Category Archives: Latin America & Caribbean

X-runner – finalist in the GIE Digital Pitch contest

Global Innovation Exchange – Finalist in the 2018 Digital Pitch Contest

x-runner – We provide a non-conventional sanitation solution for families who live in informal human settlements in Lima and lack access to water and safely managed sanitation.

Innovation Description

X-runner offers a sustainable sanitation solution that provides urban households with a portable dry toilet and a responsible service that removes and converts the human waste into compost, thus improving the daily lives, health and environment of thousands of individuals. xrunner

Our non-conventional sanitation solution consists of a Container Based Sanitation (CBS) system which provides homes with a dry toilet of high technology and also includes the collection and responsible treatment of the generated waste and a continuous customer service support.

Once a week we pick up the feces from every household or respective collection points and bring them to the treatment plant, where they are transformed into compost, an ecological fertilizer. This is how we avoid that the families are in direct contact with the fecal waste as well as the accumulation or inadequate management of the feces.

Our clients pay a monthly fee of 12$ for the pick-up service. But as we offer this service to low-income households, it is subsidized by grants and prize money from international foundations.

We are also a founding part of the CBS Alliance which seeks to formalize CBS as a widely accepted and endorsed approach among municipalities and regulators, to help non-conventional sanitation services to reach scale, and to achieve sustainable impact in urban areas around the world. (http://www.cbsa.global/#/)

Can we regulate small and rural water supply and sanitation operators in Latin America?

Can we regulate small and rural water supply and sanitation operators in Latin America? Water Blog, June 2018. peru-colombia-field-visit-2.jpg

The recent reforms in the water supply and sanitation (WSS) legal framework in Peru has given the National Superintendence of Water Supply and Sanitation Services of Peru (SUNASS) a new role in the regulation and supervision of service providers in small towns and rural communities, expanding its regulatory action beyond the urban area scope.

Therefore, SUNASS needs to develop a regulatory framework and tools to effectively supervise around 28,000 small and rural operators, which provide service to 21% of the Peruvian population.

To achieve this goal, SUNASS, with the support of the World Bank, visited different WSS sector entities in Colombia which are responsible for the regulation, supervision and issuing policies regarding rural service provision. The objective of this South-South knowledge exchange was to gain valuable information from the Colombian counterparts about the challenges, lessons learned, and useful mechanisms for a successful reform process.

Read the complete article.

In Haiti, a Building Fights Cholera

In Haiti, a Building Fights Cholera. New York Times, September 12, 2017.

Next month marks the seventh anniversary of the cholera outbreak that ravaged Haiti. The disease, which can cause death within hours if left untreated, came less than a year after Haiti was rocked by an enormous earthquake that left hundreds of thousands dead and millions injured, displaced and destitute.

Haiti is prone to earthquakes and tropical storms — the island was spared the worst of Hurricane Irma last week — but the cholera outbreak was an anomaly; the disease had never before struck Haiti. It was brought in, it is widely believed, by United Nations peacekeepers from Nepal.

A child with cholera symptoms being examined in the Cholera Treatment Center in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Credit Dieu Nalio Chery/Associated Press

A child with cholera symptoms being examined in the Cholera Treatment Center in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Credit Dieu Nalio Chery/Associated Press

One of the world’s most infectious waterborne diseases, cholera spreads quickly and has proved extremely difficult to contain in Haiti. Over 10,000 have died and nearly a million have been stricken to date.

But one organization has managed to nearly eradicate it in a large slum in Port-au-Prince that lacks clean water and sanitation.

One of the game changers that would surprise most people, including global health experts, was actually a building.

It wasn’t just any building, but a very intelligently and beautifully designed one: the Cholera Treatment Center, operated by Les Centres Gheskio, an acronym that stands for the Haitian Group for the Study of Kaposi’s Sarcoma and Opportunistic Infections.

Read the complete article.

You Probably Don’t Want To Know About Haiti’s Sewage Problems

You Probably Don’t Want To Know About Haiti’s Sewage Problems. NPR: Goats and Soda, July 2017.

People dump trash and raw sewage into canals that run through Port-au-Prince, Haiti. When it rains, the canals overflow and flood poor neighborhoods. John W. Poole/NPR

People dump trash and raw sewage into canals that run through Port-au-Prince, Haiti. When it rains, the canals overflow and flood poor neighborhoods. John W. Poole/NPR

The rain began on Good Friday. It fell into the roofless ruins of Port-au-Prince’s Catholic cathedral. It swirled through stalls in the market downtown. In the hills above Haiti’s capital, the rain ran off the clay roof tiles of upscale homes.

No matter where the rain fell, it was all destined for the same place: the system of concrete canals that cut through the city and down to the sea.

At the edge of the city next to the shore, the rain pounded on the zinc roof of Jean Claude Derlia’s single-story cinder block home. His neighborhood, Project Drouillard, is dense with families packed into homes like his. Most people who grew up in Project Drouillard have stayed, as he has. The community is close-knit, poor and socially isolated from downtown Port-au-Prince.

It is also extremely vulnerable to flooding from the canal full of trash and raw sewage that bordered it on one side. After a rainstorm a few years ago, Derlia had been swept away by a wave of sludge and nearly died before neighbors fished him out. He was sick for weeks after it happened, but he survived.

Read the complete article.

Water and Sanitation Services: Rural or Urban Haiti First?

Water and Sanitation Services: Rural or Urban Haiti First? Huffington Post, June 16, 2017.

Low coverage rates for clean water and sanitation leave Haiti exposed to significant health burdens. According to the latest estimates, 72% of Haiti’s population lack access to improved sanitation facilities and use either shared facilities, other improved facilities, or defecate in the open. 

Faucets

Source: pexels.com

 

In urban areas, 66% of the population lacks access to improved facilities while in rural areas, 81% of the total population lacks access to improved facilities.

Between 2,000 and 4,500 people die each year from diarrheal disease. And the lack of basic water and sanitation services has contributed to the spread of waterborne diseases, including the cholera outbreak introduced by U.N. peacekeeping troops in 2010.

Better water and sanitation services would make it harder for such diseases to spread. But here, as in every other policy area, Haiti faces options.

Examining competing policy options is the purpose of the Haiti Priorise research project. More than 50 economists have written new research papers studying the costs and benefits of different proposals to improve the nation’s environmental, economic, and social conditions.

Read the complete article.

A Photographer’s Journey Into Haiti’s Cholera Crisis – National Geographic

A Photographer’s Journey Into Haiti’s Cholera Crisis. National Geographic, December 13, 2016.

After Hurricane Matthew hit, a silent killer struck the fragile country—again

The same rains that were spreading cholera across southern Haiti were blocking Andrea Bruce from getting to the story.

cholera-haiti-bruce-adapt-1190-1

The Elise Adventure Morija Church was completely swept away during Hurricane Matthew. Residents still hold services under a tent on the church’s foundation.

The National Geographic photographer had arrived a few weeks after Hurricane Matthew struck the island in October to document a new surge of cholera cases spreading across some of the country’s most remote areas.

When Bruce reached the mountainous epicenter of the cholera crisis, a town called Rendel, she found crumbled homes, some with just a door frame or a single piece of furniture left standing. Residents were scrapping together small shacks from the rubble.

Read the complete article.

Domestic Livestock and Public Health / Animales Domésticos Y Salud Pública

Small-scale livestock production plays an essential role as a source of income and nutrition for households in low-and middle-income countries, yet these practices can also increase risk of zoonotic infectious diseases, especially among young children.

The study upon which the video is based is: Detection of zoonotic enteropathogens in children and domestic animals in a semi-rural community in Ecuador. Appl & Env Microbiol, May 2016. Authors: Karla Vasco, Jay P. Graham and Gabriel Trueba.