Devex President & CEO Raj Kumar on the connection between climate change and global health; a final push on the health MDGs, with particular focus on toilets and saving lives at birth; and health systems in fragile states taking center stage.
Half the hospital beds in developing countries are filled with people suffering from diseases caused by poor water, sanitation and hygiene. So are water, sanitation, and hygiene projects a “Best Buy for Global Health?” You’ll have to tune in tomorrow from 3-5 p.m. to find out!
TOMS is launching into the coffee market. Announced at South by Southwest, TOMS Roasting Co. offers six varieties of coffee, and they are advertising that each bag will deliver a week’s worth of clean water for one person. In planned TOMS cafés, one cup of coffee will be advertised to provide one day of clean water for one person.
After a long day of presentations and discussions to better understand the current situation and learn from each other’s experience in markets for sanitation, the second day of PSI’s recent sanitation conference took on an entirely different mood: it’s time to think outside the box, be innovative and apply the lessons we’ve learned to addressing the key blockages.
With nearly 170 participants registered, 21 countries represented, countless organizations and specialties and the loud buzz of excited conversation, the first ever Unclogging the Blockages in Sanitation workshop in Kampala got off to a great start. Day 1′s goal was to Understand the Blockages: an entire day dedicated to informing participants of the challenges faced within the sanitation sector.
Despite growing attention to sanitation being paid by donors and governments, and the declaration by the United Nations that access to basic sanitation is a human right, progress remains slow. In an effort to get things moving (pun intended), on Tuesday, February 18, the first ever Unclogging the Blockages in Sanitation workshop will commence in Kampala, Uganda.
By Ashish Karamchandani, Founder, Monitor Inclusive Markets, Monitor Deloitte
Lack of sanitation is a major problem. More than 1 billion people defecate in the open. Lack of access to hygienic sanitation is responsible for 2.7 million deaths every year.
The issue is acute in India. Some 67% of rural Indian households do not have toilets. Of all the people in the world who defecate in the open, 600 million live in India.
The Government of India recognizes this issue and has approved subsidies to increase rural sanitation coverage. However, these have not had the desired impact.
Bihar is one of the Indian states with the lowest toilet coverage (~18%). The Supporting Sustainable Sanitation Improvements project, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is intended to address this problem. It facilitates the supply of toilets from the private sector in the rural parts of 8 target districts in Bihar state.
PSI is the lead grantee of this project. Monitor Inclusive Markets had a 6 person team work on an intensive 5 month initial Landscaping phase. In this phase, we followed a rigorous analytical process, studying the sanitation landscape in Bihar, and performed extensive customer research and value chain mapping, to develop private sector-based business models that could scale rural sanitation.
The findings were fascinating.
PSI and Global Communities hosted a USAID delegation in Liberia’s Bong county, earlier this month. The delegation was visiting sites the USAID-funded Improved Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (IWASH) Project. Leading the delegation was USAID Global Water Coordinator Chris Holmes.
The IWASH project helped sixty-one communities reach open defecation free status in July 2013. A total of 120 communities are targeted in the effort, the program projected to reach 100 communities open defecation free by September.
“The Improved Water, Sanitation and Hygiene program is not just focused on bringing one group communities to ODF status, but the goal is to develop the structures and capacity of National, County and District Government”, said IWASH Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) Project Manager, Madam Elizabeth Geddeh, in July.
The CLTS approach is a crucial part of both improving sanitation at the community level and ensuring that it lasts. Outlined in a 2012 document, CLTS will be spread at the local level through the IWASH project.
A recent news story in Shout Africa covered the visit by the USAID delegation:
In rural Liberia access to water and sanitation facilities is very low, a leading contributor to the spread of water-borne diseases which are one of the major causes of death amongst Liberians, especially children.
Additionally, open defecation is commonly practiced in these rural areas, which spreads disease and contamination. USAID IWASH activities are addressing these issues in three counties: Lofa, Nimba, and Bong.