On the 25th and 26th of January the Climate Adaptation Summit 2021 will be organised online. As pre-event to the summit, the International Association of Students in Agricultural and Related Sciences (IAAS) organised a pre-event which brought 1500+ students together. The SMART Centre Group hosted one of the workshops under the title: “SMART Centres and smart solutions Increase resilience to climate change by building local capacity in innovative and affordable water and agriculture solutions”.
Henk Holtslag, Reinier Veldman presented on the SMART approach and SMART Centres and the link to Climate Adaptation and (Youth) Employment and Abraham Mehari covered the Smart Water for Agriculture project. The workshop generated a fruitfull discussion and provided input to the ‘Call to Action’ which will be presented by IAAS to The Netherlands Minister of Foreign Affairs during the Summit.
From the 18-21 January, the European Commission Directorate-General for International Partnerships and the Government of Slovenia, with the support of the Government of Portugal as the Presidency of the Council … Read more
In 2021, the Global Water Partnership (GWP) is organizing an interactive online series called the “Transboundary freshwater security governance train”. The series of online engagements sessions will be conducted in … Read more
The Netherlands Water Partnership recently developed a portfolio of ‘COVID-19 Water Technology and Services’. The portfolio is an overview of initiatives and Dutch companies who have services or products that can contribute to stop the spread of COVID and also monitor the spread. As part of the portfolio two cases work of the SMART Centres is mentioned and also the water filters of Basic Water Needs are included. Basic Water Needs has been a long term partner and supporter of the work of the SMART Centres.
IRC WASH Ethiopia is supporting Shashamane and Negelle Arsi woredas on knowledge management around COVID-19.
In partnership with Amref Health Africa under the WASH First COVID-19 Response Project, IRC WASH Ethiopia is supporting Shashamane and Negelle Arsi woredas on knowledge management. The purpose of the project is to coordinate COVID-19 prevention and control interventions at woreda, zone, region and national levels. The project will assist stakeholders to convene meetings and document learnings and plan review and distribution of relevant information and materials to the frontline health workers and communities.
On December 21, 2020, the project organised a planning meeting with the participation of project beneficiary woredas and towns in Hawassa. The head of Shashamane Town Health Office, Teshome Mohammed, was one of the participants at the meeting. He said the meeting discussed the future response activities and reached consensus on what action to take. Teshome learned that the project will support them on WASH infrastructure, personal protective equipment, and behavioural change communication. He also indicated working in collaboration with the government is effective.
At the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, the public took precautionary measures seriously, but overtime carelessness is creeping in. Therefore, this project is an opportunity for the community, according to Erko Bayicha, Negelle Arsi Woreda's Health Office Public Health Emergency Officer.
Samuel Girma is Amref Health Africa's WASH Project Manager. According to Samuel, Amref has supported the government's COVID-19 response. After reviewing their previous activities as a lead consortium member, Amref has planned for this new WASH First COVID-19 response on behalf of WASH SDG program consortium. He said that the aim of the planning workshop was to create synergy among different sectors working on COVID-19 response and to jointly plan for future responses. Samuel also added that IRC WASH Ethiopia will play a great role in documentation and knowledge management activities which could be used as learning for other actors working on the response.
So far, the project conducted a launching and familiarisation workshop, signed an agreement with regional signatories and prepared a 2021 operation plan. With the proposed knowledge management platform, six stakeholder meetings will be held to review the progress and provide support. The progress review will observe the status of agreed actions, feedback on materials, and adjustment of WASH-related content in response to the pandemic. Consequently, communities, health workers, schools and WASH service providers will have a better understanding of mitigation measures against COVID-19. The project will phase out by November 30, 2021.
Two Ethiopian districts, Shashamane and Negelle Arsi, are developing water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) master plans.
Shashamane and Negelle Arsi woredas' WASH SDG master plans are being developed with the support of IRC WASH under the WASH SDG Program. As the planning process nears completion, a validation and launching workshop was held in Hawassa Town from December 22 to 25, 2020. Various zonal and woreda WASH actors participated in the workshop.
The workshop discussed the planning process, the plans, the previous planning experience of the woredas, the reliability of the baseline information, how the plan can be endorsed by the Woreda Councils, and the way forward. Participants of the workshop were content with the discussion and ready to work together to successfully implement the WASH SDG master plans.
The master plans are an opportunity to acquire lots of lessons according to Ali Haji, the Shashamane Woreda Water Office Head. The support provided by IRC WASH and its coordinating efforts to get different WASH sectors on the same page was remarkable, and he said that ‘’this is a good example for other NGOs’’. According to their previous experience, the woreda did not have this kind of platform to collaborate with different stakeholders. He also added that to efficiently implement this master plan, the Woreda Administration will coordinate woreda WASH sector offices and non-governmental organisations to achieve WASH Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.
The master plan is a great input for the woreda’s Health Office and other stakeholders, according to Kedir Tahir, Head of the Negelle Arsi Woreda Health Office. He stated that the plan is a nice reference for WASH activities of the woreda. From the master plan, Kedir has learned a lot about the WASH status of his woreda and believes it will allow them to perform better in the future.
The master plan has charted out the budget needed for each activity. Teshome Herpasa, Negelle Arsi Woreda’s Finance Office Head, said that it is a great opportunity to build the capacity of their woreda on WASH. To get the budget needed to implement the plan they will collaborate with different governmental and non-governmental organisations and the public.
Samuel Girma, Amref Health Africa’s WASH Project Manager, said as an organisation working on hygiene and sanitation in both rural and urban areas, they will contribute their role, based on the developed SDG master plan. Additionally, as a WASH Alliance member, they will use the master plan to influence donors and get additional funds. He also stated that the master plan is comprehensive and will serve as guidance for future WASH activities.
Overall, the workshop underscored that the master plans should be presented and discussed at the woreda level, there should be an accountability mechanism in implementing the plan, and the woreda administrations should take the lead in implementing the master plan. It is suggested that annual plans and five year plans should be derived from the master plan.
The next steps of the SDG master plans’ development will be incorporating inputs from participants and endorsement by the Woreda Council. To effectively implement the SDG master plan, it was emphasised that all key actors are responsible to deliver on their roles and responsibilities.
In order to leave no one behind, decision makers and service providers need to examine common beliefs in measuring access to services.
This brief looks at how improved knowledge and skills in social inclusion are improving the capacity to identify excluded persons and advocate for WASH interventions to be accessible to all persons, especially for people living with a disability. It is based on a survey of 22 communities within Tarkwa Nsuaem Municipality, Ghana. The survey examined the characteristics of a random sample of 40 people living with a disability, and their environmental, institutional and attitudinal barriers to inclusion. The study concludes that in order to leave no one behind, decision makers and service providers need to examine common beliefs in measuring access to services.
The call for contributions is now open for the 42nd WEDC International Conference: Equitable and Sustainable WASH Services: Future challenges in a rapidly changing world.
The Conference will be held online from 13-15 September 2021.
The conference comprises three days of online presentations and interactive discussions of peer-reviewed content; agency events from international organizations working in the sector; online exhibitions; and the opportunity for delegates to meet and network in virtual rooms.
Climate change: weather extremes (e.g. floods and droughts) and water resources management, including but not limited to topics related to fundamental understanding, remote sensing, modelling and management strategies
Integrating disaster risk management into WASH interventions
Sanitation systems and services e.g. household and peri-urban approaches and faecal sludge management
Rural water supply e.g. approaches to sustainability and serving the hardest to reach communities and households
Innovations and advances in biowaste, wastewater treatment and waste to energy technologies e.g. anaerobic digestion, composting, thermochemical processing, resource recovery and circular economy concepts; and end-use applications
Urban water management
Institutional development and programme management
Data analytics, machine learning/AI applications in WASH
The 2020 Asia Water Development Outlook (AWDO), the just released flagship publication of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), introduced governance as a chapter and applied the OECD Water Governance Principles across AWDO’s five key dimensions of water security.
Among the Water Governance Principles, the 9th principle focuses on Integrity and Transparency. Based on a survey undertaken by OECD which provides a snapshot of governance gaps in the Asia Pacific area, AWDO underlined the low adoption of integrity practices and tools among the member states. It further establishes that less than 20% of the countries in the region have implemented relevant international conventions or institutional anti-corruption plans.
Poor integrity in water governance and management is a major barrier for achieving water security and resilience, which have been stated to be objectives of key sectoral stakeholders, including the ADB for the Asia Pacific region. For the first time, AWDO has specifically called for “mainstreaming integrity and transparency practices across water policies, water institutions, and water governance frameworks that are key for greater accountability and trust in decision-making, and effective implementation of water policies”. WIN welcomes AWDO’s initiative of highlighting the urgent need to strengthen integrity within the water sector processes among member states.
WIN has worked with numerous development sector partners, donors, and government agencies to promote integrity and good governance in water and sanitation. We have also established a set of Integrity Tools and practices, useful in strengthening institutional integrity, improving performances and taking measures that prevent corruption. Applying these tools in collaboration with government agencies and water utilities in the Asia Pacific region, has led to valuable lessons and practices that can be scaled up within countries and in the region.
Addressing integrity concerns requires each stakeholder to equally collaborate; otherwise, it can be very challenging to establish good governance. We encourage ADB and other regional partners to support the implementation of the AWDO recommendations on good governance, especially on integrity among the member states.
WSUP’s Chief Executive, Neil Jeffery, on how we have been adapting to what was a very unusual year.
2020 was a complex and difficult year. However, it was inspiring to see how our global team, supporters and partners pulled together in the face of unprecedented challenges.
Given the impact of the worldwide pandemic, the relevance of our work for low-income urban residents globally has never been clearer, and its value never greater. Our analysis and understanding of long-term continuous water supply and utility strengthening have never been more in demand from governments and partners.
While we all look forward to what the New Year will bring, it is worth taking some time to reflect on how we responded to what was a very unusual and challenging year for all of us.
Over the last year, we have had to re-orient the business, revise operational plans, change our working practices, strengthen our technology systems, and support our staff through shifting global conditions. Most importantly we have had to act at all times with an awareness of our responsibility not to increase risks for the urban communities that we work with.
We drew upon our experience of implementing major handwashing campaigns, combined with our unique relationship of trust with local utilities, to deliver rapid customer focused targeted communication to combat the spread of Covid-19.
WSUP is a lead partner in multiple cities in Kenya and Ghana for the delivery of the UK government and Unilever initiative – Hygiene & Behaviour Change Coalition (HBCC).
We are delivering targeted messaging in each city, using our detailed knowledge of utility customer billing, digital messaging, and mass communication to enhance the scale, speed and efficiency of impact. For example, Nairobi Water provides bills and payments by SMS and M-Pesa platforms to customers in the city’s informal settlements, about 70% of the urban population, which gives us an excellent opportunity to target specific COVID messaging to low-income households.
Many institutions have made commendable efforts to respond to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, with significant investment being directed towards ensuring water is available to all. However, it is worth reflecting on whether these efforts are the most appropriate mechanisms to facilitate better response to future emergencies. WSUP’s Director of WASH Sector Support, Kariuki Mugo, discusses ways that we could all be better prepared in this article.
Alongside the implementation of these immediate measures described above, WSUP continues to focus on promoting the long-term availability of financially viable water supplies, particularly for the poorest residents in cities
In 2020, WSUP continued to advance progress against its Strategic Goals established in our Business Plan 2020-2025, even in the face of Covid-19. We continued to scale up our award-winning SWEEP business model in Bangladesh which allows low-income customers to access high quality sanitation emptying services at an affordable price point, whilst maintaining the profit margin of local enterprises.
Amid heightened global attention on maintenance of continuous water supply to all city residents, WSUP continues to work through our Utility Strengthening Framework to help utilities manage these heightened challenges.
WSUP also continues to encourage governments and municipalities to invest in stronger utilities and embrace the transformative power of great customer service. Quite simply, individuals will pay for a service that they value, and will value a service that they pay for.
We would like to express our heartfelt thanks to all our supporters and partners for their continued assistance and encouragement in these challenging times.
Despite the difficult situation we find ourselves in right now, we remain optimistic that 2021 will be a year of renewed opportunities and hope, with much to be achieved. We continue to strive towards our commitment to bring clean water, safe sanitation, and hygiene to people who need it the most.
If you share this commitment, please support our work by donating here.
Progress has been made in recent years to bring attention to the challenges faced by school-aged girls around managing menstruation in educational settings that lack adequate physical environments and social support in low- and middle-income countries.
To enable more synergistic and sustained progress on addressing menstruation-related needs while in school, an effort was undertaken in 2014 to map out a vision, priorities, and a ten-year agenda for transforming girls’ experiences, referred to as Menstrual Hygiene Management in Ten (MHM in Ten).
The overarching vision is that girls have the information, support, and enabling school environment for managing menstruation with dignity, safety and comfort by 2024. This requires improved research evidence and translation for impactful national level policies.
As 2019 marked the midway point, we assessed progress made on the five key priorities, and remaining work to be done, through global outreach to the growing network of academics, non-governmental organizations, advocates, social entrepreneurs, United Nations agencies, donors, and national governments.
This paper delineates the key insights to inform and support the growing MHM commitment globally to maximize progress to reach our vision by 2024. Corresponding to the five priorities, we found that (priority 1) the evidence base for MHM in schools has strengthened considerably, (priority 2) global guidelines for MHM in schools have yet to be created, and (priority 3) numerous evidence-based advocacy platforms have emerged to support MHM efforts.
We also identified (priority 4) a growing engagement, responsibility, and ownership of MHM in schools among governments globally, and that although MHM is beginning to be integrated into country-level education systems (priority 5), resources are lacking.
Overall, progress is being made against identified priorities. We provide recommendations for advancing the MHM in Ten agenda. This includes continued building of the evidence, and expanding the number of countries with national level policies and the requisite funding and capacity to truly transform schools for all students and teachers who menstruate.
Infographic of the Biological Urban Sanitation project (BUSP) in Maputo
The Pia Fantastica toilet flushes with just one cup of water under an angle of 45 degrees and has no water seal. It has the convenience of a pedestal like a conventional ceramic toilet, and, if well installed, has no smell or fly problem. It is a toilet made out of concrete which can be produced for a price of just US$ 6.50 and is therefore attractive to the local sanitation market.
The Pia Fantastica was developed as part of the Biological Urban Sanitation Project (2016–2019) where Black Soldier Fly larvae were used for environmental friendly pit emptying.
The project has been translated into a social enterprise “Susamati” run by young professionals in Maputo, Mozambique. Setting up an enterprise is about building a team as well as marketing and sales. At this point, making a financially sustainable enterprise remains a challenge.
This is a guest blog by Joshua Azaki, a young professional from South Africa enrolled as a mentee in the 2020 RWSN Mentoring Programme. I was introduced to RWSN by Professor Ulrike Rivett in March 2018 and I signed up to receive updates about the activities of the RWSN. In 2019, when I received the … Continue reading "My experience of the RWSN Mentoring Programme"
Shared by Algeria, Libya and Tunisia, the North Western Sahara Aquifer System (NWSAS) is North Africa’s largest groundwater reserve, supporting the lives and livelihoods of 4.8 million inhabitants. A vital water … Read more
This biweekly update contains the latest updates to Globalwaters.org as well as recent studies and reports handwashing, sanitation, WASH in schools, WASH in healthcare facilities, water supply issues and COVID-19 and WASH.
Through Water for the World, USAID increases access to sustainable water and sanitation services, promotes key hygiene behaviors, and enhances the effective management of water resources in developing countries.
USAID also elevates the status of women and girls to empower them as decision-makers and professionals in the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) sector so they can lead the transformation of water and sanitation services in their own communities and countries.