Tag Archives: Iraq

Young social entrepreneurs making waves with water-saving manual washing machine in IDP camps in Iraq

Young social entrepreneurs making waves with water-saving manual washing machine in IDP camps in IraqThe Washing Machine Project

In March 2019, Navjot Sawhney and Alex Hughes, both engineers and co-founders of the fledgling social enterprise The Washing Machine Project conducted research into clothes-washing habits across four IDP camps in Northern Iraq. Only 40% of IDPs living in the camps had access to an electric washing machine, meaning the majority of families still wash their clothes by hand. SONY DSC

In fact, of the 79 Yazidi families interviewed during their research in Chameskyu, Esyan, Shekhan, and Kanke camps, Sawhney and Hughes found that each family typically spends more than 12 hours a week hand washing clothes.

Many women also reported using chlorine or other chemical detergents to kill water-based bacteria with the aim of keeping their children safe, but suffered from skin irritation on their hands and arms as a result.

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Improving Handwashing in Humanitarian Crises: Methods for Researching Handwashing Practices and Behavior

Improving Handwashing in Humanitarian Crises: Methods for Researching Handwashing Practices and Behavior. by Sian White, Research Fellow, Hygiene and Behaviour Change, The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. CAWST Blog, October 11, 2017.

This year CAWST has been working with Action Contre Faim (ACF)and The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) to better understand handwashing practices among internally displaced people.

Working together on this project, this partnership brings together our experience and networks in academic health research, humanitarian operational experience in WASH and Mental Health, and development of educational material.

Left: A participant draws two images of himself, making one intentionally messy to symbolise his life falling apart. Right: The research assistant plots milestones on the timeline as the participant narrates her story.

Left: A participant draws two images of himself, making one intentionally messy to symbolise his life falling apart. Right: The research assistant plots milestones on the timeline as the participant narrates her story.

The general objective of the research is to develop deep understandings of the determinants of hand hygiene in emergency settings so as to contribute to the development of rapid and effective intervention tools; the ultimate goal of the research will be to equip emergency responders with the knowledge and tools to intervene rapidly and effectively on hygiene behaviour. The full findings of this research, including practitioner resources, will be available in 2018.

In this blog post, Sian White, the project’s lead researcher, shares four research methods she has been using and what these have revealed so far.

Read the complete blog post.

Iraq: Saddam’s prison toilet destined for US museum

Saddam Hussein's prison toilet as shown on a 2008 CNN report

The U.S. military is taking Saddam Hussein’s prison toilet home to be displayed in a military police museum, Reuters says.

The stainless steel commode and a reinforced steel door have been removed from the cell where the dictator spent two years before his 2006 execution. [..] The villa where American troops built a maximum-security jail for Saddam and his henchman Chemical Ali sits on a U.S. complex near Baghdad’s airport known as Victory Base, which is scheduled to be handed over to Iraq’s government in December as U.S. forces withdraw completely by year’s end.

The toilet was removed in August 2011. It is being shipped to the US Army Military Police Museum at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, said U.S. military historian Lieutenant Colonel Jerry Brooks. Chemical Ali’s standard-issue combination toilet-sink is still in place, he added.

To see how Saddam’s prison cell looked like, see a 2008 CNN video report.

Source: Jim Loney, Reuters, 07 Nov 2011 ; CNN, 27 Mar 2008

Cholera outbreak spreads in Iraq

Babel, a central Iraqi province, is on alert after Iraqi authorities declared it a disaster zone marking the country’s latest cholera outbreak. (…)

In a statement released on Thursday, WHO officials said “Experience has shown that long-term prevention of cholera depends on access to safe water and adequate sanitation to prevent exposure and interrupt transmission.

“Improving water and sanitation infrastructures is therefore a long-term goal of WHO and its partners in Iraq and, in times of outbreaks, it is essential that immediate measures, such as water treatment at household level, health education and proper case management, are implemented rapidly,” the statement said. (…)

Read all AlJazeera.net

Iraq: After 5 years of war, Iraqis desperate for water

Water and sewage are perennial challenges in {Iraq], where the overhaul of decrepit public works has been hindered by years of war and neglect.

Nearly a billion litres of raw sewage is dumped into Baghdad waterways each day — enough to fill 370 Olympic-sized pools.

[…]

Since 2003, the United States has spent about $2.4 billion on Iraq’s water and sanitation sector, and the Iraqi government has now taken over funding major construction. But the World Bank estimates that at least $14 billion is needed.

[…]

Acute cases of diarrhoea are three times more common in eastern Baghdad, where water service is most problematic, than in the rest of the city, the United Nations says. That side of the city has also seen a higher incidence of cholera.

[…]

[W]ater production now amounts to about 2.8 million cubic metres a day in Baghdad, still far below daily demand of 4 million cubic metres.

The state of Baghdad’s sewage system may be even more bleak. […] “There wasn’t a lot of focus from the (former) regime on the long-term consequences of dumping raw sewage onto river banks,” an official at the U.S. embassy said on condition of anonymity.

The United Nations says that sewage seeping and being dumped into water supplies has “grave implications” for Iraqis’ health and the environment.

Read more: Missy Ryan and Sattar Rahim, Reuters, 24 Aug 2008

Iraq: IDPs in tent camps continue to suffer – IOM

While the rate of people fleeing their homes in Iraq has decreased during the first half of 2008, daily life for the thousands of internally displaced persons (IDPs) living in tent camps remains grim, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said.

“Tent camp residents have little or no access to basic services, cannot protect themselves against the elements or extreme weather, and are located far away from medical care, education and other services,” the IOM statement said. “These harsh conditions, combined with a cultural aversion to living without familial privacy and personal dignity, make tent camps a last resort for Iraqi IDPs.”

[…]

IOM, the 125-nation migration body, described the miserable conditions in Iraq’s largest IDP camp, al-Manathira, which is 20km south of Najaf (about 160km south of the capital, Baghdad) and home to 231 families (about 1,400 individuals). It said “families who were evicted from public buildings live in cramped tents and caravans with limited sanitation and drinking water”.

A lack of family privacy – highly valued in Iraqi culture – combined with unemployment and overcrowding has caused “significant tensions” among the inhabitants, it said.

[…]

“[E]very five to 10 tents shares one toilet and that embarrasses families as they can’t have privacy and that is why we’ve dug a pit in one corner of our tent,” [al-Khafaji, a father-of-two said].

In Qalawa camp in the northern province of Sulaymaniyah, IOM said that a group of IDPs who had settled on a piece of open land two years ago still do not have sanitation, electricity or toilets.

They “live surrounded by garbage”, the report said. “As a result, cases of typhoid have recently been reported.”

Source: IRIN, 17 Aug 2008