Greetings from Nairobi, Kenya!
In this issue, there are three important updates to which I would like to call special attention:
- Results of the global survey of national policies and strategies relating to HWTS, key challenges and recommendations from the World Health Organization. Click here
- List of stakeholder commitments on household water treatment and cholera prevention, developed by consensus during the preparations for the World Water Forum discussions on HWTS and cholera, and included in the Network’s report from the 6th World Water Forum. Click here
- Summary of data collected from the Network’s Research Working Group survey, giving an indication of research interests for many members of our community. Click here
Also, we have digested the feedback from our recent newsletter evaluation and heard you loud and clear:
- We will keep using your preferred format of headlines, short summaries and links to further information.
- We will share more news from practitioners in the field and have done so starting with this issue – but please note that we count on you to keep us informed as to your activities!
- We will make a PDF version of the newsletter available in due course so that you can print and share it with your colleagues more easily.
- For publications, the WASHplus blog already tracks the latest research and we want to avoid duplicating those efforts. When listing the WASHplus updates during the past month, we include both HWTS-specific and more general WASH titles, as the Network mission is to advocate for an integrated approach to the implementation of HWTS that links to the broader sector and beyond. If you have specific suggestions on how we can better complement the work of WASHplus please write and let us know.
Our newsletter now has over 1200 subscribers – a three-fold increase since August 2010 – and we are keen to facilitate information and knowledge exchange between the members of our growing community! If your organization or project has news to share on HWTS or you wish to contribute a written piece on a burning topic or issue, please don’t be shy to contact us to learn more.
Finally, many congratulations to CAWST in Calgary, Canada for winning first prize at Stockholm World Water Week!
Network Communications Officer
Contents of this Newsletter
Click the underlined items to skip to that section
Annual Meeting of the Network
Global Survey of HWTS Policies
Network Research Survey
UN Water Award
Ghana Water Forum Postponed
Arsenic/Fluoride Data Needed
Household Water Use Research Network
The 2012 Annual Meeting of the HWTS Network will take place on 29 October 2012 in conjunction with the University of North Carolina Water and Health Conference. The meeting will include sessions on HWTS national policies and enabling environment, integration, scaling-up HWTS interventions, as well as updates from the working groups and break-out sessions focusing on efforts and tools to improve monitoring and evaluation and promote best practices. Selected short examples (5 minutes) from Network participating organizations regarding integration, innovative financing, behavior change, scaling-up and sustainability will also be presented. Those organizations interested in being considered to present are asked to send a brief paragraph to Maggie Montgomery (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Michael Forson (email@example.com) on what they propose to speak about. Presentations will be selected based on relevance to above topics and active participation in the Network.
The WHO recently conducted a brief survey to assess the status of national HWTS policies and progress towards global HWTS targets. Based on 46 unique responses, countries were categorized into three tiers of political readiness to scale-up HWTS. Recommendations include developing and implementing national HWTS policies, encouraging integration with other health interventions and diarrhoeal disease prevention efforts, and strengthening monitoring, evaluation and regulation. Download the report
The Network’s Research Working Group, led by Eawag and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine recently conducted a survey to map research efforts on topics related to HWTS. Data was collected from 95 individuals and is organised by HWTS technologies and systems, assessment methodologies, linkages with other interventions and sectors, financial & policy related topics and countries of interest. Survey respondents were also asked to name peer-reviewed journals and upcoming conferences of interest. If you would like to contact any survey respondent, please email Network Communications Officer Ryan Rowe firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance. Download the summary report of the data here. For more general information on working group activities and how to get involved, click here.
UN-Water, the United Nations inter-agency coordination mechanism for all freshwater related issues, invites nominations for its ‘Water for Life’ UN-Water Best Practices Award. The prize is awarded yearly in two categories, one in best water management practices and another one in best participatory, communication, awareness-raising and education practices. HWTS has featured significantly in past years, with Fundacion SODIS winning in 2011-2012, and Safe Water and AIDS Project Kenya taking runner-up in 2010-2011. This year the theme is ‘water cooperation’. The application period is open until 15 September 2012. Prizes will be awarded on World Water Day, March 22, 2013. Learn more
Arsenic and fluoride pose a serious health threat for an estimated 200 million people worldwide (roughly 5-10% of those who use groundwater for drinking). Maps of arsenic and fluoride contamination risk are an important tool to raise awareness and target appropriate water treatment solutions, including HWTS. Scientists at Eawag, the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, have developed global and regional maps predicting where groundwaters are potentially contaminated by arsenic and fluoride. They are now working on second generation improved models and seek partners willing to share water quality data collected from local or national studies which included arsenic and fluoride assessments. Visit their website and / or email Eawag (email@example.com) for more information.
The Household Water Use Researchers Network brings together a wide range of researchers with a shared interest in the cultural, social and political dimensions of water issues. The diverse research environments the participants operate in reflects the reality that household water use research is undertaken within water utilities, development organizations and government agencies, as well as academic and research institutions. The Network is also organizing the upcoming Tapping the Turn conference in Canberra, Australia in November 2012. If you are an active researcher of household water use, regardless of location or organization type, interested in learning more about the network, visit their website to get in touch.
The Centre for Affordable Water and Sanitation Technology received the Reed Elsevier Environmental Challenge First Prize at World Water Week in Stockholm. The prize will be used for research in Nepal on biosand filters in partnership with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the Environment & Public Health Organization of Nepal (ENPHO). You can learn more about their winning project here and read the CAWST press release here.
300in6, the Netherlands-based platform for enabling access to safe water by 300 million more people in six years, has released the second issue of their quarterly magazine: UPSCALE. Featured this month are the right to safe water, the potential of carbon credits for water, and the insights of practitioners in regulation, business and health.Click to read more
300in6 has also recently released a video collection of various perspectives on the private sector role in delivering safe water. Interviews were conducted with several members of the HWTS community. Watch the video
Procter & Gamble, the US-based manufacturer of P&G Purifier of Water (formerly known as PuR), has released its second issue of WaterDrop, a quarterly newsletter on the activities of its Children’s Safe Drinking Water Program. Read recent updates from Malawi, the Horn of Africa, at the Rio+20 Summit and U.S. university campuses. Click to read more.
The latest issue of the monthly newsletter of the Water and Sanitation Rotarian Action Group, a WASH project advisory group for Rotarians and Rotary Clubs, discusses new strategic initiatives by the Rotary Foundation for the water and sanitation sector. It also includes project updates from Honduras and Kenya. Click to read
40 families in various communities in Ecuador received bio-sand filters through a Rotary International sponsored project. The communities are considered among the poorest in the region. Original article is in Spanish and is available here.
Arsenic contamination of groundwater resources has become a significant health threat in rural Cambodia where people rely on groundwater for drinking, washing, and much of their daily domestic needs. A UNICEF study estimated that over 320,000 people in 1,600 villages are at risk. As a result of an Asian Development Bank funded Water Pilot and Demonstration project, the Kanchan Arsenic Filter was identified as a suitable and affordable arsenic mitigation technology for the country. Partners included Massachusetts Institute of Technology and CAWST. Click to read more
In June 2012, WHO and UNICEF convened a workshop to aid the governments of Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia in advancing the use of HWTS in the fight against diarrhoeal disease. The year prior, a similar workshop was held focusing on Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. WHO and UNICEF have committed to providing a small amount of seed funding to aid these efforts in moving forward.
Malawi: The Ministry of Health has produced a “zero draft” of its national action plan on household water treatment and safe storage. During 2011, national approaches on other key interventions to reduce diarrhoeal disease were developed: the National Handwashing Campaign and the Open Defecation Free Strategy, leaving household water treatment as a key gap to be addressed and providing the impetus for a national strategy on HWTS. Here is a photo of one of the discussion meetings.
Zambia: The Ministry of Health recently finalised its list of key actions on HWTS. The main areas of planned activity include the development of an HWTS strategy until 2015, an M&E framework and a package of information, education and communication materials for key vulnerable groups.
Tanzania: The Ministry of Health and Social Welfare plans to hold a stakeholder workshop to explore opportunities and a national strategy for the integration of HWTS into various existing programmes. Other activities include ongoing research on related topics and development of the policy and regulatory framework for HWTS.
The Global Public-Private Partnership for Handwashing (PPPHW) and its partners hosted 30 experts working on behavior change for a Handwashing Think Tank from June 20-21, 2012, in New York City. Participants came together to take stock of best practices, identify the gaps, and articulate the way for forward for handwashing behavior change. The group came to consensus on issues like critical times for handwashing. On July 17, the PPPHW hosted a webinar to share a summary of the Think Tank meeting and next steps for those who were unable to attend. Download the webinar summary.
A popular presentation from the Think Tank was Jelena Vujcic’s (University at Buffalo) overview of handwashing research done from 2010-2012. View the presentation here
The World Health Organization has released a report on the Household Water Treatment & Safe Storage and Cholera Sessions from the 6th World Water Forum in Marseille, France. The joint report details the solutions, recommendations and commitments discussed to meet the global targets on national HWTS policies and primary prevention of cholera. The importance of water and health actors working hand-in-hand with communities to implement effective prevention activities, such as household water treatment and safe storage, was stressed. The sessions were coordinated by WHO in partnership with the Global Alliance Against Cholera and the Veolia Environnement Foundation. Communications support for both sessions was provided by the Water Institute at the University of North Carolina. Download the report.
WASHplus is a USAID-funded project featuring recent research and news on household drinking water quality and related topics. Its purpose is to create awareness and promote interest on household drinking water quality. During August 2012, WASHplus published links on its blog to publications in the following subject areas related to HWTS and more generally WASH:
– Safe drinking water: Who is willing to pay the price? | link
– Distribution of Ceramic Water Purifiers through Direct Sales and Retail Sales Pilots in Cambodia | link
– Distribution of Chujio Ceramic Water Purifier through a Basket of Goods Model | link
– SWASH+ Website Launch – 6 Years of School WASH Research Have Come Together! | link
– Coagulation Flocculation Test of Keddara’s Water Dam Using Chitosan and Sulfate Aluminium | link
– Designing Iron-Amended Biosand Filters for Decentralized Safe Drinking Water Provision | link
– SWASH+ Lessons Learned | link
– WHO – Water safety planning for small community water supplies | link
– Regional disparities in the burden of disease attributable to unsafe water and poor sanitation in China | link
– Saving a Life-Year and Reaching MDG 4 with Investments in Water and Sanitation: A Cost-Effective Policy? | link
– SODIS: A review from bench-top to roof-top | link
– Why does piped water not reduce diarrhea for children? Evidence from urban Yemen | link
– Oxfam Cholera Outbreak Guidelines | link
– Assessing rural small community water supply in South Africa: Water service benchmarks and reliability | link
– SWASH+ Top Ten Findings – 2012 | link
Education, Work, and Funding Opportunities
The Water Institute at UNC is recruiting an Associate Director of Research who will guide the Institute’s research efforts and work alongside Water Institute faculty, researchers, students, and staff. Requirements include a Doctoral degree in public or environmental health or a related field, a minimum of five years post-doctoral experience, and expertise that aligns with one or more of the WaSH focus areas of the Institute. Visit the Water Institute’s vacancies page for a link to the full position details and application.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is seeking a Director of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene to provide overall leadership of the WS&H program, with a specific focus on non-piped sanitation. The Director will focus on executing the current strategy and will be responsible for overseeing grant making, grant management, advocacy, people management and reporting on the portfolio. The Director will participate in the Global Development Leadership Team and contribute to the Global Development Program, and the broader foundation, through management and cultural leadership and a willingness to share knowledge as appropriate. Click to learn more
For more job listings in the WASH sector, please refer to the WASH Vacancies Blog or the Relief Web Jobs site. If you are a registered Network participant and you wish to share an education, job, or funding opportunity with the Network please contact Ryan Rowe, Network Communications Officer, for assistance.