechanisms in rural sanitation programming important? CLTS Knowledge Hub, November 2019. clts

In this blog I give recommendations for introducing additional support mechanisms into rural sanitation programming. It includes some great case studies from Vietnam, Zambia and Tanzania where support mechanisms have been successfully combined with community-led processes to support the most disadvantaged people gain access to sanitation facilities.

This newsletter is largely inspired by the recent edition of Frontiers: Support Mechanisms to strengthen equality and non-discrimination in rural sanitation (part 2 of 2).

Support mechanisms: what are we talking about?

Support mechanisms encompass both ‘hardware’ mechanisms (for example, financial and physical subsidies) and ‘software’ approaches (for example, inclusive sanitation training, research or policies), as well as various combinations of the two.

Read the complete article.

WASH weekly research updates – November 12, 2019

In additional to the studies and resources listed below, recent updates to Globalwaters.org include:

Many thanks to Sheela Sinharoy, sheela.sinharoy@emory.edu, for sharing the 2 studies below on structural equation modelling and sanitation policies and to John Sauer, jsauer@psi.org, for the blog post, 3 ways India can tackle its human-waste problem. The Weekly WASH Research Updates are also posted on Sanitation Updates.


Using structural equation modelling to untangle sanitation, water and hygiene pathways for intervention improvements in height-for-age in children <5 years old. International Journal of Epidemiology, October 2019. Authors: Heather Reese, Sheela S Sinharoy, Thomas Clasen – Our finding, that water impacts HAZ through the sanitation pathway, is an important and actionable insight for WaSH programming.

Review of drivers and barriers of water and sanitation policies for urban informal settlements in low-income and middle-income countries. Utilities Policy, October 2019. Authors: Sheela S.Sinharoy, Rachel Pittluck, Thomas Clasen – Ensuring responsive water and sanitation policies for informal settlements will require inter-disciplinary collaboration and both top-down and bottom-up approaches.

Continue reading