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.
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.
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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.
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. SNV Tanzania, February 2019.
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? 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. 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.