Category Archives: Africa

Cities of tomorrow: improving sanitation and hygiene services in Babati, Tanzania

Cities of tomorrow: improving sanitation and hygiene services in Babati, Tanzania. WASHmatters, December 19, 2018.

One of the initial outcomes from the research is an agreement by town planners to include sanitation and hygiene in future Babati city planning. wateraid

In the town’s ‘spatial master plan’ the chapter on sanitation now reflects some of the research findings, which will help to ensure that the appropriate sanitation services are considered when it comes to planning the growing town.

The next step for the town is to put together an action plan for sanitation and hygiene services based on the agreed scenarios, and then mobilise resources to implement the plan. We will continue to support Babati as they move forward with their action plan.

Whilst urbanisation can present a lot of opportunities, it also throws up many challenges. This research demonstrates the importance of embedding sanitation and hygiene systems in town planning, and will hopefully be used to encourage and influence other growing towns in Tanzania.

It also illustrates that effective planning and stakeholder collaboration can help to ensure Tanzania’s cities of tomorrow have sustainable access to sanitation and hygiene.

The social dynamics around shared sanitation in an informal settlement of Lusaka, Zambia

The social dynamics around shared sanitation in an informal settlement of Lusaka, Zambia. Journal of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for Development, December 2018.

This study explored the social dynamics affecting collective management of shared sanitation in Bauleni compound of Lusaka, Zambia. journal.jpeg

Pit latrines were predominantly shared by landlords and tenants on residential plots. However, unwelcome non-plot members also used the latrines due to a lack of physical boundaries. Not all plot members equally fulfilled their cleaning responsibilities, thereby compromising the intended benefits for those conforming.

Landlords typically decided on latrine improvements independent of tenants. Latrines were not systematically monitored or maintained, but punishment for non-conformers was proportionate to the level of infraction. There was no system in place for conflict resolution, nor local organizations to regulate the management of sanitation.

Lastly, there were few enterprises associated with peri-urban sanitation. Social capital was moderately high, and tenants were willing to invest money into improving sanitation. The social dynamics illuminated here provide an important basis for the development of a behavioural intervention targeted towards improving urban sanitation.

Indigenous plants for informal greywater treatment and reuse by some households in Ghana

Indigenous plants for informal greywater treatment and reuse by some households in Ghana. Journal of Water Reuse and Desalination (2018) 8 (4): 553-565.

Poor greywater management is one of Ghana’s sanitation nightmares due to longstanding neglect. This study looks at local practices of informal phytoremediation, and identifies commonly used plants and benefits. Greywater (kitchen, bathroom and laundry) is mainly disposed of into the open, with few using septic tanks and soakaway systems.

The majority of respondents perceived plants as agents of treatment and most could list 1–2 beneficial functions of the plants. A total of 1,259 plant groups were identified which belonged to 36 different plant species. The top five indigenous plants used are sugarcane, banana/plantain, taro, sweet/wild basil, and dandelion.

The major plant benefits identified were food and medicine. Statistically, no association was identified between the numbers of plants grown and their perceived plant roles, with the exception of an association between plant numbers and benefits. There is demand for improving local practices of using plants in greywater treatment and reuse, since native plants also come with other benefits.

Involving local communities for sustainable WASH in Schools

This IRC WASH Talk podcast episode discusses the creative solutions Simavi and Aqua for All use in Africa.

The importance of WASH in schools has been globally recognised by its inclusion in the SDG targets 4.a, 6.1 and 6.2. WASH coverage in schools is not adequate. In Sub-Saharan Africa, 53% of schools have limited drinking water services, 14% have limited sanitation services and 21% have basic hygiene services. (Drinking Water, Sanitation and Hygiene in Schools: Global baseline report 2018)

In episode 20 of WASH Talk, host Andy Narracott talks about WASH in schools with Linda Lilian, Knowledge Management and Learning Specialist at Simavi Uganda and Machtelt Oudenhuijzen, Senior Programme Manager at Aqua for All and lead of the Football for Water programme.

Linda is involved in the WASH and Learn! programme which Simavi is leading with six local partners in Kenya,Tanzania and Uganda. Linda shares examples on generating income to maintain facilities in schools, involving school leaders, communities, parents and children. Policies differ per country so context specific solutions need to be found. Machtelt as lead of Football for Water, a unique programme in Ghana, Kenya and Mozambique, explains that it is difficult to motivate local stakeholders. Therefore, they advise on appropriate design, easy to clean facilities that are affordable and safe for children. Football for Water uses the game of football to instigate behaviour change in children and teaches them life skills.

For more on WASH in Schools click on the link

Shared Sanitation Management and the Role of Social Capital: Findings from an Urban Sanitation Intervention in Maputo, Mozambique

Shared Sanitation Management and the Role of Social Capital: Findings from an Urban Sanitation Intervention in Maputo, MozambiqueInt. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(10), 2222; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15102222

Shared sanitation—sanitation facilities shared by multiple households—is increasingly common in rapidly growing urban areas in low-income countries. However, shared sanitation facilities are often poorly maintained, dissuading regular use and potentially increasing disease risk.

In a series of focus group discussions and in-depth interviews, we explored the determinants of shared sanitation management within the context of a larger-scale health impact evaluation of an improved, shared sanitation facility in Maputo, Mozambique. ijerph-logo

We identified a range of formal management practices users developed to maintain shared sanitation facilities, and found that management strategies were associated with perceived latrine quality.

However—even within an intervention context—many users reported that there was no formal system for management of sanitation facilities at the compound level. Social capital played a critical role in the success of both formal and informal management strategies, and low social capital was associated with collective action failure.

Shared sanitation facilities should consider ways to support social capital within target communities and identify simple, replicable behavior change models that are not dependent on complex social processes.

Assessing equity: a way to improve sanitation service delivery in South African informal settlements

Assessing equity: a way to improve sanitation service delivery in South African informal settlements. Journal of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for Development, September 2018.

This paper discusses the need to incorporate equity assessment into the planning and monitoring of sanitation service delivery to South African informal settlements. Equity assessment criteria were drawn from literature and a study of sanitation service delivery to informal settlements in three South African municipalities (Cape Town, Johannesburg and eThekwini) over the period 2012–2015. wash

Three key dimensions of equity – resource allocation, access and stakeholder perceptions – were identified. These had eight associated criteria: (1) funds allocated for basic sanitation, (2) number of staff allocated to informal settlements, (3) disparities in access, (4) proportion of functioning sanitation facilities, (5) menstrual hygiene management (MHM) inclusion, (6) access to information, (7) meets users’ notions of dignity, and (8) integration of the perspectives of key stakeholders.

Key findings of the study indicate that the current focus on reducing service backlogs largely ignores equity and there is a need to better address this through the incorporation of: equity assessments, improving access to information, and the inclusion of marginalised communities in the planning of sanitation services.

Collective Efficacy: Development and Validation of a Measurement Scale for Use in Public Health and Development Programmes

Collective Efficacy: Development and Validation of a Measurement Scale for Use in Public Health and Development ProgrammesInt. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(10), 2139. ijerph-logo

Impact evaluations of water, sanitation, and hygiene interventions have demonstrated lower than expected health gains, in some cases due to low uptake and sustained adoption of interventions at a community level. These findings represent common challenges for public health and development programmes relying on collective action.

One possible explanation may be low collective efficacy (CE)—perceptions regarding a group’s ability to execute actions related to a common goal. The purpose of this study was to develop and validate a metric to assess factors related to CE. We conducted this research within a cluster-randomised sanitation and hygiene trial in Amhara, Ethiopia.

Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses were carried out to examine underlying structures of CE for men and women in rural Ethiopia. We produced three CE scales: one each for men and women that allow for examinations of gender-specific mechanisms through which CE operates, and one 26-item CE scale that can be used across genders.

All scales demonstrated high construct validity. CE factor scores were significantly higher for men than women, even among household-level male-female dyads. These CE scales will allow implementers to better design and target community-level interventions, and examine the role of CE in the effectiveness of community-based programming.