Celebrating Gender Transformative Water, Sanitation and Hygiene in Vietnam

Celebrating Gender Transformative Water, Sanitation and Hygiene in Vietnam. by Elaine Mercer, IDS Blog, March 8, 2019.

Within the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) sector, gender issues are frequently reduced to the roles and experiences of women and within that often with a narrow focus on menstrual hygiene management. Although these issues are very important, many other central gender equality issues are missed or side-lined.

To celebrate International Women’s Day which focuses on gender balance this year, we are featuring innovative work in Vietnam by Women for Water in partnership with Thrive Networks/East Meets West.

In Vietnam, many women face challenges in accessing WASH services and facilities; eg lack of funds and information, exclusion from decision-making, poorly designed facilities along with restrictive gender norms.

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Photo Credit: Thrive Networks/East Meets West – Nguyen Van Phuc (father, left); his son Tien Manh; and wife Kim Chi stand next to their newly constructed hygienic latrine behind their house in Long Hung commune, Chau Thanh district, Tien Giang province.

Overcoming barriers to women’s access to hygiene and water

In the video interview below, Hanh Nguyen Hong (Thrive Networks/East Meets West) talks about how the Women-Led Output Based Aid (WOBA) programme in Vietnam is overcoming these barriers by facilitating gender transformative WASH.

WOBA is implemented in partnership with the Vietnam Women’s Union. The Union is a fantastic and well-connected mobilising force as it has 17 million members across the country at all levels, including village level.

Read the complete article.

OPINION: If you’re safe from cholera, thank my dad, a plumber (and thank the ancient Romans)

OPINION: If you’re safe from cholera, thank my dad, a plumber (and thank the ancient Romans). by Lindsay Denny, USA Today, March 11, 2019.

I come from a family of plumbers, and we’ve heard our share of plumber’s crack jokes. But there’s nothing funny about sanitation in public health.

My father once told me that plumbers were the original public health professionals. Growing up, I never gave the sentiment much thought. Mostly, I just heard a lot of plumber’s crack jokes as a kid, and our family’s vacation photos were punctuated with unique toilets my dad came across on our travels. That’s because plumbing is our family business — quite literally.

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The author and her father, Scott Denny, in Madrid, Spain, in 2016. (Photo: Family handout)

He and all of his brothers are plumbers, just like their father and uncle. Many of my cousins have worked for the family’s company at some point. Yet, even as I pursued a degree in global health, I never paused to consider the long-standing health impact of their work.

So I will never forget the look on my dad’s face when I told him that I had been hired to bring awareness to a newly recognized, massive gap in health care — the lack of clean water and sanitation, and by extension hygiene, inside tens of thousands of hospitals in developing countries.

Read the complete article.

Water Currents: WASH and Gender

Water Currents: WASH and Gender – March 5, 2019

USAID recognizes that gender equality and women’s empowerment are vital to the success of any development intervention. The Agency incorporates a gender-related component into all its activities, including those outlined in the U.S. Government Global Water Strategy and the USAID Water and Development Plan in support of the Strategy.

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Women and girls often bear primary responsibility for providing drinking water and sanitation to their families and are disproportionately affected when they have to travel to reach these services/facilities. Improved sanitation access is crucial to preserving the basic dignity of women and girls and reducing gender-based violence.

Under USAID’s Plan, water and sanitation programming will promote gender equality by increasing participation in leadership, consultation, education, and technical skills training. Menstrual hygiene management (MHM) is another critical way that water and sanitation activities can address women’s and girls’ empowerment by alleviating a major constraint to their participation in education and public life.

This issue contains gender-related studies and reports from 2017 and 2018 on MHM, gender issues related to water collection and water security, male participation in sanitation, and other topics. A special thanks goes to the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) for contributing content to this issue.

Read the complete issue.

Black Soldier Fly biowaste treatment – Assessment of global warming potential

Black Soldier Fly biowaste treatment – Assessment of global warming potential. Waste Management, Volume 84, 1 February 2019, Pages 173-181.

Cities of low and middle-income countries face severe challenges in managing the increasing amount of waste produced, especially the organic fraction. flies

Black Soldier Fly (BSF) biowaste treatment is an attractive treatment option as it offers a solution for waste management while also providing a protein source to help alleviate the rising global demand for animal feed.

However, to-date very little information is available on how this technology performs with regard to direct greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and global warming potential (GWP).

This paper presents a study that uses a life cycle assessment (LCA) approach to assess the GWP of a BSF waste treatment facility in the case of Indonesia and compares it with respective values for an open windrow composting facility. Direct CH4 and N2O samples were extracted from BSF treatment units and analyzed by gas chromatography.

Results show that direct CO2eq emissions are 47 times lower the emissions from composting. Regarding the overall GWP, the LCA shows that composting has double the GWP of BSF treatment facility based on the functional unit of 1 ton of biowaste (wet weight).

The main GWP contribution from a BSF facility are from: (1) residue post-composting (69%) and (2) electricity needs and source (up to 55%). Fishmeal production substitution by BSF larvae meal can reduce significantly the GWP (up to 30%).

Based on this study, we conclude that BSF biowaste treatment offers an environmentally relevant alternative with very low direct GHG emissions and potentially high GWP reduction. Further research should improve residue post-treatment.

 

Case Studies from Tanzania: Emotional Demonstrations of Handwashing with Soap at Vaccination Centres & Sustaining Open Defecation-Free Status

Case Studies from Tanzania: Emotional Demonstrations of Handwashing with Soap at Vaccination Centres & Sustaining Open Defecation-Free Status. SNV Tanzania, February 2019. snv

These case studies provide practical information for implementing innovative WASH interventions, and brief discussions on challenges and lessons learned by the SNV Tanzania team and their partners in communities.

Is Africa on Track to Achieve the SDGs on Sanitation?

Is Africa on Track to Achieve the SDGs on Sanitation? A review of progress on the Ngor Declaration on Sanitation and Hygiene. Africasan5, February 2019.

This report summarises the results of the Ngor Commitment Monitoring carried out by 39 countries. The purpose of the report is to provide a baseline three years on from the Ngor Declaration on Sanitation and Hygiene. The report provides an overview of the vision and commitments themselves and the actions required to make progress.

The 10 Ngor Commitments on Sanitation and Hygiene address the areas of the enabling environment that as a whole need to be in place to drive sanitation and hygiene progress. The results of the Ngor Commitment Monitoring show that the enabling environment for sanitation and hygiene is currently uneven.

Progress in the enabling environment for leadership and coordination, and government-led monitoring systems, is not matched for commitments such as waste management, eliminating inequality, and establishing budgets. Unless addressed, the areas of the enabling environment which are lagging behind will act as a drag on the entire sector and hinder realization of the Ngor vision.

Child Defecation and Feces Disposal Practices and Determinants among Households after a Combined Household-Level Piped Water and Sanitation Intervention in Rural Odisha, India

Child Defecation and Feces Disposal Practices and Determinants among Households after a Combined Household-Level Piped Water and Sanitation Intervention in Rural Odisha, India. Am Jnl Trop Med Hyg, Feb 18.

Significant predictors for disposing of child feces in an improved latrine were the primary female caregiver reporting using a latrine to defecate, the child’s age, and water observed at place for handwashing.

These findings suggest that child feces interventions should focus on encouraging children to begin using a toilet at a younger age and changing the common behavior of disposing of young child’s feces into open areas.