Category Archives: Emergency Sanitation

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.

eSOS Toilet: An Answer To Kenya’s Sanitation Challenge

eSOS Toilet: An Answer To Kenya’s Sanitation Challenge. Interesting Engineering, January 3, 2018. esos

The smart sanitation solution provides the basic hygiene to those who need it the most.

In the time of emergencies or following a natural disaster, the availability of proper sanitation facilities is always a concern. Undeniably, poor sanitation can often kill as many people as the disaster itself.

This becomes a critical issue, particularly in the temporary camps during the recovery process. Temporary toilet facilities are also responsible for pathogens spreading through a high groundwater table or flooding.

To improve this situation, IHE Delft, the world’s largest international graduate water education facility located in the Netherlands, has developed an emergency Sanitation Operation System (eSOS).

It is a holistic, sustainable and affordable sanitation solution for countries like Kenya, where open defecation is still in practice and also during the aftermath of a disaster.

As a matter of fact, eSOS toilet had a successful test run in the Philippines and its second prototype will soon be tested in Nairobi, Kenya.

What is eSOS? Let’s Take A Deeper Look

Reinventing emergency toilet and treatment facilities, eSOS uses information and communication technology (ICT) to cut down the expenditure of the entire sanitation management chain.

These new and innovative toilet systems can enhance the life quality of the people in proper sanitation need and also reduces the health risks.

Read the complete article.

Desalination in humanitarian situations

Dear Colleagues:

We were asked to compile a bibliography on this topic and have set up a shared google document.

The search results were kind of disappointing so please let us know if you have other studies or resources to add and we will try to keep an ongoing bibliography of the latest studies on desalination.

We also received requests to prepare bibliographies on the role water utilities in humanitarian situations so that will be the topic of the next biweekly update. Just let us know of any other topics that you are interested in.


A Road Map for Small-Scale Desalination: An overview of existing and emerging technology solutions for cost-efficient and low-energy desalination in South & Southeast Asia. OXFAM, May 2018. This report identifies the existing and emerging desalination technologies available (globally) and prioritizes their appropriateness, effectiveness and potential scalability in terms of their cost, efficacy of treatment, energy requirements and sustainability.

Marine Current Energy Converters to Power a Reverse Osmosis Desalination Plant. Energies, October 2018. The topic of this paper is utilization of marine current energy converters (hydro-kinetic energy) for powering desalination plants.

Applicability of Desalination Systems to Drought Relief Applications. US Navy, November 2018. Congress tasked the Navy to write a report on desalinization technology’s application for defense and national security purposes to provide drought relief to areas impacted by sharp declines in water resources. The general answer is: desalination is absolutely applicable to drought relief applications.

Effectiveness of Membrane Filtration to Improve Drinking Water: A Quasi-Experimental Study from Rural Southern India. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, November 2016. For this report, we evaluated a source-based, low-pressure membrane filtration system which operates without electricity or conditioning materials such as glycerol or ethanol and has been used in emergency and disaster relief situations such as after the tsunami of 2004 in Sri Lanka, India, and Indonesia, and other humanitarian installations in 16 other low-income countries.


Safe drinking-water from desalination: Guidance on risk assessment and risk management procedures to ensure the safety of desalinated drinking-water. WHO, March 2011. This WHO guidance document is health-focused and it builds on the publication “Desalination technology: health and environmental impacts. ”

Tapping the Oceans: Seawater Desalination and the Political Ecology of Water. Edward Elgar Publishing, November 2018. Through a series of cutting-edge case studies and multi-subject approaches, this book explores the political and ecological debates facing water desalination on a broad geographical scale.

Water desalination in the Gaza Strip: Al Salam RO brackish water desalination plant case study. WEDC Conference, 2017. This paper presents the details of the implementation of a medium scale brackish water desalination plant constructed in eastern Rafah – Gaza by Oxfam and its partner the Coastal Municipalities Water Utility.

Innovative approaches for the construction of Gaza’s largest seawater desalination plant. Waterlines, July 2017. Seawater desalination is an energy-intensive process and, given the limited availability of electricity within Gaza, UNICEF has focused on identifying innovative means of generating and conserving energy to tackle the energy–water nexus by incorporating renewable energy and energy recovery to maximize the plant’s viability.


Oman Humanitarian Desalination Challenge – The Challenge is a joint initiative led by MEDRC Water Research and The Research Council Oman with funding provided by The Sultan Qaboos Higher Center for Culture and Science. The challenge seeks to create a hand-held, stand-alone, low-cost, desalination device for short-term use and rapid deployment following a humanitarian crisis.

Water Purification Breakthrough Uses Sunlight and Hydrogels. UT News, April 2018. The ability to create clean, safe drinking water using only natural levels of sunlight and inexpensive gel technology could be at hand, thanks to an innovation in water purification.

Desalination: Water for an Increasingly Thirsty World. Europe Now, December 10, 2018. Desalination technology is neither new nor perfect. Several technologies currently are used to desalinate water, and a combination of different challenges and application needs creates a situation where no single technology is a perfect fit for all situations.


International Desalination Association (IDA) – IDA is the world’s leading resource for information and professional development for the global desalination industry – and the only global association focused exclusively on desalination and water reuse technologies.

Emergency WASH Update – December 14, 2018

Blog Posts

Where are the evidence gaps in the water, sanitation and hygiene sector? Evidence Matters, December 12, 2018.
Going forward, there is still a lot we don’t know and, beyond looking at new, innovative technologies, there are a few gaps (or opportunities) the sector needs to look at if we want to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): More studies on vulnerable populations: We found no studies that looked at (or even captured information on) people living with a disability. We found one rigorous impact evaluation focusing on people living with HIV, two on refugee camps, and one on people living through, or in the immediate aftermath, of a humanitarian crisis.

Sandra Ruckstuhl on Capturing Practical Lessons on Water, Conflict, and Cooperation. New Security Beat, December 14, 2018.
We realized “there was a need for a toolkit on water,” says Sandra Ruckstuhl in this week’s Water Stories podcast, “with a focus of conflict and conflict mitigation, but also peacebuilding.” Ruckstuhl, a consultant for the World Bank who has researched water programs in Yemen and the Middle East, helped the Wilson Center produce USAID’s Water and Conflict toolkit.

Handwashing Station Almost Ready for Action. Elrha, December 2018.
Oxfam’s Promotion and Practice Handwashing Kit is a robust, user-friendly handwashing station that is easily set-up in the immediate aftermath of a disaster, allowing for improved, timely handwashing at critical moments and reducing people’s health risks in emergency displacement camps.

Sharing Experiences and Advocating for Improved MHM Action in Emergencies. Elrha, December 2018.
IFRC’s project aims to improve actions to address the menstrual hygiene needs of women and girls in humanitarian contexts. Evidence-based lessons and resources from operational research in East Africa on innovative ‘MHM kits’, along with other IFRC experiences, will be consolidated and disseminated globally.

Human Rights Day: WASH during Emergencies. CLTS Foundation, December 2018. This article discusses some of the hardware and software innovations for WASH during emergencies.

New Academic Programs in the Field of Humanitarian Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene at GJU. German Jordanian University, December 2, 2018.
The president, Bioforce Institute Director of operations, and the ACF Regional Representative signed a cooperation agreement to launch the preparation phase for a Humanitarian WaSH academic program with funding from USAID/OFDA.


Water, Sanitation and Hygiene in Post-Emergency Contexts: A study on establishing sustainable service delivery models. UNHCR and Oxfam, December 2018.
As many humanitarian crises are protracted in nature, emergency WASH services need to be sustained once humanitarian agencies depart. This report aims to review and identify alternative service delivery options, and to provide some pragmatic guidance that can be incorporated into emergency response programs and tested, evaluated and built on in the future.

Book Reviews

Health in Humanitarian Emergencies: Principles and Practice for Public Health and Healthcare Practitioners. 2018. Edited by David Townes, Mike Gerber, and Mike Anderson. 485 pp. Cambridge University Press. There is no doubt that every humanitarian health professional should have this book on their desk when planning, implementing, and evaluating humanitarian interventions.

USAID Water Office Emergency WASH Resources

The USAID website has an Emergency WASH page which contains links to key Emergency WASH organizations and publications.

Selected Articles from Global Waters on Medium – USAID Global Waters tells the story of USAID’s water-related efforts around the globe.

Selected 2018 Issues of Water Currents – Water Currents is a biweekly compilation of recent research on a specific WASH topic.

Emergency WASH in the News

Below are links to recent news items on Emergency WASH situations as well as news from USAID/OFDA efforts and resources from the World Health Organization on disease outbreaks. emergencies

Emergency WASH News Alerts

EU and UNICEF working together to prevent and control cholera in Zimbabwe …Reliefweb-Nov 30, 2018 – The contribution will fund critical watersanitation and hygiene (WASH) … soon as possible,” said Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management … the European Union helps millions of victims of conflict and disasters every year.

Many African countries are flooding, risking decades of development if …Phys.Org-Nov 30, 2018 – Health emergencies, including cholera outbreaks, can emerge due to poor … will make it harder to achieve SDG 6– ensuring access to water and sanitation for all. … Policy makers often see flooding as a humanitarian issue only – they must be …

UN expert: Orang Asli, refugees don’t have access to drinking water …  Free Malaysia Today-Nov 27, 2018 Special Rapporteur on human rights to safe drinking water and sanitation Leo Heller says the government should carry out a baseline survey to improve water …

UNICEF Indonesia Humanitarian Situation Report No. 4 (12 – 25 … ReliefWeb-3 hours ago Needs assessments identified clean watersanitation and hygiene, health and nutrition, recovery of infrastructure and public services, shelter, protection, food, …

To beat cholera, what is most needed is a reliable drinking water supply Medical Xpress-2 hours ago – To beat cholera, what is most needed is a reliable drinking water supply … diarrhoeal diseases relating to unsafe watersanitation and hygiene cause over 1,000 deaths a day in Africa … The humanitarian sector is increasingly committed to the …

Yemen – Complex Emergency Fact Sheet #3, Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 = ReliefWeb-15 hours ago Humanitarian organizations recorded a significant reduction of hostilities in Yemen’s … Health, nutrition, and watersanitation, and hygiene (WASH) actors have …

Lack of Preparedness Hampered Response to Cholera Epidemic in Yemen … Infection Control Today-21 hours ago – Humanitarian organizations implemented a robust response to cholera despite … in complex humanitarian emergencies with weakened public health systems. … both health facilities as well as water and sanitation infrastructure from airstrikes.

News from USAID OFDA

Crisis in the Philippines | Disaster Assistance Archives | U.S. … – usaid 6 days ago – In response, USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance provided more than $800,000 in humanitarian aid including basic shelter assistance, relief supplies, and water, sanitation, and hygiene support to people affected by the storm. … To date, USAID has contributed $13.5 ..

World Health Organization Resources

Ebola Situation Reports

Disease Outbreak News