From the hills of western Kenya to the coastlines of Haiti, blue bins are popping up unexpectedly across local landscapes. These unassuming plastic containers positioned near communal water sources and propped on stands built from local materials, don’t exactly seem like life-saving innovations–but ask the half million people who use them daily, and they will tell you otherwise.
These modest-looking systems are the water purifying Chlorine Dispensers developed by Connecticut-based NGO Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA). These systems are designed to bring clean water to beneficiaries like Martin Ouma, the Head Teacher at Busidibu Primary School in Kenya, and his students. Martin tells a common story that is echoed among the communities whose lives are transformed by Chlorine Dispensers: “The dispenser has reduced diarrhea in schools. Standards have gone up, and diseases related to drinking water have been minimized.”
In Uganda the water and sanitation sector is not short of new and emerging technologies, however, there is no clear process of technology Introduction, adoption and upscale. Noticeable is Minimal contribution to the Millennium Development Goals. A key constraint to reaching the sector targets therefore appears to be the lack of systems to assess the potential of a technology and take it to scale effectively.
The Water Sanitation and Hygiene Technologies (WASHtech) project seeks to address the problem through research to assess the potential and sustainability of a wide range of technologies and design strategies for scaling up.
WASHtech has in the past 2 years conducted a stakeholder Knowledge Attitude and Practice (KAP) study aimed at assessing WASH technology introduction and approval process in Uganda, conducted a review of WASH technologies on their appropriateness and suitability.
Last year the project finalized the process of developing a robust Technology Assessment Framework…
The world in which we work is changing. Some changes may be sudden and catastrophic, for example the outbreak of armed conflict, or the impacts of flooding. The wars in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Somalia have resulted in destruction of much water infrastructure. The Pakistan floods of recent years have had similar disastrous results. But many of the changes which are occurring are continuous, for example growth of population, economic growth, or climate change as a result of greenhouse gas emissions. Some of these changes are quite fast while others are much slower. In my own working lifetime I have seen populations grow by a factor of about 3 in many of the countries where I have worked. Gradual and continuous change, but by now having massive impacts on the state of the environment and natural resources, and on demands for water.
In his blog post, Henk Holtslag highlighted that muitple use of water is very critical in ending poverty. I have already shown in my earlier discussions that provision of safe drinking water is not enough. In the developing countries where agriculture employs the bulk of the poor people, availability of water for families, their animals and crops is very essential. When we talk of “provision” the quick question is by who? Self supply then becomes the ideal solution. But how many of our governments, Communities and development agencies are promoting this concept? Do they know much about it? Do they know it exist and it is very feasible?
One of the topics of discussion during this week’s Triple-S annual meeting was around harmonization of approaches to rural water supply between donors and governments. Presenting the experiences in Ghana, Vida Duti presented this nice map, showing which donors operate in which part of the country. One could interpret this map in a positive way; probably donors have come to some division of labour, all working in different parts of the country – even though some areas are quite crowded with donors, and this is even excluding NGOs. However, the real problem lies not so much in the presence of so many donors; but ensuring that they all follow the same – or at least similar – approaches, that align well with the ones developed by the government.
The RWSN equity and inclusion group is pleased to announce its latest webinar on Removing Barriers to WASH. If you would like to attend, please inform ShamilaJansz@wateraid.org. For more details, see below:
We have been collaborating to develop practical training materials for WASH practitioners, to help them analyse and address the problems faced by the most disadvantaged people in accessing WASH services. Extensively field-tested by WaterAid and WEDC in Africa and Asia, the materials are participatory and interactive, and are ideal to facilitate practical collaboration and problem-solving between disabled people and technical service providers. They can be used as stand-alone activities, or as part of a broader training programme. Although rooted in the social model of disability, the scope of the analysis framework has been broadened to encompass exclusion…
What is it that IADB’s Max Valasquez Matute in Honduras finds ‘only a bit short of a miracle’? The decision by seven INGOs to align their programming in Honduras in support of an Everyone Forever movement aimed at delivering full coverage in sustainable rural water, sanitation and hygiene services.
Whether there was divine intervention or not, the meeting we attended on the 24 May between the assembled board members of the Millennium Water Alliance and the Mesa de Cooperantes (the donor coordination platform) of the Honduran WASH sector was pretty unusual – and very exciting.
Back in June and July of 2012, Triple-S underwent a mid-term assessment (MTA) by an excellent team led by Dr. Ben Ramalingam. The MTA was a hugely useful exercise, allowing the Triple-S team and our partners to take some time out from our day to day work to reflect on how we were doing. The MTA team held up a mirror to us as a project and process – in much the same way that Triple-S seeks to hold up a mirror to the rural water sector – allowing us to have a long hard look at ourselves.