Tag Archives: urban poor

Poor sanitation in Indonesia hits kids hard

Jan 27, 2011 – Changing a mindset is easier said than done.

In Indonesia, public awareness of the importance of hygiene remains low. About 30 percent of the total population of about 240 million, for example, still practice open defecation, according to government figures.

Experts point out that insufficient sanitation management and poor awareness of hygiene practices have led to preventable diseases, and children are among those affected most.

About 18.6 percent of children in Indonesia suffer from malnutrition and diseases such as respiratory infections and diarrhea, according to MercyCorps, a nongovernmental organization working to reduce urban poverty.

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USAID grant – African Urban Poor-Improved Water and Sanitation

African Urban Poor – Improved Water and Sanitation (AUP-IWS) APS

Creation Date: Mar 09, 2009
Current Closing Date for Applications: Feb 08, 2010
Funding Instrument Type: Grant

Category of Funding Activity: Natural Resources

Award Ceiling: $4,500,000
Award Floor: $1,500,000
CFDA Number(s): 98.001 — USAID Foreign Assistance for Programs Overseas
Cost Sharing or Matching Requirement: Yes

The purpose of this Annual Program Statement (APS) is to disseminate information about the United States Agency for International Development(USAID) African Urban Poor Improved Water Supply and Sanitation Program (AUP-IWS) APS.

USAID anticipates awarding a maximum of three assistance instruments from applications submitted in response to this APS during the first initial round. It is anticipated that grants will be funded for amounts between $1,500,000 and $4,500,000 for the life of proposed projects.

Link to more information

Conserve/India – handbags from recycled plastic creates jobs for urban poor

conserve1Trashy Fashion From India

Plastic bags are a plague. They can be found in just about every corner of the planet— in fields, trees, rivers, oceans and even in the stomachs of birds and sea creatures around the globe.

They don’t biodegrade in landfills and almost every piece of plastic ever made is still in existence today.

Enter Anita Ahuja, founder and president of Conserve, based in India. Anita has come up with a way to upcycle the plastic bags plaguing her region and also help numerous people find gainful employment. The result is Conserve’s stunning range of bags made from recycled plastic. We caught up with Anita to ask her a few questions about her fashionable eco-bags and her amazing enterprise.

Please tell us a bit about Conserve.
Along with support and encouragement from my family and friends I established Conserve, a non-profit organization in 1998 with a mandate to work in the area of energy efficiency and waste management. In 2002, Conserve started working on developing an alternative recycling or rather up-cycling process that uses abundantly and freely available bags as a resource for income generation for the urban poor through their conversion into a “renewed” material which we call HRP – Handmade Recycled Plastic.

Conserve has trained people from urban slums of Delhi to process waste into recycled sheets, which is more energy efficient and environmentally friendly than conventional recycling processes. This process converts used polythene bags into a ‘renewed’ innovative material with significantly different properties and great visual appeal, without the use of any additional colour or dyes.

Conserve’s process of recycling is far more environmentally and energy friendly than the conventional plastic recycling process. Moreover, it is very good for the environment as it uses existing everyday skills of local people. Now Conserve is supporting nearly 100 rag pickers and has about 50 employees working for them.

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India – Mumbai Municipal Corporation’s Slum Sanitation Program (SSP

Walking on the streets of Mumbai, I have stuffed a hand-kerchief to my nose and hurried past defecating children who looked up at me, their innocent faces, not deserving any of my disgust. From the window of a local train, I averted my eyes when I saw men squatting beside railway lines relieving themselves. I observed, sometimes in just plain disgust the one crumbling communal toilet at the very center of a convoluted maze of slums where a line of people with tattered, leaky plastic buckets stood patiently.

Stuck in a traffic jam, I let my mind wander and imagined how scary it must be for these people and their children to crouch in such a toilet with no electricity in the dead of the night, the fear of vicious stray dogs, drug addicts, lurking child molesters looming over their heads. What did they do when they had diarrhea or when a woman or a teenage girl had her period, I wondered.

I was selfish. I was sickened by the thought that when monsoons arrived, I would likely be walking in knee-high water that had dissolved all the muck. Flies and mosquitoes thrive on this filth and bring bouts of malaria and gastroenteritis during the monsoons. And all this stagnates in the middle of our nation’s commercial capital. We fear terrorist attacks and riots but have the makings of an epidemic growing in front of our very eyes.

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UNDP – Strategies for Doing Business with the Poor

Creating Value for All: Strategies for Doing Business with the Poor is the new and groundbreaking report by the UN Development Programme (UNDP). Over a billion people do not have access to drinking water, 1.6 billion do not have access to electricity and 5.4 billion have no access to the Internet. Yet the poor have a largely unexploited potential as consumers, producers, innovators and entrepreneurs.

Creating Value for All showcases 50 examples of local and international companies successfully integrating the poor into their business models to create wealth, spur growth and spark social change. Moreover, the report offers tools for businesses interested in more inclusive markets.

  • Full-report
  • Executive Summary
  • Case Summary 6 – India: Sulabh International, Implementing a low cost, safe sanitation system – Since 1970, Bindheshwar Pathak’s Sulabh International has worked to liberate India’s scavengers by employing low-cost, safe sanitation technology. Over the course of three decades Sulabh has built a commercially viable business model—with a significant development impact. Sulabh has developed 26 toilet designs for varying budgets and locations, training 19,000 masons to build low-cost twin-pit toilets using locally available material. It has also installed more than 1.4 million household toilets, and it maintains more than 6,500 public pay-per-use facilities. Its technology has freed 60,000 people from life as a scavenger, offering programmes to reintegrate them into society.

    Case Summary 9 – Morocco: Lydec, providing electricity, water and sanitation – In 1997, the Moroccan authorities picked LYDEC, a private-sector consortium managed as a subsidiary of SUEZ Environment, to manage Casablanca’s electricity, water and sewage networks under the National Initiative for Human Development. The goal of the 30-year management contract was to provide access to essential services—electricity, water and sanitation—to the residents of Casablanca, including the poor living in shantytowns or illegal settlements. LYDEC has significantly increased the number of people with access to electricity and water services by partnering with the government and working closely with local users through a network of street representatives.

    Case Summary 12 – South Africa: Amanz’ abantu, water for the people – Before the arrival of Amanz’ abantu, villagers—mainly rural women—had to walk up to several hours to obtain water from the nearest river. And they were still vulnerable to waterborne diseases. Bringing a safe water supply within 200 metres of homes transformed the lives of rural residents, equipping villagers with skills in building and construction and making them employable in a country with 25 percent unemployment. The case details the contentious reception for private-sector involvement in water provision and how the company overcame the obstacles to address a social problem and earn a profit—$67,000 in 2006.

    Uganda – 80% slum dwellers lack pit-latrines

    CLOSE to 80% of slum dwellers in Kampala lack access to toilets, a study conducted by Action Aid International has said.

    The study that was carried out in Kawempe division attributed the problem to inadequate funding by the Government to the water and sanitation sectors.

    “It is rather unfortunate that in this era, 79% of the slum dwellers can’t access toilets. This has compounded the sanitation problem,” said country director, Charles Busingye.

    Read More – New Vision Online

    According to the population census of 2002, there are over 1.5 million people living in Kampala slums.