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10-year anniversary of the recognition of the human rights to water and sanitation at HLPF

During the High-Level Political Forum, a side-event will be hosted on 7 July on the 10th Anniversary of General Assembly Resolution 64/292, which recognized human rights to water and sanitation. … Read more

The post 10-year anniversary of the recognition of the human rights to water and sanitation at HLPF appeared first on UN-Water.

Emergency WASH Network Biweekly Update, July 1, 2020

Dear Colleagues:

CKM’s role in managing the Emergency WASH Network will end later this year so we are searching for organizations that would be interested in managing the Network in the future. Please contact me if this is something you would like to discuss.

Also, let us know if you have research, reports or upcoming events that can be featured in the next biweekly update. 

Member Updates

From Michelle Tran – michelle.tran@ouce.ox.ac.uk
A Survey on Faecal Sludge Management in Emergencies: University of Oxford – Purpose of Survey: This survey inquires about the importance of FSM in WASH responses during first-phase emergencies (approximately the first 6 months of the response) and whether later stages of the FSM chain are prioritized in emergencies. The results of this study will estimate demand for FSM products and guidance among WASH practitioners. Survey results will be shared within the wider emergency WASH sector after publication of this research (September-November 2020).

Upcoming Webinars

July 14 (in English and French) Make Me a Change Agent: An SBC Resource for WASH, Agriculture, and Livelihoods Activities – USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA)-funded SCALE and PRO-WASH awards invite you to this interactive webinar to dive into the Make Me a Change Agent: An SBC Resource for WASH, Agriculture, and Livelihoods Activities training manual, and discuss how these fundamental skills can improve your WASH, agriculture and livelihoods programming.

Culture, Context and Hygiene Promotion for COVID-19. This is a free interactive online module, delivered live by RedR UK’s hygiene promotion experts. You will learn the key public health risks related to COVID-19 and how these can be addressed by appropriate hygiene promotion.

News

USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance Fact Sheet, June 2020 – BHA leads and coordinates the U.S. Government’s humanitarian assistance efforts overseas. The Bureau responds to an average of 75 disasters in more than 70 countries every year.

Twelve finalists in the running for the EIC Horizon Prize for Affordable High-Tech for Humanitarian Aid. European Commission, June 2020 – LORAWAN monitoring by United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), real-time solutions for water tanker and water reservoir remote monitoring to improve the effectiveness of water trucking programming globally. WATER4HUMANITY by Tel Aviv University, a new circular economy solution allowing ultra-filtration of water using discarded “artificial kidney” filters.

WASH in Humanitarian Situations

Lebanon: Menstrual Hygiene Management Among Syrian Refugee Women in the Bekaa. Oxfam, June 2020. The research provides potential solutions and recommendations for integrating menstrual hygiene management in humanitarian responses, particularly targeted at the WASH, protection, education and health sectors.

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Strengthening Local Governance of Watershed Management for Water Supply and Irrigation in the Dry Corridor of Honduras

Emerging Learning Brief: Strengthening Local Governance of Watershed Management for Water Supply and Irrigation in the Dry Corridor of Honduras. Global Communities, June 2020.

Under the Dry Corridor Alliance Program (ACS-USAID), the Government of Honduras and USAID aim to reduce extreme poverty and malnutrition in rural areas of Honduras.

Since 2017, Global Communities has been implementing the “Watershed Management and Conservation” component of ACS-USAID in the departments of La Paz, Intibucá and Lempira, working with national government agencies, local and regional governments, communities and water organizations to address weak management of watersheds, which often results in severely deforested lands.

The Project provides grants to communities to reduce rates of degradation and reforest the watersheds, providing sustainable access to water for consumption and irrigation.

Global Communities also provides technical assistance to strengthen the capacity of local communities and organizations to manage water resources.

This Learning Brief describes the Project’s participatory approach, shares results to date and identifies key emerging lessons that will help to strengthen the Project moving forward.

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SDG 6 Global Acceleration Framework to be launched during 2020 High-level Political Forum

Official launch of the SDG 6 Global Acceleration Framework will take place during the 2020 High-level Political Forum, in a  Special Event on Thursday 9 July 2020 at 08:00-09:30 EDT. … Read more

The post SDG 6 Global Acceleration Framework to be launched during 2020 High-level Political Forum appeared first on UN-Water.

UN-Water Chair: After the pandemic we must build hope through water and sanitation

Opinion Gilbert F. Houngbo, Chair of UN-Water and President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) The coronavirus has stopped the world in its tracks and while the pandemic … Read more

The post UN-Water Chair: After the pandemic we must build hope through water and sanitation appeared first on UN-Water.

WHO and UNICEF launch hand hygiene for all global initiative

The Hand Hygiene for All is a call to action for all of society to achieve universal hand hygiene and stopping the spread of COVID-19. On Friday WHO and UNICEF … Read more

The post WHO and UNICEF launch hand hygiene for all global initiative appeared first on UN-Water.

Policy brief on enhancing access to services for migrants in the context of COVID-19

The recommendations set out in this new policy brief emphasize the practical and principled importance of ensuring inclusive, people-centred approaches that leave no one behind. It emphasises the importance of … Read more

The post Policy brief on enhancing access to services for migrants in the context of COVID-19 appeared first on UN-Water.

Les populations rurales peuvent-elles payer pour l’eau en temps de crise ?

Les co-auteurs de ce blog invité sont le Professeur Rob Hope (REACH Programme) et le Dr Guy Hutton (UNICEF). Une version de ce blog an anglais est disponible sur le site web du programme REACH. Rendre l’eau potable abordable pour les populations rurales a toujours été un défi. La COVID-19 exerce des pressions urgentes sur … Continue reading Les populations rurales peuvent-elles payer pour l’eau en temps de crise ?

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WASH & Financing – Water Currents, June 2020

Below is an excerpt from the Water Currents issue on WASH and financing and the complete issue is on the Globalwaters.org website.

Overviews
How Improved Financing Enhances Water and Sanitation Service Delivery . Global Waters Radio, March 2019. How can better financing help extend water and sanitation services to those most in need? To answer that question, Global Waters Radio speaks with two experts: Ella Lazarte, senior water and sanitation advisor at USAID, and Barbara Kazimbaya-Senkwe, global knowledge management and communications lead with the USAID–supported WASH-FIN program.

Reform and Finance for the Urban Water Supply and Sanitation Sector . World Bank, August 2019. This summary note integrates three lines of work—utility reform, sector reform, and sector finance—for readers to understand the critical links among the three spheres.

Utilities in Developing Countries, in Financial Tailspin, Try to Keep Water Flowing During Pandemic and Beyond . Circle of Blue, May 2020. Water utilities are experiencing a “double hit” in their finances that could hinder operations into the future.

Rethinking the Economics of Rural Water in Africa . Oxford Review of Economic Policy, January 2020. The findings conclude with policy recommendations to network rural services at scale, unlock rural payments by creating value, and design and test performance-based funding models at national and regional scales.

Channeling Financial Flows for Urban Water and Sanitation . Center for Strategic and International Studies, November 2019. New sources of financing are needed to provide clean water and sanitation for citizens around the world. The challenge is particularly acute in cities where population growth and urbanization are stretching resources and deteriorating living conditions.

Financing for Water—Water for Financing: A Global Review of Policy and Practice . Sustainability, February 2019. The relationship between the water and financial sectors is explored through a review of past and current policies and practices, and new needs driven by growing water insecurity (i.e., drought and floods) and climate change.

Read the complete issue.

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Testing sewage for early warnings about COVID-19 : thematic discussion synthesis

The challenges of developing an 'Indian' protocol to monitor COVID-19 in sewage.

Testing sewage can be an effective tool for monitoring the spread of the Sars-nCoV-2 virus in populations. An 'Indian' protocol is needed that takes into account the poor quality of sewage systems, challenges in transportation and testing of samples, and supports city and state governments to communicate with the public. A thematic online discussion hosted by the Sustainable Sanitation Alliance (SuSanA) in May-June  2020, elicited information on the components and challenges of such a protocol. This report synthesises the online discussion as well as the findings of a webinar on "Addressing stakeholder concerns around testing sewage for COVID-19" jointly organised by SuSanA, WaterAid India, IRC and the India Sanitation Coalition on 22 May 2020.

Job alert: Sanitation and Water for All consultant

By: editor
Job alert: Sanitation and Water for All consultant editor 24 June 2020 - 09:25

How I Found My Way to Advocating for Safe Water and Sanitation in Nigeria and Beyond

By: Her Excellency Toyin Saraki, founder-president of Wellbeing Foundation Africa

This article was originally posted on Global Citizen. 

In African traditional folklore, we have a proverb: “Every dance starts with a clap.” Just watch us and you’ll find this proverb is indeed true. We clap at least once from a primordial pre-instinct, to find our rhythm and set the tone, before we begin to dip, sway, and swirl.

But we have another African proverb that says, “You cannot clap with one hand.” And so I embarked on clapping with two hands, advocating on behalf of women, girls, and children around the world.

In hindsight, the roots of my global work are found in my baby’s nursery. I was expecting twins but tragically, only one child would survive. I returned home with my new baby daughter and replicated in the nursery what I had seen in the neonatal intensive care unit. I quickly had water pipes installed so her nursery would have a handwashing basin just inside by the door. I knew for my newborn to be safe, I needed two clean hands.

In 2003, I became a very young and very new First Lady to the north-central Nigerian state of Kwara, where my husband was elected governor. I took time to get to know the people, their needs, and the basic services that existed for Kwara’s 3 million inhabitants. I would visit dilapidated hospitals and schools, untouched since 1974. Whenever I wanted to shake hands or hold a baby, and wished to wash my hands, water was not available and there was invariably a 10-minute or more delay while someone would have to fetch a bowl of water from a well, borehole, or tank.

Photo Credit: Wellbeing Foundation Africa

I continue to encounter the inability to wash hands in places of critical care. In April 2018, I visited my Wellbeing Foundation Africa’s MamaCare Midwives Antenatal and Postnatal Session at a Primary Health Care Centre in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital. I was there to encourage mothers to allow their infants to receive oral polio vaccinations during World Immunisation Week. When I asked to wash my hands, I again faced that delay while a bucket of water was fetched.

At home that evening, I looked into current data and found that only 5% of health facilities in Nigeria have combined basic water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) services. The absence of WASH during birth plagues 17 million women across least-developed countries every year. It is clear that we are still trying to clap with one hand.

Now the need for two clean hands is being recognized as more urgent than ever — and perhaps that’s the only good news to come from the coronavirus pandemic. The handwashing that the WASH community has so long advocated for has come out of its echo chamber, and become a thunderous resounding clap for global health.

COVID-19 has made “wash your hands” a daily adage and has reinforced the need to invest in safe and dignified health care. This renewed urgency calls us to ensure that the WASH and health communities unite indivisibly to activate, actualise, and accelerate WASH investments to match the behavioural change.

Image: Courtesy of Wellbeing Foundation Africa

I see this need in my country. Despite the slower pace of COVID-19 across the African continent, Nigeria’s eventual burden could be one of the worst in Africa. Reality on the ground is showing weak health systems already stretched to a breaking point, according to reports from medical and public health officials.

Valuable programs are gaining needed steam, like WaterAid’s “Clean Nigeria” campaign for homes and hospitals, and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine’s global “Teach Clean” campaign, to achieve infection prevention and control, and prevent maternal and newborn sepsis.

Our midwives persevere. As our “WASH for Wellbeing” midwives work every day, teaching over 8,000 young pregnant and nursing mothers and their medical colleagues in hundreds of health facilities, they are my frontline warriors for WASH. Too often, the photos they send me still show a water tank in the far distance, and a bucket of water on a table.

In this inaugural UN Year of the Nurse and Midwife, we must ensure that health care workers everywhere have access to WASH. Hands, all around the world, are working tirelessly. Let’s be sure they can do so, safely.


Join the momentum tomorrow! From the mountains for Nepal to leadership at USAID, Water.org, the Vatican, and funders:  


About the Author

As Founder-President of Wellbeing Foundation Africa (WBFA), Mrs Toyin Saraki is a Nigerian philanthropist with two decades of advocacy covering maternal, newborn and child health, gender-based discrimination and violence, improving education, socio-economic empowerment and community livelihoods in Africa.

Sanitation Learning Hub launched

Sanitation Learning Hub

Following the start of a new four-year programme funded by Sida, the Institute of  Development Studies (IDS) launched the Sanitation Learning Hub website on 22 June 2020.

The website is divided into into three main sections:

Practical Support 

This section presents recommended approaches and practical tools to help sanitation and hygiene practitioners do their job well. It reflects our commitment to adaptable, ‘combinable’ and context-specific learning and sanitation approaches. Each approach page has an introduction recommended resources.

Current Thinking

Resources are divided by nine essential themes in this section. Each theme has an introduction, recommended resources, and sub-themes that get into more detail.

Connect, Share, Learn

The desire to bring together sanitation and hygiene professionals is reflected here. You can find blogs, news, events in the sector and more information about workshops, including stories from participants of past workshops. You can also submit a blog in this section.

Watch this video introduction to the new website.

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Sanitation Learning Hub

Resources from the Center for Water and Sanitation (C-WAS), CEPT University in India

Center for Water and Sanitation (C-WAS), CEPT University in India – CEPT’s Center of Water and Sanitation (CWAS) works on urban water and sanitation related action research. In Maharashtra, the C-WAS team works closely with the state government and local government to support implementation of the Swachh Bharat Mission. There is also a link to C-WAS at CEPT University.

Selected reports and resources include:

Policy Brief: Financing and Business Models for Faecal Sludge and Septage Treatment for Urban India. CWAS, July 2019. This policy brief identifies the possible financing options and business models for setting up Faecal Sludge Treatment Plants (FSTPs) as a part of citywide FSSM services. The research findings highlight that capital financing requirement for FSTPs is only a small proportion of the total urban sector outlay at both the national and state levels. Thus, there is a need to create better awareness at both national and state levels to explicitly incorporate FSSM related components in national programs.

Exploring Development Impact Bonds: Faecal Sludge and Septage Management (FSSM). CWAS, July 2019. In this Roundtable Discussion, participants shared preliminary ideas on DIB in FSSM, assessed opportunities and challenges and discussed the potential impact on investors and outcome funders.

Development Impact Bonds for Urban Sanitation in India. World Water Week, Stockholm, Sweden 2019. Development Impact Bonds or a Social Impact Bond (SIB/DIB) can help unlock private financing while focusing on social outcomes. This video discuses CEPT and partner initiatives to develop SIB/DIB for urban sanitation in small towns in India.

15th Finance Commission: Covid-19 Warrants Rethink of Local Government Allocations. Ideas for India, April 2020. In this post, Meera Mehta and Dinesh Mehta provide suggestions with regard to increasing allocation for sanitation, and making available more untied funds for urban local governments to enable them to meet exigencies of Covid-19-like situations.

Sanitation Taxes for Waste Treatment Plants and Pay-for-Success in Desludging. OECD. Technical assistance provided by CEPT enabled municipal governments in Wai and Sinnar in the India State of Maharashtra to establish a sanitation tax as part of existing property taxes and to introduce city-wide fecal sludge and septage management services. The approach uses a public-private partnership to deliver scheduled emptying and establish fecal sludge treatment plants.

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CDP’s Global Water Report focus on the steps companies are taking to eliminate pollution

The CDP Global Water Report 2019 analyses the data disclosed through CDP by 2,433 companies in 2019. It finds that companies are not doing enough to tackle water pollution – … Read more

The post CDP’s Global Water Report focus on the steps companies are taking to eliminate pollution appeared first on UN-Water.

Water-related commitments in Mexico’s Open Government Plan

This blog was written by Cartocritica, as a contribution to the Community of Practice on Water and Open Government.

 

Access to water is a right that affects various aspects of life: environmental, social and political. It is essential for the conservation of biodiversity, to maintain hygiene, and to support health and livelihoods.

In Mexico, water is considered the property of the nation and the government is responsible for guaranteeing the right to its access, its availability in sufficient quantity and quality, and access to safe sanitation. However, what can be seen in Mexico is desiccated landscapes, polluted aquifers, and communities that lack water access. Even in cases where water is available, quantity and quality are often inadequate. Much water is lost or polluted by excessive toxic discharge, large concessions for industries, and irregular system operation.

When one tries to review official data on volumes of water available, extracted, licensed under a concession, or polluted, it becomes clear that there is little or no information available, and that most of what is available is in restricted access.

Such opacity prevents interested users, especially territory and human rights defenders, from accessing key information that would allow them to know what the state of water resources is in their localities or to promote citizen participation in water management.

This is why more transparency and accountability in the water sector are urgently needed. Incorporating water-related commitments in the Open Government Partnership (OGP) process is a means to address this and enable dialogue between government and civil society.

 

1. Context: the first water-related open government commitments

Introducing water in Mexico’s Open Government Partnership National Action Plans

Mexico has been a member of the OGP initiative since its creation in 2011. It has to date adopted four National Action Plans. While the second National Action Plan (2013 – 2015) included the governance of natural resources as one of its commitments, it was not until the third National Action Plan (2016-2018) that water was specifically included as a thematic focus. This has to do with the fact that this action plan was intended to address the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The objective of the water-related commitment in the third National Action Plan was:

  • To measure both volume and quality of water consumption and discharges, as well as to promote water reuse, zero discharge of large-scale users and to supervise treatment, making information transparent in order to facilitate citizen participation in monitoring.

Its principal line of action was described as:

  • To promote inter-institutional coordination and the active participation of citizens in order to establish a system (public and open platform and other means of communication), to make up-to-date information available on water volumes extracted and granted in concession, as well as on discharges, based on available and newly created information.

To act on the commitment, the National Water Commission (Conagua) launched a website where documents on water quality were published, although not in line with the original objective (see evaluations on compliance with third plan here and here) and only till early 2018. Documents were then replaced by a link to a web platform featuring a real-time map of installed water meters in the country,  including information on volume extracted at each measurement point, but not on the volume of granted concessions or of discharges. However, the option for downloading open data was difficult to use and the platform ceased to be updated in March 2019.

 

Mistrust between stakeholders leads to the interruption of work on commitments

Unfortunately, the implementation and monitoring of the commitments made in the third Plan were interrupted in May 2017, following allegations of espionage directed at journalists and human rights defenders, some of whom were active participants in the OGP process. The Núcleo de Organizaciones de la Sociedad Civil (Nucleus of Civil Society Organisations, NOSC) then decided to withdraw from the OGP coordination board, known as the Tripartite Technical Secretariat (STT), on the grounds that there was a lack of trust and no enabling environment for the promotion of dialogue needed to continue the process. The government tried to get support from new CSOs to continue with the implementation of the third Action Plan but did not succeed.

In mid-2018, presidential elections were held in Mexico. The opposition won the election, taking power at the end of that year. In this new scenario, the OGP process was resumed in 2019, with the publication of the fourth National OGP Action Plan on December 10th, 2019.

 

2. A new commitment

Preparing a fourth National Action Plan with a commitment for water

Following the transition process into the new administration, the Ministry of Public Administration contacted members of civil society and academia (including UNAM, CartoCrítica, Agua para Todos) to review the most relevant issues on their agendas and consider them for future commitments. At that time, transparency and accountability in natural resources management had not shown many signs of improvement. Several civil society organisations were thus making efforts to promote access to natural resource data.

During this new round of meetings, CSOs pointed out that the situation in Mexico was characterised by over-exploitation and pollution of aquifers, vulnerable communities having little access to drinking water, a lack of transparency regarding the volume of granted concessions and of real extraction, and a lack of information on fees paid by private entities and by the real beneficiaries of those concessions.

Such a lack of access to information on the state, management, and protection of water limits the possibilities for constructive public debate and inclusive citizen participation. This lack of access to information also hinders the improvement of public policies that promote equity, efficiency, and sustainability in access to and use of water resources.

Around the time of the meetings, a group of CSOs (Causa Natura, Reforestamos Mexico, the Fund for Environmental Communication and Education, and CartoCrítica) were already working on the design of a Natural Resources Transparency Index (ITRN in Spanish), a tool to measure transparency of public information regarding the management of forests, water, and fishing resources. In this work, recommendations were made for the development of commitments on open government.

Proposals were then made to develop a commitment for water resources, to be integrated in Mexico’s fourth National Action Plan (2019 – 2021). The commitment would identify areas of opportunity to promote openness and dissemination of information in efforts to achieve SDGs (6, 14, 15 and 16), with the joint participation of three parties – government, civil society and the National Institute of Transparency, Access to Information and Personal Data Protection (INAI). An OGP Coordinating Committee replaced the STT and promoted meetings with the CSOs developing the ITRN, as well as with the government entities involved in natural resource management. In the water sector, these were Conagua and Semarnat (Ministry of the Environment).

The meetings resulted in an agreement to include the Index in the fourth OGP National Action Plan, under commitment number 10: Strengthening transparency in forest, water, and fisheries management. The commitment covers two main developments: the implementation of recommendations from the transparency assessments carried out through the ITRN, and the creation of a participatory mechanism called Transparency Monitoring Groups (Grupos de Monitoreo de la Transparencia), to follow up on the progress of this commitment.

 

The Natural Resources Transparency Index (ITRN): input for the OGP Action Plan Commitment

The ITRN involves an analysis of transparency in the forestry, water, and fisheries sectors, through indicators for three types of data -categorised as active (required by law), proactive (voluntary, useful and available online) and reactive (requested). The ITRN examines these in three axes, or areas, of resource management:

  1. Permits and concessions: rights to use the resource
  2. Subsidies: assistance or aid granted to the population for the use of the resource
  3. Inspection and surveillance: compliance checks on resource-related obligations

 

 

The indicators are assessed based on a set of variables (required data) according to their availability and usefulness. A set of variables (and their components) is foreseen for each data or transparency category (Active, Proactive, and Reactive), in each area of management (concessions and permits / subsidies / inspection and surveillance). In order to identify these variables, both officials and users from each sector were involved. Vulnerable groups with direct links to the resources, who are defenders of territories and the main users of the data, in particular women, indigenous peoples and small-scale producers, were also involved in this process.

To date, the variables identified are in the process of being evaluated. For example, one of the variables identified in the Active Transparency category and related to permits and concessions is: information on concessions for the exploitation and use of national surface waters. This variable is broken down into various components such as type of use, concession volume, validity period and location of the authorised point of extraction. A value of 1 is assigned to the variable if the components are available online, 0.5 if incomplete, and 0 if not available.

With the results obtained, specific recommendations will be made for each sector to improve transparency and information access. The commitment made in the OGP Action Plan is to implement these recommendations.

 

Moving forward with the new commitment

A roadmap was developed to ensure implementation and follow-up of the commitment. This roadmap contains key actions that make it possible to identify the state of the commitment process at any point in time. The creation of the Monitoring Groups is a milestone in this process. These groups are public, inclusive, and have an open follow-up mechanism. They include participants who are also decision makers, and who verify and ensure that recommendations are implemented. They also provide feedback for the future, including new needs, new participants, and new commitments to be monitored.

In the ongoing ITRN assessment of variables related to water resources, several issues have already been identified in terms of transparency and accountability. There is for example too little updated data on quality, extraction volumes granted and effectively withdrawn, and availability of environmental flows.

After this first assessment, it is expected that not only will the information gaps identified be filled and that data will be made available in official websites in a timely and reliable manner and in open formats, but also that this data will be usable by different stakeholders: for a researcher studying the behaviour of a basin as well as for users defending their territories, and their rights.

 

 

The post Water-related commitments in Mexico’s Open Government Plan appeared first on WIN - Water Integrity Network.

Getting trained on horticulture, aquaculture, pumps and wells: 2020 SKAT/ZH2O Training is ongoing at SHIPO SMART Centre!

The SMART Centre in Njombe, Tanzania, has recently started a new round of trainings funded through SKAT/ZH2O. The topics of the training include horticulture, aquaculture and training in the production of SMARTechs such as Rope pumps and manual drilling. See the newsitem on the website of the SMART Centre for an impression of the activities.

The trainees after the production of the first two Rope pumps.
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