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Can WASH deliver more than just sanitation?

By Suvojit Chattopadhyay

Brigdet Achweng Photograph WSSCCBrigdet Achweng Photograph: WSSCCThe abysmal state of access to safe water and sanitation facilities in the developing world is currently a major cause for alarm; 580,000 children die every year from preventable diarrheal diseases.

This is due largely to the 2.5 billion people around the globe who do not have access to safe sanitation. Not only can an effective WASH intervention save lives, it can also engineer changes in the social fabric of communities that adopt these behavioural changes. This points to a key attribute of a successful WASH intervention – that through these programmes, communities not only access a new service that improves their quality of life, but they also learn from being part of a concrete intervention that emphasizes equity and inclusion.

Ramsar COP 12 Adopts Declaration of Punta del Este, 16 Resolutions

Ramsar COP 129 June 2015: The 12th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (COP 12) agreed on four strategic priorities that link the wise use of wetlands to solving pressing issues, such as climate change and food and water security. Noting the loss of 64% of global wetlands since 1900, the final declaration calls for strengthening partnerships “beyond those responsible for the operation and maintenance of Ramsar Sites and important wetlands,” to enhance the Convention’s implementation.

In total, COP 12 delegates adopted 16 resolutions, including the ‘Declaration of Punta del Este’ that aims to enhance the visibility of the Convention, demonstrate parties’ strong commitment to the new Strategic Plan for 2016-2021, and underline the relationship between wetlands and other global environmental issues.

Exploring the sustainable development potential of sanitation in Africa

By Caspar Trimmer and Linus Dagerskog

Exploring the sustainableProductive sanitation, taken to scale, could be a key to broad-ranging sustainable development in many African countries. An SEI side event at AfricaSan 4 revisited past experiences for lessons on how to make it happen.

Food security and access to decent sanitation and hygiene services are fundamental to healthy and productive lives; but far too many people in low- and middle-income countries lack both. In sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) a quarter of the population were undernourished in 2011-2013, 80% have no electricity access, and a staggering 70% – 640 million people – still use substandard sanitation systems or none at all, despite marked improvements in recent years.

Ethiopia: A Strong Case for Investment in Sanitation

By Bjorn Lomborg

Siegfried Modola IRINPhoto: Siegfried Modola/IRIN File photo.There are plenty of things, which those of us lucky enough to live in the industrialised world take for granted; running water and flush toilets are among the most basic of these. 2.5 billion - almost half the developing world - lack even a basic latrine and one billion have to resort to what is politely known as open defecation. In Ethiopia, over 58.6 million people in rural areas still lack basic sanitation, and across sub-Saharan Africa it affects almost 450 million people.

Ecological Latrines Catch on in Rural Cuba

Pastor Demas RodríguePastor Demas Rodríguez shows a dry composting toilet in the town of Babiney, in the eastern Cuban province of Granma. Credit: Jorge Luis Baños/IPSMost people in Cuba without toilets use the traditional outhouse. But an innovative, ecological alternative is catching on in remote rural communities.

So far 85 dry latrines have been installed in eastern Cuba – the poorest part of the country – thanks to the support of the non-governmental ecumenical Bartolomé G. Lavastida Christian Centre for Service and Training (CCSC-Lavastida) based in Santiago de Cuba, 847 km from Havana, which carries out development projects in this region

“Over 70 percent of these toilets are in San Agustín, a town in the province of Santiago de Cuba. The rest are in Boniato and the municipality of Santiago de Cuba, in that same province; and in Caney, Babiney and Bayamo, in the province of Granma,” CCSC’s head of social projects, César Parra, told IPS.

 

                           


            

Current Issue: Africa Water & Sanitation & Hygiene March-April 2017 Vol.12 No.2