WASH in Emergencies – Water Currents, September 19, 2018

Emergency water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) is a critical component of USAID’s humanitarian assistance for vulnerable populations, who are much more susceptible to diseases related to inadequate sanitation and water supplies.

USAID responds to emergency WASH needs through the Bureau for Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance, including the Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA), responsible for leading and coordinating the U.S. Government’s response to disasters overseas, and the Office of Food for Peace, responsible for leading the U.S. Government’s international food assistance efforts.

ofda

USAID/OFDA and its partners provide water supply services to a large camp of displaced people in northern Syria. Photo credit: USAID/OFDA

Combined, these two offices ensure that emergency and life-saving WASH needs of vulnerable populations are met in disaster, conflict, and early recovery operations. Where appropriate, emergency WASH connects to, supports, or aligns with the work that USAID will carry out under its Water and Development Plan to increase water and sanitation access, and is an important complementary result.

This issue contains several reviews and evaluations of WASH in emergency interventions as well as recent manuals and guidelines on appropriate technologies, disease outbreaks, menstrual hygiene management, and other topics. In addition to producing Water Currents, the USAID Water Team also publishes a biweekly bulletin of the latest studies and events related to WASH in emergencies, so contact us if you would like to subscribe to the bulletin. Stay tuned for a new Emergency WASH page on the Globalwaters.org website in the near future.

Link to the complete issue.

Call for researchers: Modelling faecal pathogen flows in urban environments

This research project is commissioned under the Urban Sanitation Research Initiative, a 2017-2020 research programme core-funded by UK aid from the British people, and managed by Water & Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP).

The research will develop, apply and validity-test a modelling approach for understanding faecal pathogen flows within a defined urban location (in Bangladesh, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Mozambique or Zambia). This will likely require significant on-site data collection to feed the model and to test its validity.

A possible modelling framework has already been developed in an earlier concept study under the Urban Sanitation Research Initiative, but we are open to considering other frameworks and approaches (more information about this framework can be found within the Call itself).

While this research aims to develop an internationally useful modelling approach, we would also expect it to be useful and influential in the specific location in which it is developed.

Maximum budget under this Call: GBP 250,000 inclusive of VAT

Bids due: Before 1700 hours on 22nd October 2018

Focus country: One of Bangladesh, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Mozambique or Zambia

More information can be found in the Research Call.

Queries and clarifications can be sent to erl [at] wsup [dot com].

Mahatma Gandhi International Sanitation Convention to Share India’s Sanitation and Hygiene Improvements with the World

India has taken massive strides towards achieving universal safe sanitation. The number of people without access to toilets in rural India has gone down from 550 million in 2014 to less than 150 million today, through an intensive behaviour change campaign, the Swachh Bharat Mission, which has become a people’s movement. India is on track to achieve open defecation free status by 2019, significantly contributing to the global achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 6 on Clean Water and Sanitation and improving health, educational and other outcomes for millions of people.

The Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Government of India, with support from UNICEF, is  organizing the Mahatma Gandhi International Sanitation Convention, MGISC (www.mgiscindia.org) in New Delhi.  The convention will bring together ministers and other leaders from over 50 countries around the world in order to both showcase India’s progress and learn about the best Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) practices across the globe.

The MGISC is a four-day international conference scheduled to be held from 29 September-02 October 2018 in New Delhi and is being organized by the Government of India’s Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM), or Clean India Mission, the world’s largest sanitation programme.

At a briefing last week, Mr. Parameswaran Iyer (IAS), Secretary, Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Government of India said “India has taken massive strides towards achieving universal safe sanitation. The Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) was launched on 2 October 2014, with an aim to build a Clean and Open Defecation Free (ODF) India by 2 October 2019, as a befitting tribute to the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.”

Dr. Yasmin Ali Haque, UNICEF India Representative, added, “Safe water, effective sanitation and hygiene are critical to the health of every child and every community – and thus are essential to building stronger, healthier, and more equitable societies. SBM is a unique programme, it is the largest such programme in the world and represents a mass movement. Swachh Bharat has captured the attention of the people across the globe. The convention will be a platform to exchange ideas and foster collective effort to ensure that every girl and boy has access to safe drinking water and sanitation.”

Since the inception of the SBM program, the rural sanitation coverage of India has increased significantly, from 39 per cent in October 2014 to over 92 per cent as of end of August 2018. The number of people without access to toilets in rural India has gone down from 550 million in 2014, to less than 150 million today. According to the latest real-time data, over 83.9 million household toilets have been constructed under the Swachh Bharat Mission. As a result, 21 States/Union Territories, 450 districts, and approximately 450,000 villages have declared themselves as free from open defecation.

India is on track to achieve open defecation free status by 2019, significantly contributing to the global achievement of SDG 6.

Open defecation can have debilitating impact on the economy. A UNICEF report in 2017 found that if a family invests in a toilet, it will save Rs. 50,000 a year in India. The study conducted across 10,000 households in 12 states, to measure the economic impact of sanitation at a household level, discovered that a single rupee invested in sanitation, allows a family to save Rs. 4.30 by averting medical costs.

Sanitation is not just about building toilets but about changing behaviour. Open defecation means that diseases such as cholera, polio, and hepatitis are spread more easily. It means that children are at a higher risk of diarrhoea, which in turn leads to malnutrition. Women are the worst affected due to lack of sanitation facilities. A huge number of pregnant women or new mothers die annually in India from preventable causes. This includes haemorrhage, eclampsia, sepsis and anaemia. Many deaths occur due to poor nutrition and improper sanitation.

The success of the Clean India Mission will undoubtedly have a significant impact on the global achievement of SDG 6.2. India is the only country which received special recognition in the Joint Monitoring Programme 2017 update by the WHO and UNICF. The MGISC aims to share sanitation success stories and lessons from the participating countries and culminates with the launch of the Mahatma’s150th birth year celebrations in India, as SBM enters its final year of implementation.

About the Event

The MGISC will be attended by over 50 minister-led delegations from high, middle, and low-income countries including Brazil, Indonesia, Nigeria, and Japan.

Participants will gain practical knowledge on key challenges, successes, failures and opportunities, share experiences across regions and with other government decision-makers, and accelerate progress towards ending open defecation as part of the broader effort to achieve SDG Target 6.2 by 2030. Participants will go home stimulated, motivated and empowered as part of a broader sanitation and hygiene movement.

A parallel exhibition of sanitation innovations will be held at the meeting venue.

Development and Application of Novel Caregiver Hygiene Behavior Measures Relating to Food Preparation, Handwashing, and Play Environments in Rural Kenya

Development and Application of Novel Caregiver Hygiene Behavior Measures Relating to Food Preparation, Handwashing, and Play Environments in Rural KenyaInt. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 201815(9), 1994; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15091994

Exposure to fecal pathogens results in both acute and chronic sequalae in young children. Diarrhea causes nearly 20% of all under-five mortality, while even sub-clinical enteric infections may lead to growth shortfalls. Stunting affects nearly 165 million children globally and results in lifelong and intergenerational effects for the world’s poorest populations. ijerph-logo

Caregiver hygiene behaviors, such as those surrounding handwashing and food preparation, play a critical role in exposure to fecal pathogens; standard metrics to assess these behaviors are warranted to provide a means of quantifying the impact these behaviors have on enteric infections and to evaluate the success or failure of interventions and programs.

This paper documents the development of three novel caregiver hygiene behavior measures: hygienic food preparation and storage, handwashing at key times, and provision of a safe play environment for children under two years.

We developed these measures using formative qualitative work, survey creation and deployment theoretically underpinned by the COM-B model of behavior change, and exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis.

The final measure for hygienic food preparation and storage includes 10 items across two factors; the final measure for handwashing at key times includes 15 items across three factors; and the final measure for safe play environment contains 13 items across three factors.

Future researchers may employ these measures to assess caregiver behaviors in other populations, identify specific behavioral dimensions that should be the focus of interventions, and evaluate interventions and programs

SEI – How can sanitation policy deliver in Africa? Insights from Rwanda and Uganda

How can sanitation policy deliver in Africa? Insights from Rwanda and Uganda. Stockholm Environment Institute, August 2018.

Sanitation is currently high on the international development agenda. But for policy to be effective, basic enabling factors are required – the right institutional environment and the right governance structures – which in many countries are not yet fully in place.

It is even more important to get these basic factors right as increasing numbers of public, private, and philanthropic bodies at different levels of society become involved in promoting and providing sanitation, driven largely by global goals and international development agendas.

This growing focus on sanitation has led to top-down pressure to meet prescribed targets, which in most cases miss the complexity of context, distort service priorities, and in some cases compromise sustainability.

Based on four years of research in Rwanda and Uganda examining sanitation governance structures, the author sets out policy insights on what is needed for sanitation policy to succeed in sub-Saharan Africa.

The Scoop on Poop: How Open Defecation Free Data Led to Activity Program Pivots in Ethiopia’s Lowlands

The Scoop on Poop: How Open Defecation Free Data Led to Activity Program Pivots in Ethiopia’s Lowlands. Author(s):Nikita Salgaonkar. Organization(s):USAID/Ethiopia, AECOM, September 2018. cla

Sanitation behavior change is a notoriously complex intervention. In the harsh, remote environment of the Ethiopian lowlands, this is particularly so. Community-Led Total Sanitation and Hygiene (CLTSH) interventions, while successful in Ethiopia’s densely populated highland areas, have never been implemented at scale in the lowlands.

We learned that in these communities, dominated by (semi-) pastoralist groups, that the operating conditions for effective, sustained behavior change are highly variable. A Collaborating, Learning and Adapting (CLA) approach helped the program team define, pivot and re-design activities that addressed project effectiveness.

Our experience is drawn from the USAID/Ethiopia-funded Lowland Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) Activity that works to accelerate access to improved WASH in three rural lowland regions: Afar, Somali, and Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples (SNNP).

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Webinar summary: The forgotten juncture? Handwashing and safe management of child feces

On August 22nd, 2018, the Global Handwashing Partnership, in conjunction with USAID, the International Water Center, the Water and Engineering Center for Development, and UNICEF hosted a discussion on the intersection of handwashing and the safe management of child feces. ghp

Safe disposal of children’s feces is a critical practice, and programs often under-emphasize critical times for handwashing related to infant and child feces. This webinar aimed to:
• Discuss the present status and impact of child feces disposal practices and handwashing,
• Highlight case studies, interventions and evidence,
• Share experiences across regions; and
• Review key considerations for practitioners.

Read the complete article and listen to the webinar.