Household Water Newsletter, Issue 25

Happy 10th birthday to the HWTS Network!

This year marks the 10th birthday of the HWTS Network, which was "conceived" in February 2003 at a multi-stakeholder meeting in Geneva and "born" as a WHO-sponsored global initiative in June 2003 in Washington DC. Today it is hosted by both WHO and UNICEF and brings together more than 150 institutional stakeholders and 1400 individual subscribers worldwide working toward a mission to scale up the adoption of practices and technologies that improve the quality of household drinking water for vulnerable populations. If you're interested in reading more about the "birth" of the Network, read this article by Tom Clasen and Eric Mintz published just a year after the Network's launch.

We have just concluded our regional workshop for West Africa and many fruitful discussions were held with participants around issues relating to targeting the most vulnerable, behaviour change, regulation, monitoring and evaluation and advocacy efforts. The proceedings of the workshop are now available online (see link in this issue) and a report will be published soon.

Also, last month there were several key documents launched which will be of interest to many in the HWTS community. This issue provides a brief overview of each.

  • Global Action Plan on Diarrhoea and Pneumonia
  • GEMS global study on aetiological agents of childhood diarrhoea
  • USAID Water and Development Strategy 2013-2018
  • JMP 2013 update
  • UNICEF toolkit for prevention and control of cholera

In our last newsletter, we polled readers to learn more about what they did on World Water Day. 80% of respondents said they or their organization had done something to observe World Water Day. In this issue, you’ll find a compilation of some of those efforts.

This month's poll question is: Which upcoming WASH events do you plan to attend? Click here to vote!

Best regards,

Ryan Rowe
Network Communications Officer

Contents of this Newsletter

Click the underlined items to skip to that section


Network Secretariat: Minutes of recent AG/PPG meeting

The Network’s Advisory Group and Public-private Partnership Group held a meeting by teleconference on 13 March 2013. The minutes of the discussions are now available online. Click here.

Network Secretariat: New additions to our community

The Network Secretariat would like to give a warm welcome to those who have recently joined the HWTS Network community.

New organisations:

  • Universita' Degli Studi Di Brescia (University of Brescia), an Italian university with HWTS research efforts in Cameroon, India, and Senegal;
  • Safe Water Institute, a US-based NGO with activities in the Dominican Republic

New subscribers:

  • Muluken Abate,
  • Beau Abdulla,
  • Francis Abotsi,
  • Frederick Addae,
  • Joseph Addo Ampofo,
  • Rose Adisenu-Doe,
  • Seth Adjei,
  • Daniel Agyei,
  • Ebenezer Aidoo,
  • Kassim Yakubu Al-Hassan,
  • Dawit Amishet,
  • Cynthia Ivy Amissah,
  • Grace Kafui Annan,
  • Araba Sam Annan,
  • Saanndo Anum,
  • James Aper,
  • Benjamin Arthur,
  • Ruth Arthur,
  • Alfred D Assibi,
  • Emmanuel Awe,
  • Atinga Ayamga,
  • R A Bako,
  • D A Banamini,
  • Ruhama Bereket,
  • Anita Caulkool,
  • Ewan Chainey,
  • Edith Clarke,
  • Asamani Cletus,
  • Bernice Darko,
  • Beth Devroy,
  • Tidiane Diallo,
  • Shawn Dillard,
  • Maria Michelle Dillon,
  • Adam Drolet,
  • Kwabena Gyasi Duku,
  • David Duncan,
  • Isaac Dupey,
  • Harold Esseku,
  • Amos F Gborie,
  • Ellen Gyekye,
  • Anna Haffner,
  • Kazumi Inden,
  • Mary Kay Jackson,
  • Rex Jakpa,
  • Juliana Kamanda,
  • Mirco Keller,
  • Benjamin Lartey,
  • Lidya Lerebo,
  • William Masore,
  • Peter Yaw Mensah,
  • Taryn Meyers,
  • Raymond B Musa,
  • Demedeme Naa L,
  • Prince Nallo,
  • Hannah Neumeyer,
  • Minh-Tien Nguyen,
  • Emmanuel Nkrumah,
  • Stephen Ntow,
  • Enoch Ofosu,
  • Melanie Ogunyana,
  • Wilhelmina Okwabi,
  • Bade Olokun,
  • Kate Opoku,
  • S Y Osei,
  • Henrietta Osei-Tutu,
  • Dan Osman,
  • Levina Owosu,
  • Abraham Otabil,
  • Wilhelmina Quarcoopome,
  • Samuel Agyekum Sarpong,
  • Peter Serinye,
  • Worlanyo Siabi,
  • Dr Ansumana Sillah,
  • Degnet Simon,
  • Kyla Smith,
  • Edmund Smith-Asante,
  • Lamin Souma,
  • Jacqueline Thomas,
  • Martha Tia-Adjei,
  • John Troup,
  • Benedict Tuffour,
  • Ruben Um Bayiha,
  • Astrid Van Agthoven,
  • Jelena Vujcic,
  • Judd Walson,
  • Juliana Westerblom,
  • Abu Wumbei,
  • Habib Yakubu,
  • Christian Yeakula,
  • Charlene Youssef,
  • Philipp Zimmermann

WHO Bulletin: Preventing cryptosporidiosis

the need for safe drinking water

HWTS is considered an essential intervention for people living with HIV (read more about that here). A new article published in a recent issue of the WHO bulletin highlights the effectiveness of some HWTS options against cryptosporidium which causes diarrhoeal disease and is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in people living with HIV. Read the article.

WHO Library Services: Access to peer-reviewed journals for non-profit organisations

WHO Library Services are providing and promoting, alongside with other organizations, a programme named "Research4life" which provides not-for-profit organisations in developing countries with free or low-cost access to peer-reviewed journals in the areas of health, agriculture and environment. The programme has existed since 2002 and aims to reduce the gap in scientific knowledge between industrialized countries and the developing world and may therefore be interesting for some of your organizations or organizations you are working with. Click here for more info.

IPA: Receives large grant from USAID to scale chlorine dispenser program

Network member Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA), a US-based international non-profit, has received a US$5.5 million grant from USAID's Development Innovation Ventures to scale up its Dispensers for Safe Water program in Kenya, Uganda, and a third country. The program aims to improve consumption of safe drinking-water through the installation of chlorine solution dispensers next to communal water sources and community education activities to encourage use. Read more.

News and Newsletters

Solvatten: Receives corporate support to reach Ugandans with solar-powered device

Network member Solvatten, a Swedish manufacturer of an HWTS device by the same name, has partnered with Swedish foods retailer Axfood to deliver 1,000 units of the device to Ugandan families. The Solvatten device uses solar energy to treat and heat water for drinking and cooking. The device also aims to avoid deforestation and carbon emissions by reducing the use of wood as fuel for these activities. Read more

Guatemala: College of Engineers reports up to 80% of water sources are contaminated

According to local media reports, the College of Engineers (Colegio de Ingenieros) in Guatemala has produced a study showing that up to 80% of water sources may be contaminated with microbiological and/or chemical contaminants. Original article in Spanish. Read more

Recent Events

Network Workshops on HWTS Strategies and Policies: Updates from West Africa, Ethiopia

West Africa: From 6-8 May, the Government of Ghana in collaboration with the World Health Organization and UNICEF organised a regional workshop for government officials from four West African countries (the Gambia, Ghana, Liberia and Sierra Leone) to discuss and strategize on developing more supportive policy and effective national strategies for scaling up household water treatment and safe storage (HWTS). Over the course of three days, participants heard from presenters about challenges, solutions and tools to advance policy, practice and knowledge around HWTS. Participants were then divided into country teams and challenged to develop draft national action plans and present their ideas to the whole group. As an added incentive, WHO and UNICEF have offered post-workshop seed funding to government-led country teams to assist in moving forward with components of their national action plans. Presentations from the workshop, country-specific HWTS reference guides, and administrative materials are available online and a workshop report will be published soon. Access the proceedings

Ethiopia: Following on its participation in the Entebbe workshop held in June 2011, the Government of Ethiopia organised a national meeting from 8-9 February to discuss and strategise on strengthening the evaluation of household water treatment performance using WHO’s risk-based approach. Nine areas of action were identified. The meeting was supported in part with the seed funding monies available for implementing action plans initiated in Entebbe. Presentations from the meeting and a report are available online. Access the proceedings

WHO Task Force Meeting on HWTS, April 2013

At the recommendation of the Network Advisory and Public-private Partnership Groups (refer to October 2012 meeting minutes), the WHO convened an internal task force from 15-16 April to inform HWTS scaling-up efforts with particular attention to vulnerable, at-risk populations and integrated approaches. The Task Force consisted of experts in child and maternal health, HIV/AIDS, outbreaks and emergencies and vector borne diseases. In conducting its evaluation, the Task Force reviewed a background paper on evidence concerning the health impact of HWTS, consulted with researchers in water, sanitation and hygiene and other areas of public health, reviewed previous statements and guidelines by the United Nations and other organizations concerning HWTS and examined published papers of microbiological, behavioural, economic and epidemiological research concerning HWTS. Based on this review and following meetings and further deliberations, the Task Force came to several conclusions and recommendations. They concurred that effective use of HWTS can result in health gains and greater efforts should be taken to integrate HWTS into efforts to meet global HIV/AIDS testing and treatment targets, to end preventable childhood diarrhoeal and pneumonia deaths, and to increase uptake of primary health care services. A meeting report and formal Task Force Statement will be published soon.

World Water Day, March 2013

22 March 2013 was World Water Day, an international day of observation focused on water-related issues and held yearly since 1993. The 2013 theme is "Water Cooperation" and the Network's activities of collaboration and knowledge sharing are captured by this theme. Learn more about the theme here. In our last newsletter, we surveyed subscribers to the Network's mailing to learn more about their activities for World Water Day. 52 respondents (80%) indicated that they had done something to observe World Water Day. 23 respondents told us about their activities, which took place all over the world, from Guatemala to the Netherlands, from Tunisia to Madagascar, and from India to Laos. If you would like to learn more about any of the reported activities, please let us know. Download the summary of activities.

HWTS Network Annual Meeting, October 2012

On 29 October, the HWTS Network held its 2012 Annual Meeting in conjunction with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's Water and Health Conference. Participants discussed critical issues on HWTS: the challenges of achieving scale in coverage, integration with other household environmental health interventions, monitoring & evaluation, successes and failures from the field, the recently released WHO performance evaluation guidelines, and the newly convened Network working groups. Eight areas of action were identified. Presentations from the meeting as well as a report of the meeting are available online. Access the proceedings.


GEMS: Large study of diarrhoeal disease in children under five publishes results

Led by the University of Maryland and funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Global Enteric Multicenter Study (GEMS) is a 3-year, prospective, case-control study of moderate-to-severe diarrhoea in children under the age of 5 years old at 7 sites across Africa and Asia. The study aimed to identify the aetiology and burden of diarrhoeal disease. Four pathogens were determined to be responsible for the majority of cases: rotavirus, cryptosporidium, shigella, and enterotoxigenic E. coli. Read the abstract here. For those who do not have access to the full article, visit the University of Maryland website for a summary of the study and its implications.

UNICEF: Toolkit for prevention and control of cholera

UNICEF has released a new toolkit to aid in the prevention and control of cholera. The toolkit brings together the latest guidance, tools, and good practice for understanding cholera, conducting monitoring activities, coordinating stakeholders, communications, prevention, preparedness, case management and other important areas of a cholera response strategy. Materials are relevant for both policy-makers and practitioners in development programmes and emergency response. Two YouTube videos have been developed to promote use of the toolkit: an Advocacy Video, and a Toolkit Training Video. You can also follow the cholera discussion on twitter with the hashtag #cholera. Access the toolkit by clicking here.

USAID: Water and development strategy for 2013-2018

The United States Agency for International Development has released its first global Water and Development strategy, outlining its approach to water and water-related programming for the five-year period 2013-2018. The strategy will broadly focus on two areas: improved health through sustainable WASH programmes and effective water management for enhanced food security. Download the strategy.

WHO & UNICEF: Global Action Plan on Diarrhoea and Pneumonia

The WHO and UNICEF, in collaboration with many stakeholders, have developed the Integrated Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Pneumonia and Diarrhoea (GAPPD). The GAPPD builds on previous global efforts to end the number of child deaths due to pneumonia and diarrhoea, which accounts for 29% of all deaths of children less than five years of age (2 million lives each year). The GAPPD recommends an integrated approach to interventions and actions in three broad areas: protection of the child from birth to enable a strong and healthy start to life, prevention of sickness in early infancy and childhood, and appropriate treatment and case management. In conjunction with the launch of the GAPPD, a special series on diarrhoea and pneumonia has been published in The Lancet, an international general medical journal. National governments are recommended to adopt the GAPPD in their efforts to improve child health. Should you have any questions about the GAPPD please do not hesitate to contact the Network Secretariat by sending a message to Download the action plan.

WHO & UNICEF JMP: Progress update on access to drinking-water and sanitation

The WHO & UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation (JMP) recently released its 2013 update, presenting country, regional and global estimates for the year 2011 on access to improved sanitation and improved drinking-water. Global improved drinking-water coverage in 2011 remains at 89% – which is 1% above the MDG drinking-water target. This means that, in 2011, about 768 million people relied on unimproved drinking-water sources. The number of people using unsafe drinking-water sources is estimated to be much higher. The report has chapters covering global trends in sanitation, drinking-water and open defecation. It also includes chapters on the JMP methodology and the post-2015 development agenda. Download the report.

WASHplus: Household Drinking Water Quality Blog Updates

The WASHplus blog is part of a USAID-funded project featuring recent research and news on household drinking water quality and related topics. Since the last issue of the HWTS Network newsletter released on March 25, 2013, the WASHplus blog published links to publications in the following subject areas related to HWTS and more generally WASH:

  • UNICEF – Cholera Toolkit 2013 | link
  • Progress on sanitation and drinking-water 2013 update | link
  • CAWST Education and Training Resources | link
  • WHO – Water Quality and Health Strategy 2013-2020 | link
  • Prevalence of rotavirus and adenovirus associated with diarrhea | link
  • DfID – Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Evidence paper | link
  • Improving service delivery of water, sanitation, and hygiene in primary schools | link
  • Why do Water and Sanitation Systems for the Poor Still Fail? | link
  • Determinants of reduced child stunting in Cambodia | link
  • Determinants of infant mortality in community of Gilgel Gibe Field Research Center, Southwest Ethiopia | link
  • USAID Water Development Strategy 2013-2018 | link
  • Bacterial Contamination on Household Toys and Association with Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Conditions in Honduras | link
  • Genomic copy concentrations of selected waterborne viruses in a slum environment in Kampala, Uganda | link
  • CARE Water + Impact Report: Walking the Walk | link
  • Entrepreneurship for Rural Women, Brought to You by Coca Cola | link
  • Drinking water quality and source reliability in rural Ashanti region, Ghana | link
  • Behaviour change for better health: nutrition, hygiene and sustainability | link
  • Preventing cryptosporidiosis: the need for safe drinking water | link
  • Physico-chemical and Escherichia coli assessment of selected sachet water | link
  • Application of Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessment to analyze the public health risk from poor drinking water quality | link
  • Current practices in manufacturing locally-made ceramic pot filters | link
  • Risk factor analysis of diarrhoeal disease incidence in faecal sludge-applying farmers’ households | link
  • Does sense of ownership matter for rural water system sustainability? | link
  • Workshop on the Toolkit for monitoring and evaluating household water treatment and safe storage programmes | link
  • Safe water and solar cookers | link
  • Sanitary, economic and environmental impacts of Solvatten | link
  • Pesticide management and their residues in sediments and surface and drinking water |

Education, Work, and Funding Opportunities

CAWST: Country and Regional Workshops on Household Water Treatment and Safe Storage ongoing registration

The Center for Affordable Water and Sanitation Technology regularly provides training workshops worldwide for individuals and organizations on HWTS and other topics. There are several events planned in coming weeks in Afghanistan, Malawi, Nepal, Peru, and Zambia. View the calendar here

Rotary and UNESCO-IHE: Scholarships for Water and Sanitation Professionals – deadline 15 July 2013

The Rotary Foundation and the UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education have partnered in a scholarship program for water and sanitation professionals. Through this partnership, Rotary will provide grants to Rotary clubs and districts to select and sponsor eight students each year to study at UNESCO-IHE's campus in the Netherlands. Click here to learn more.

International Water Centre: Scholarships for Water and Sanitation Professionals – deadline 1 August/1 October 2013

Every year, the International Water Centre in Brisbane, Australia offers full-tuition scholarships for entry in the Master of Integrated Water Management program. Applications are currently open until 1 August (for international students) or the 1 October 2013 (for domestic students). The program starts February 2014. Click here to learn more.

For WASH sector job listings, please refer to the WASH Vacancies Blog or the Relief Web Jobs site. If you wish to share an education, job, or funding opportunity with the Network, please tell us by email at or

Event Calendar for 2013

Event Calendar for 2014

For more WASH and water-related event listings, please refer to the Water Policy & Practice Calendar. If you know of an upcoming international, regional or national event which the HWTS/WASH community should be aware of, please tell us by email at or

About this newsletter: This newsletter is produced every six to eight weeks by the Water Institute at the University of North Carolina in collaboration with WHO and UNICEF as co-hosts of the International Network on Household Water Treatment and Safe Storage. Past issues are available at: For further info or to subscribe/unsubscribe, contact Ryan Rowe at: or

Contributions: Contributions to the newsletter are welcome. Please refer to the guidelines on the Water Institute website.

Disclaimer: This publication does not necessarily represent the decisions or policies of the World Health Organization or the United Nations Children’s Fund. The mention of specific companies or of certain manufacturers’ products does not imply that they are endorsed or recommended by the World Health Organization or the United Nations Children’s Fund.

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