The Human Impact

Only two Southern African countries on track to meet 2015 MDG water and sanitation targets – report

Some 120,000 children under the age of five in Southern African countries die every year from diarrhoea, which is primarily caused by lack of access to clean water and sanitation.

More than 40 million people in the region who should have received access to safe drinking water by 2015 will miss out, and 73 million will go without basic sanitation due to investment shortfalls, according to a report.

Only two out of 15 Southern African countries – Botswana and Seychelles – are set to meet their 2015 Millennium Development Goal (MDG) targets to reduce by half the number of people without access to clean water and sanitation, according to the report by Water Aid.

The cost of getting those countries that have fallen behind back on track would be $3.6 billion per year, said the international development NGO.

Despite a 2008 commitment by African Union countries to spend at least 5 percent of their GDP on sanitation and hygiene, none of the governments has kept the promise.

Menstruation taboo puts 300 mln women in India at risk – experts

More than 300 million women and girls in India do not have access to safe menstrual hygiene products, endangering their health, curtailing their education and putting their livelihoods at risk, say experts at the Geneva-based Water Supply & Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC).

At least 23 percent of girls in India leave school when they start menstruating and the rest miss an average of five days during each monthly menstrual period between the ages of 12 and 18, according to WSSCC, a partnership run by government, non-governmental organisation (NGO) members and a United  Nations-hosted secretariat.

“From a taboo standpoint they are ostracised – it’s an awkward situation to be in if you are having your monthly period and you simply do not want to be seen by others because they may perceive you as either dirty or unhygienic in some way,” said Chris Williams, executive director of WSSCC.

Q+A – Child-friendly toilets key in fight to improve global sanitation

If toilets meet children’s needs, this will keep them in school longer, reduce the spread of life-threatening diarrhoeal diseases and help meet development goals, according to the charity Water For People.

At least 2.5 billion people worldwide do not have proper sanitation facilities. The combined effects of improper sanitation, unsafe water supply and poor hygiene are estimated to cause almost 2,000 child deaths per day, the U.N. children’s agency, UNICEF, reports.

“Allowing youth to become comfortable using toilets and practising good hygiene from a young age, means that as they grow up there are fewer people to educate and convince of the reasons that improved toilets are important,” said Kate Fogelberg, Water For People’s regional manager in South America.

Lack of toilets, clean water costs world $260 bln each year – Liberia president

Poor access to sanitation and clean water costs the global economy $260 billion each year, according to Liberia’s president who is leading work to craft proposals for a new set of global anti-poverty goals.

They are intended to replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which were agreed in 2000 and expire in 2015.

“$260 billion in economic losses annually is directly linked to inadequate water supply and sanitation around the world,” Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf told a meeting on the post-2015 development agenda in the capital Monrovia this week. “We must take this issue more seriously.”

Technological solutions are key to fix Africa sanitation crisis

Morris Marah is project manager at Africa Gathering, a network of people focused on encouraging sustainable development using technology and social networking.

The Sanitation hackathon is a global project where developers are working on solutions to challenges facing the sanitation sector using mobile technology over a 48-hour period. Globally, 2.5 billion people do not have adequate sanitation facilities. listen to ‘Africa Gathering's Morris Marah on #SanHack solutions’ on Audioboo

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Financial app would set sanitation cost benchmarks

Nick Dickinson from International Water and Sanitation Centre (IRC) discusses the Quick Financial Sustainability Check project under construction by Team Fresh Sh!t at the Sanitation Hackathon in London.

The hackathon is a global project where developers are working on solutions to challenges facing the sanitation sector using mobile technology. Globally, 2.5 billion people do not have adequate sanitation facilities. listen to ‘Fresh Sh!t’s #SanHack “Quick Financial Sustainability Check”’ on Audioboo

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Hackathon seeks solutions to global sanitation crisis

Applying mobile technology to help provide proper sanitation to 2.5 billion people who lack it makes sense given that globally 5 billion people are subscribed to mobile phone services, many of them in the developing world, according to the organisers of a two-day global brainstorming event.

The Sanitation Hackathon, which is taking place this weekend, has attracted software developers, designers, entrepreneurs and students to sites in at least 30 cities around the world.

We’re trying to find solutions by building on the massive penetration of mobile phones in the developing world and the availability of data that now makes it possible to improve services for many people, said Andy Narracott, deputy chief executive of Water & Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP), who inspired the London initiative.

Community project frees 24 million from open defecation – UNICEF

At least 24 million people living in 39,000 communities in 50 countries have eliminated open defecation over the past five years, signalling that progress is being made in the fight to help 1.1 billion people who do not use proper facilities, the U.N. children’s agency (UNICEF) reported on Monday.

Under its Community Approaches to Total Sanitation (CATS) programme, UNICEF aims to eliminate open defecation by encouraging social and behavioural change among villagers leading to the construction of latrines.

“No aid operation in the world can provide toilets for 1.1 billion people,” said Therese Dooley, UNICEF’s senior advisor on sanitation, on World Toilet Day.

World Toilet Day chance to fight sanitation indignities women face – activist Helen Pankhurst

Helen Pankhurst, a member of charity WaterAid’s board of trustees, spoke at a World Toilet Day event at London’s Anthologist restaurant.

http://youtu.be/rv8tfYezxRc

The “1 in 3 women event” marked the day by drawing attention to the fact that there are 1.25 billion women in the world who have nowhere safe to go to the toilet.

Globally, 2.5 billion people do not have access to adequate sanitation.

Picture shows WaterAid trustee Helen Pankhurst at London’s Anthologist restaurant on Nov. 19, 2012. HANDOUT/WaterAid/Neil Wissink

EU could do better on sub-Saharan Africa water, sanitation projects – audit

Fewer than half of 23 drinking water and sanitation projects funded with development aid from the European Union (EU) in six Sub-Saharan countries have met the needs of beneficiaries, and 19 are at risk of failure without ongoing financial support, according to an auditors’ report.

The European Court of Auditors (ECA) assessed the projects to see if the European Commission has managed aid for drinking water and basic sanitation in a manner that would lead to effective and sustainable results.

In only four of the projects were fees for services set at a level to cover running costs, the audit report said, adding that unless future aid, or subsidies from national or local governments are made available, their sustainability is at risk.

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