Emergency WASH Biweekly Update, August 15, 2019

Dear Colleagues:

Below are recent Emergency WASH-related studies, reports and blog posts. We received a suggestion to include more general WASH-related research in the biweekly updates and CKM does distribute a Weekly WASH Research Update, August 12, 2019 so just let me know if you would like to subscribe to the weekly research updates.


Water as a Tool for Resilience in Times of Crisis – Water security professionals discussed the latest thinking about water’s impact on fragile regions in a recent panel discussion. The panel included Basil Mahayni of the USAID-funded Sustainable Water Partnership; Cynthia Brady, formerly of USAID; David De Armey of Water for Good, an international NGO; Abigail Jones of USAID; and Erika Weinthal of Duke University.


How to design handwashing facilities that change behavior. Wash’Em, August 2019. There are several reasons why handwashing facilities can have an important effect on behavior.

Emergency Environmental Health Forum 2019 report and presentations, August 2019. This event report covers the 9th Emergency Environmental Health Forum which was held on 17-18 June 2019 in Geneva, Switzerland. The theme of the conference was ‘Disease Outbreaks and Their Control’.

Guidance on market based programming for humanitarian WASH practitioners. Global WASH Cluster, 2019. How market based programming can complement and improve WASH programming; How to conduct a WASH market assessment

Ensuring Access to Water in Kenya. USAID, 2019. In Kenya’s Arid and Semi-Arid Lands, recurrent drought makes access to water—for humans, agriculture, and livestock—an ongoing challenge. To address these challenges, USAID Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) partner World Vision constructs automated water kiosks—or “Water ATMs”—with technical support from private pump solutions company Grundfos.

Early response and resilience investments: the case of drought in eastern Ethiopia in 2015–16. ODI, July 2019. The study, detailed in this report, considers three key questions: To what degree did delivering aid early help prevent loss of productive assets, indebtedness and other distress strategies? How far had investments in building resilience helped people to cope better with crisis? Was the flexibility of longer-term programs effective in ensuring the delivery of earlier assistance?


Responding to epidemics in large-scale humanitarian crises: a case study of the cholera response in Yemen, 2016–2018. BMJ Global Health, June 2019. Despite endemicity and conflict, Yemen was not prepared for the epidemic. To contain outbreaks, conflict-affected states, humanitarian agencies, and donors must emphasise preparedness planning and community-directed responses.

Unimproved water sources and open defecation are associated with active trachoma in children in internally displaced persons camps in the Darfur States of Sudan. Transactions of The Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, July 2019. Trachoma is found at low levels in these camps, but still at levels where intervention is needed. Disease elimination in conflict-related settings presents a unique challenge for the trachoma community, and may require an innovative approach.

Broad approaches to cholera control in Asia: Water, sanitation and handwashing. Vaccine, 2 August 2019. Interim solutions including household level water treatment, constructing latrines and handwashing promotion have only marginally reduced the risk of cholera and other fecally transmitted diseases. Increased research to develop and policy flexibility to implement a new generation of solutions that are designed specifically to address the physical, financial and political constraints of low-income communities offers the best prospect for reducing the burden of cholera across Asia.


17 Countries, Home to One-Quarter of the World’s Population, Face Extremely High Water Stress. WRI, August 6, 2019. New data from WRI’s Aqueduct tools reveal that 17 countries – home to one-quarter of the world’s population—face “extremely high” levels of baseline water stress, where irrigated agriculture, industries and municipalities withdraw more than 80% of their available supply on average every year.

Erika Weinthal on the Weaponization of Water in Conflict Settings. New Security Beat, August 2, 2019. Weinthal’s research focuses on the role water plays in active and protracted conflicts, specifically the consequences of targeting water systems and weaponizing water during war.

Preparing for the Inevitable: Monitoring Drought and Other Natural Disasters with GADAS. Agrilinks, July 2019. GADAS is a free, web-based desktop GIS platform that provides users with access to a vast array of high temporal, real-time data streams from various climate and weather sources including the Pacific Disaster Center, satellite imagery and remotely-sensed political, irrigation and water, elevation and much more data that enables users to quickly assess and monitor conditions on the ground, highlight regional risk posed by natural disasters and spatially model potential disaster impacts.

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