Category Archives: Emergency Sanitation

An Emergency WASH Update – May 15, 2019


OFDA Meet Our Experts – Trevor White. OFDA, May 7, 2019. Trevor White is a Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) Advisor at USAID/OFDA. As part of the USAID/OFDA WASH team, Trevor provides support at the country level during natural disasters and conflicts, but also at a global level to support efforts to improve the quality of future WASH responses. emergencies


Cash transfers can help Yemen’s conflict-affected children. IFPRI Blog, May 6, 2019. As a result, the transfers helped preserve children’s dietary diversity in critical early developmental stages 6-23 months. The program also led to improved breastfeeding and water treatment practices, which further enhanced the nutritional environment.


Efficacy of the SuperTowel: An Alternative Hand-washing Product for Humanitarian Emergencies. The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, May 2019. Given that the ST is more lightweight than soap and longer lasting, we envisage that the ST would also be beneficial to humanitarian actors working in areas where logistical and security issues make regular hygiene product distribution challenging. We recommend that further testing should be carried out to assess the efficacy of the ST under conditions that more closely mirror real-world hand-washing practices.


Urban WASH programming in Protracted Conflict Contexts: Aleppo’s Experience, Syria. UNICEF, March 2019. The focus of this Field Note is Syria’s urban WASH programme, documenting the experience in implementing WASH in a city which has endured years of protracted conflict, and is designed as a learning note for the organization as it strengthens its role in urban areas.

Private Sector & Refugees—Pathways to Scale. IFC, 2019. Multinational corporations like Mastercard, regional and national businesses such as Equity Bank and PowerGen, social enterprises like NaTakallam and Sanivation, and a range of others across industries, are demonstrating the potential roles of the private sector in supporting refugees and host communities.

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Emergency WASH – recent research & upcoming events


User-Centred Design,(UCD) and Humanitarian Adaptiveness. ALNAP, April 2019.
This case study seeks to explore the utility, applicability and effectiveness of UCD in supporting humanitarian adaptiveness, and to understand whether UCD can enable humanitarian actors to be more adaptive. Chapter 4 gives examples of applying UCD in the design of emergency sanitation. 

Cesspits and Soakpits. Global Water Pathogen Project, March 2019.
A soak pit is a covered, porous-walled chamber that allows water to slowly soak into the ground. A cesspit (cesspool) is a holding tank (or pit) designed for collection and storage of sewage or other waste for short periods.

Emergency Sanitation Guidelines Beira, updated on the 11th of April 2019. WASH Cluster Mozambique, April 2019.
The objective of this document is to provide technical guidance to partners implementing sanitation emergency programs and interventions in settlements. This document has been prepared by the Sanitation Technical Working Group, under the WASH cluster Beira. emergencies

No Time to Wait: Securing the future from drug-resistant infections. WHO, April 2019.
“Antimicrobial resistance is one of the greatest threats we face as a global community. This report reflects the depth and scope of the response needed to curb its rise and protect a century of progress in health,” said Ms. Amina Mohammed, UN Deputy Secretary-General and Co-Chair of the IACG.


Humanitarian WASH Innovation. Elhra, April 2019. 31 videos discuss and describe a wide range of WASH innovations in humanitarian situations.


Community Engagement in WASH Emergencies: Understanding Barriers and Enablers Based on Action Research from Bangladesh and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Water, April 2019.
This article presents key findings from Oxfam’s recent responses in Bangladesh and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), describing the process of building trust and identifying barriers and enablers to meaningful CE in emergencies.

Evaluation of an Emergency Bulk Chlorination Project Targeting Drinking Water Vendors in Cholera-Affected Wards of Dar es Salaam and Morogoro, Tanzania. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, April 2019.
The results suggest high acceptability and use of the chlorine tablets by water vendors. However, given variation in the water source used and longer storage times, dosing could be increased in future programming. Bulk chlorination using chlorine tablets offers an efficient community-level approach to treating water closer to the point of use.

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Emergency WASH Websites, Online Guides and Other Resources

Dear Colleagues:

Please review and let us know if you have additional resources that should be added.

Emergency WASH Websites, Online Guides and Other Resources (April 24, 2019 update)

Recent Online Toolkits/Guides/Resource Centers

Compendium of Sanitation Systems and Technologies. EAWAG, 2016. This second, revised edition of the Compendium presents a huge range of information on sanitation systems and technologies in one volume. By ordering and structuring tried and tested technologies into once concise document, the reader is provided with a useful planning tool for making more informed decisions. emergencies

Menstrual Hygiene Management in Emergencies – The MHM in Emergencies project is a collaboration between Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and the International Rescue Committee. The project has developed an MHM in emergencies toolkit and formative assessments were conducted in two humanitarian response settings.

Humanitarian Innovation Guide. Elrha, 2018. The Guide is written with two audiences in mind: humanitarian practitioners who are seeking to develop a new approach to their work and want to apply an innovation lens to solving problems; and social entrepreneurs from outside the sector who have identified an opportunity to engage with the sector and need a humanitarian framework to contextualise their innovation plans.

Resource Centers

Global WASH Cluster Resource Centre – The GWC Resource includes evidence-based publications and guidance related to WASH interventions for emergency response scenarios. The repository includes 130 of technical emergency WASH documents so far. The number of documents will be regularly incremented.

Humanitarian Library – Water, Sanitation and Hygiene – This online library contains more than 400 WASH related reports and studies.

Working Groups/Google Groups

Sustainable Sanitation Alliance (SuSanA) Working Group 8—Emergency & Reconstruction Situations – The objective of this working group is to combine the knowledge from experts in the fields of sanitation with the knowledge from experts in the field of emergency response and reconstruction. Resources on the website include a factsheet, a library, and the report, Preferences for Accessing Emergency WASH Knowledge.

Emergency WASH Google Group – The Global WASH Cluster and USAID manages this information sharing forum. Its purpose is to provide group members with current research, upcoming events, etc. related to WASH issues in emergency situations.

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USAID’s Global Waters – February 2019

USAID’s Global Waters – February 2019


The Infrastructure Upgrade, Reimagined
In Peru, a new cross-sector initiative supported by USAID and the Government of Canada is moving toward an expansive vision of 21st-century water infrastructure that includes natural ecosystems, ancestral approaches, and people themselves.

Turning on the Water
In northeast Syria, USAID is collaborating with local partners to restore essential infrastructure such as pumps and wells, providing clean drinking water to more than 300,000 people.

Global Waters in Focus
Take an in-depth look at the Securing Water for Food Grand Challenge for Development, an international partnership that has worked in 35 countries to accelerate innovation in agriculture.

New updates are regularly added to You may have missed:

In-Line Chlorinators for Water Treatment: Products and Studies

In-Line Chlorinators for Water Treatment: Products and Studies (February 21, 2019) emergencies

This google document was compiled by Tufts University and others and has:

  • Links to chlorine dosers and chlorine makers
  • A bibliography of chlorination studies
  • A chart that summarizes the chlorination studies

Please let us know if you have other products, manufacturers and studies to add to this list and we hope to update this listing on a periodic basis.

Global Waters – Turning on the Water: USAID Collaborates with Local Partners to Restore Water Access to Northeast Syria

Turning on the Water: USAID Collaborates with Local Partners to Restore Water Access to Northeast Syria. Global Waters, February 8, 2019.

“It really is an exciting thing to turn back on the water,” says USAID’s Development Advisor David Isaak. “It gives communities some sense of normalcy, that things are coming back to life.”

Before the outbreak of war in 2011, millions of Syrians had their water consistently delivered through a vast network of pipes and thousands of large-scale pumps. Nearly all Syrians enjoyed access to potable water, and massive man-made canals irrigated the arid northeastern countryside, which facilitated a productive agricultural economy.


USAID’s Syria Essential Services (SES II) project helped rehabilitate this well in southwest Syria and installed solar panels to power the pumps. Photo credit: USAID/SES II

The conflict took a heavy toll on the country’s infrastructure, often deliberately as a tool of war: aerial campaigns and/or improvised explosive devices targeted miles of water networks and destroyed thousands of water pumps. Other water pumps were simply abandoned after the massive civilian exodus.

Read the complete article in USAID’s Global Waters Stories.

Water, Sanitation & Hygiene Innovation Catalogue – Elrha, January 2019

Water, Sanitation & Hygiene Innovation Catalogue – Elrha, January 2019.

We are proud to present this catalogue as a collection of some of the most promising new solutions in WASH, offering the WASH practitioner community a unique opportunity to access over 30 innovations that could help to solve their most pressing problems.

Our WASH Innovation Catalogue is the first of its kind. It offers a unique overview of some of the most promising new solutions in WASH, and is designed to help practitioners decide which innovations could help them solve their most pressing problems. elrha

Taking an innovation from idea to scale can take years, and the innovations featured in this catalogue are all at different stages on that journey, but what this offers the WASH sector now is a look at the exciting work happening around the world to address common challenges.

The WASH Innovation Catalogue is written with and for humanitarian WASH practitioners and researchers. Our aim is for all innovations in the catalogue to appeal to and be understood by both WASH generalists and specialists.

We want both senior and less experienced WASH practitioners to be able to engage with any of the featured innovations and assess if they are relevant for solving their local or global challenges. The catalogue therefore assumes a certain level of understanding of WASH but includes highly technical terms only where this is essential for understanding the innovation concerned.