Category Archives: Africa

Decolonising the WASH sector

Being true to #BlackLivesMatter. Report of an IRC Global Talk

BlackLivesMatter-Montreal-Martin-Reisch-Unsplash

Gay Village, Montreal. Credit: Martin Reisch/Unsplash

“The problem isn’t men, it’s patriarchy.
The problem isn’t white people, it’s white supremacy.
The problem isn’t straight people, it’s homophobia.
Recognize systems of oppression before letting individual defensiveness paralyze you from dismantling them”. (Ruchika Tulshyan, founder of inclusion strategy firm Candour)

This is not a quote you would expect to hear from an opening speaker in your usual WASH sector webinar, but the title of the IRC Global Talk on 16 July was anything but usual: “Decolonising WASH sector knowledge and decolonising systems thinking”.

On 18 June 2020, IRC posted a message from our CEO on Black Lives Matter with a commitment to the global struggle against racism. For this Global Talk, we found two, young undaunted voices to help IRC kickstart discussions on our commitments to #BlackLivesMatter. We asked them to elaborate on their recent provocative think pieces on decolonisation. First up was Euphresia Luseka, a WASH Governance Consultant from Kenya who wrote “Initiating De-colonization of WASH Sector Knowledge”, followed by the UK-based writer/facilitator and historian, Alara Adali who believes in “Decolonising systems thinking” for social change.

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Waste-to-Value Sanitation in Kakuma Refugee Camp

Waste-to-Value-Sanivation-Thumb

Market-based solutions are increasingly seen as having an important role in filling gaps in public services provision and bring increased efficiency to humanitarian assistance. UNHCR partnered with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) to investigate waste-to-value sanitation solutions for areas with difficult ground conditions in protracted refugee camp settings in East Africa. In response to a call for sanitation solutions for difficult ground conditions in refugee settings, Sanivation introduced an innovative market-based solution with a waste-to-value component to Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya.

This report examines the business model and financial model that Sanivation developed during the project and illustrates some of the real world challenges and opportunities for waste-to-value sanitation. It is hoped that the insights from this research will provide a useful reference for potential investors and entrepreneurs, as well as humanitarian practitioners looking to design self-sustaining waste-to-value sanitation services in refugee and low-resource settings in the future.

Download the full report.

 

Promoting Latrine Sales in CLTS Interventions through Integrated Sanitation Marketing – USAID ACCES

LEARNING BRIEF: Promoting Latrine Sales in CLTS Interventions through Integrated Sanitation Marketing. USAID ACCES, January 2020.

USAID/ACCES has found that hygiene and sanitation marketing is effective in generating demand for latrines and contributes to sanitation market development in both rural and peri-urban communities.

Key ACCES success factors include high levels of community engagement, active community leaders through the VMC model, and innovative financing mechanisms.

Below are recommendations derived from USAID/ACCES’ experience:

  • Establish fundamental success criteria to use in CLTS site selection.
  • Develop sanitation product models in advance through participatory approaches to ensure products are well adapted to CLTS sites.
  • Ensure a thorough mapping exercise to prevent targeting villages with active subsidized latrine projects.
  • Ensure sufficient locally-based human resources, in both quantity and quality, ideally: two community-level agents for each group of 5 – 6 villages, one to manage the CLTS/SBCC activities and the other to manage the income-generating activities (IGA)/financing activities.
  • Integrate existing community members and networks into the latrine marketing process (e.g. community leaders, women’s groups, community-based organizations, local entrepreneurs and service providers
  • Broker lending via microfinance institutions to pre-finance latrine purchases.
  • Train local networks to promote latrine sales to groups.
  • Include IGA training activities in the project to better support women’s groups in CLTS communities to generate income, which can be used to purchase latrines.
  • Encourage women’s groups in CLTS communities to promote Sagal latrines, to provide financing, and to participate in IGA training.
  • Establish a relationship between local health workers and community-based agents so that patients who do not have adequate hygiene and sanitation facilities at their homes can be referred by the health workers to the project actors.

Priorities for the WASH sector in Ethiopia: report from a multi-stakeholder forum

By María Florencia Rieiro, Independent WASH Consultant

The annual Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Multi-Stakeholder Forum (MSF) is the most important WASH sector event in Ethiopia with over 300 participants. The first WASH MSF was conducted in 2006 under the auspices of the European Union Water Initiative for WASH sector coordination. The Government Ethiopia’s WASH organisations (education, finance, health and water) took over the WASH sector coordination process later on and, since then, the Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Energy has led the National WASH Steering Committee and the organisation of the MSF.

2019 marked the 10th MSF for WASH and the 2nd MSFProceedings joint 10th WASH-WRM MulitiStakeholder Forum - cover for the Joint WASH-WRM. The event was held in Addis Ababa on 26th-27th November under the theme “Accelerating integrated, inclusive, sustainable and quality WASH services and water resources management for achieving the SDGs”. Among the WASH topics discuss, it is relevant to highlight equity, inclusion and accessibility in WASH, WASH marketing, WASH financing gaps and financing and equity, quality in WASH, sustainability in WASH, climate-resilient water safety planning and WASH sector institutional capacity building. The MSF 10 also comprised the launch of Ethiopia’s Open Defecation Free Campaign (2020-24).  

The MSF 10 full proceedings present the main highlights of the two days event together with the 12 priority undertakings for the year 2020. From the WASH side, the priority undertakings for 2020 are the following ones:

  • Improve the institutional capacity to deliver WASH services.
  • Increase the WASH sector financing.
  • Improve the business climate for the private sector and improve the private sector’s capacity to deliver WASH services.
  • Develop robust functional planning, monitoring, and a management information system for WASH.
  • Develop rollout national strategies and the ODF campaign 2024 to eliminate open defecation (and urination) in rural and urban areas, and to improve the access to safe sanitation with dignity.

Article for discussion – Impact of an intervention to improve pit latrine emptying practices in low income urban neighborhoods of Maputo, Mozambique

We are posting this research article for discussion and below is an abstract and link to the full-text. Please leave any comments or questions about the study in the Comments section:

Impact of an intervention to improve pit latrine emptying practices in low income urban neighborhoods of Maputo, Mozambique. International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health, Volume 226, May 2020. Authors: Drew Capone, Helen Buxton, Oliver Cumming, Robert Dreibelbis, Jackie Knee, Rassul Nalá, Ian Ross, Joe Brown

Link to full-text: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1438463919310260

Safe fecal sludge management (FSM) – the hygienic emptying, transport, and treatment for reuse or disposal of fecal sludge – is an essential part of safely managed sanitation, especially in towns and cities in low- and middle-income countries with limited sewer coverage.

The need for safe and affordable FSM services has become more acute as cities grow and densify. Hygienic pit-emptying uses equipment that limits direct human exposure with fecal sludge and hygienic transport conveys fecal sludge offsite for treatment.

We evaluated whether a program of on-site sanitation infrastructure upgrades and FSM capacity development in urban Maputo, Mozambique resulted in more hygienic pit-emptying and safe transportation of fecal sludge.

We compared reported emptying practices among multi-household compounds receiving sanitation upgrades with control compounds, both from the Maputo Sanitation (MapSan) trial at 24–36 months after the intervention. Intervention compounds (comprising 1–40 households, median = 3) received a subsidized pour-flush latrine to septic tank system that replaced an existing shared latrine; control compounds continued using existing shared latrines.

We surveyed compound residents and analyzed available municipal data on FSM in the city. Due to the recent construction of the intervention, emptying was more frequent in control compounds: 5.6% (15/270) of intervention compounds and 30% (74/247) of controls had emptied their on-site sanitation system in the previous year.

Among those compounds which had emptied a sanitation facility in the previous year, intervention compounds were 3.8 (95% CI: 1.4, 10) times more likely to have to done so hygienically.

Results suggest that the construction of subsidized pour-flush sanitation systems increased hygienic emptying of fecal sludge in this setting. Further gains in hygienic emptying in urban Maputo may be limited by affordability and physical accessibility.

Ethiopian CSOs’ contributions to the WASH sector

Ethiopia - WASH sector report 2017-2018

A new report presents data on contributions from 29 civil society organisations (CSOs) to the Ethiopian WASH sector in 2017-2018. The CSOs reached over 8 million people through the implementation of 658 WASH programmes with a total financial allocation that exceeded 2 billion Ethiopian Birr (US$ 61.9 million).

It also provides key recommendations and ways forward which relate to a) fostering the geographic diversification of WASH programmes; b) encouraging CSOs’ involvement in emergency areas; c) revisiting the urban sanitation and hygiene situation; d) focusing further on approaches to WASH that address gender disparities; and e) strengthening the existing national WASH platforms to foster further collaborations in the WASH sector and plan for more targeted WASH interventions.

The report was published the Consortium of Christian Relief and Development Associations (CCRDA) with support from Dorcas Aid, Hilfswerk der Evangelischen Kirchen Schweiz, WaterAid and World Vision.

Read the full report.

What Makes Ghanaians More Likely to Stop Open Defecation and Build Latrines?

What Makes Ghanaians More Likely to Stop Open Defecation and Build Latrines? Global Comunities, November 2019.

This brief focuses on the findings from studies in Ghana. This knowledge product is developed by Global Communities in order to make the findings and recommendations of the full report more accessible and actionable by the Government of Ghana Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources (MSWR) as well as by other development partners working in rural sanitation in Ghana. global

The Government of Ghana MSWR has basic sanitation guidelines to achieve 100% open defecation-free (ODF) status and equitable and adequate access to sanitation and hygiene for all by 2030, with special emphasis on the poor and vulnerable.

This knowledge product is part of the USAID-funded WASH for Health program to provide sustainable access to dignified, safe, and improved water supply and sanitation, and to educate people on the knowledge and behaviors necessary to live a healthy lifestyle. In particular, the WASH for Health program targets rural communities where these services are needed the most and helps achieve the goals of the MSWR in Ghana.

Key Findings

  • Factors that determine the success of CLTS interventions are attendance rate of participants during the triggering event, the number of community leaders participating in the triggering event, whether participants believed they would receive rewards like installation of water wells and materials for toilets, and the number of follow-up visits provided by facilitators weeks after triggering.
  • Households that socially identify strongly with their communities are more likely to construct latrines after CLTS interventions.
  • Combining CLTS with other behavior change models did not significantly increase intervention effects.

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.

WASH Debates – Sustainable WASH service delivery in fragile states: how far can you get?

What can actors in the WASH sector do to provide long-lasting and sustainable drinking water and sanitation services in the most fragile contexts? Should focus be on basic infrastructure delivery outside the state structures, knowing that conditions for ongoing service delivery would be weak? Should focus be on WASH systems strengthening, knowing that these systems are likely to remain weak? Should support go to the state, or rather to civil society organisations?

This edition of WASH Debates on “Sustainable WASH service delivery in fragile states” seeks to explore and discuss these questions on 20 November 2019 in The Hague, the Netherlands, from 17:00-18:30 CET.

Those unable to attend the WASH Debate in The Hague can follow the live stream on IRC’s Twitter page

Speakers include:

  • David De Armey, Director of International Partnerships at Water for Good, who supervises the organisation’s water sector partnerships in the Central African Republic
  • Dr. Afou Chantal Bengaly, Programme Manager at Wetlands International and lead of the Watershed empowering citizens programme in Mali
  • Ele Jan Saaf, founder and managing director of the Dutch consultancy company SaafConsult B.V and working for Wetlands International at the Watershed empowering citizens programme
  • Annette Rozendaal-Morón, policy officer at World Waternet, where she manages a team responsible for the Blue Deal Dji Don project in Mali, focusing on improving urban wastewater treatment.

For more information on the WASH Debate go to the IRC WASH website.

150,000 Refugee women and girls to receive transformative menstrual health management solution

The UN refugee Agency UNHCR and AFRIpads have just begun the largest rollout of reusable sanitary pad distribution and Menstrual Health Management (MHM) sensitization of refugees in Uganda. The project aims at benefiting some 150,000 women and girls in south-western Uganda. With this, UNHCR Uganda is putting critical spotlight on the challenges refugee women and girls face during their periods. In addition to providing the AFRIpads kit to refugee women and girls, they have been providing MHM capacity building since late September to equip hundreds of NGO field staff with the appropriate knowledge and tools dedicated to breaking taboo and stigma around the topic of menstruation.

The project is in response to a 2018 UNHCR and AFRIpads pilot study in South West Uganda, which found that:

  • The number of girls that reported missing school during their period was cut in half when using AFRIpads reusable pads
  • 84% of refugee schools girls indicating they would prefer to use AFRIpads over disposable pads

Read the full press release and the announcement (with photos) on the AFRIpads website.