Category Archives: Sanitation

Poor waste collection primarily responsible for marine pollution

“Executive summary

A marine plastic litter crisis has been declared and the mass media around the world has given their front pages over to the story for a while now. The European Union – among other actors – has declared a war against marine litter. Annually over 10 million metric tons (Mt) of plastic litter end up in oceans, harming wildlife. The International Solid Waste Association (ISWA) – the most competent specialist organization in the field – has summarized the origins of the marine litter crisis: 75% of land based marine litter in low to upper-middle income economies comes from litter and uncollected waste, while the remaining 25% of the land-based sources is plastic which leaks from within the waste management system. In other words, the ISWA report shows that 25% of the leakage is attributable to the waste management option preferred by green ideologues; meanwhile, waste incineration can prevent any leakage of plastic if municipal solid waste (MSW) is incinerated along with sewage sludge. Despite this, incineration is vehemently opposed by green ideologues and also by the EU, which chooses to believe in the mirage of a circular economy. The vast majority of the marine litter problem is attributable to poor waste collection and other sanitary practices in Asian, and to a lesser extent African, towns and cities in coastal areas and along rivers. The problem is particularly acute in China. The neglect of urban sanitary policy – the backbone of development agendas until that time – started when the ‘mother of sustainability’, Norway’s Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland, personally refused to have it be part of her World Commission’s work program and ultimately its 1987 report, which famously led to the adoption of ‘sustainable development’ goals by the UN General Assembly. This report describes the absurdities, inefficiencies, double or even triple waste management structures and horrible consequences of the EU’s erratic green waste policy (such as the terrible waste catastrophe in Naples in 2008), its fact-free claim that its waste policy helps to implement the Paris climate agreement, and its dumping of 3 Mt of plastic in China each year, with horrific consequences for the marine environment and health. The EU has now started to sideline – in the name of circular economy – the highly successful waste incineration policy implemented in seven EU member states – Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden – which all have major waste incineration capacity and now landfill less than 3% of their MSW.” click here

Assessment of water supply and sanitation in Chukotka and Yakutia, Russian Arctic

Dudarev AA. Public Health Practice Report: water supply and sanitation in Chukotka and Yakutia, Russian Arctic. International Journal Of Circumpolar Health 2018 Dec; Vol. 77 (1), pp. 1423826.

Information from 2013-2015 have been analysed on water accessibility, types of water service to households, use of water pretreatment, availability of sewerage, use of sewage treatment in Chukotka Autonomous Okrug and Yakutia Republic, based on evaluation information accessible in open sources, such as regional statistics and sanitary-epidemiologic reports. The main causes of the poor state of water supply and sanitation in the study regions include: very limited access to in-home running water (one-quarter of settlements in Chukotka and half of settlements in Yakutia have no regular water supply) and lack of centralised sewerage (78% and 94% of settlements correspondingly have no sewerage); lack of water pretreatment and sewage treatment, outdated technologies and systems; serious deterioration of facilities and networks, frequent accidents; secondary pollution of drinking water. Lack of open objective information on Russian Arctic water supply and sanitation in the materials of the regional and federal statistics hampers the assessment of the real state of affairs. The situation for water and sanitation supply in these Russian Arctic regions remains steadily unfavourable. A comprehensive intervention from national and regional governmental levels is urgently needed.

Providing Safe Drinking Water to Slum Households, Siliguri, West Bengal, India

Bhar D, Bhattacherjee S, Mukherjee A, Sarkar TK, Dasgupta S. Utilization of safe drinking water and sanitary facilities in slum households of Siliguri, West Bengal. Indian J Public Health. 2017 Oct-Dec;61(4):248-253. doi: 10.4103/ijph.IJPH_345_16.

BACKGROUND: With the rapid expansion of urban population, provision of safe water and basic sanitation is becoming a challenge; especially in slums. This is adversely affecting the health of the people living in such areas.

OBJECTIVES: The study was conducted to measure the proportion of households using improved drinking water and sanitation facilities and to determine the association between diarrhea in under-five children with water and sanitation facilities.

METHODS: A community-based, cross-sectional study was conducted among 796 slum households in Siliguri from January to March 2016 by interviewing one member from each household using a predesigned and pretested questionnaire based on the WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Program Core questions on drinking water and sanitation for household surveys.

RESULTS: A majority 733 (92.1%) of slum households used an improved drinking water source; 565 (71%) used public tap. About two-thirds (65.7%) household used improved sanitation facilities. About 15.8% households had reported diarrheal events in children in the previous month. Unimproved drinking water sources (AOR = 4.13; 1.91, 8.96), houses without piped water supply (AOR = 4.43; 1.31, 15.00), and latrines located outside houses (AOR = 3.61; 1.44, 9.07) were significantly associated with the diarrheal events in children.

CONCLUSION: The utilization of improved drinking water source was high but piped water connection and improved sanitary toilet used was low. Association between diarrheal events and type of drinking water sources and place of sanitation might suggest fecal contamination of water sources. Awareness generation through family-centered educational programs could improve the situation.

Fecal Contamination Pollutes Drinking Water Sources, Kenya

Okullo JO, Moturi WN, Ogendi GM. Open Defaecation and Its Effects on the Bacteriological Quality of Drinking Water Sources in Isiolo County, Kenya. Environ Health Insights. 2017 Oct 9;11:1178630217735539. doi: 10.1177/1178630217735539.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION: The post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals for sanitation call for universal access to adequate and equitable sanitation and an end to open defaecation by 2030. In Isiolo County, a semi-arid region lying in the northern part of Kenya, poor sanitation and water shortage remain a major problem facing the rural communities.

OBJECTIVE: The overall aim of the study was to assess the relationship between sanitation practices and the bacteriological quality of drinking water sources. The study also assessed the risk factors contributing to open defaecation in the rural environments of the study area.

METHODS: A cross-sectional study of 150 households was conducted to assess the faecal disposal practices in open defaecation free (ODF) and open defaecation not free (ODNF) areas. Sanitary surveys and bacteriological analyses were conducted for selected community water sources to identify faecal pollution sources, contamination pathways, and contributory factors. Analysis of data was performed using SPSS (descriptive and inferential statistics at α = .05 level of significance).

RESULTS: Open defaecation habit was reported in 51% of the study households in ODNF villages and in 17% households in ODF villages. Higher mean colony counts were recorded for water samples from ODNF areas 2.0, 7.8, 5.3, and 7.0 (×103) colony-forming units (CFUs)/100 mL compared with those of ODF 1.8, 6.4, 3.5, and 6.1 (×103) areas for Escherichia coli, faecal streptococci, Salmonella typhi, and total coliform, respectively. Correlation tests revealed a significant relationship between sanitary surveys and contamination of water sources (P = .002).

CONCLUSIONS: The water sources exhibited high levels of contamination with microbial pathogens attributed to poor sanitation. Practising safe faecal disposal in particular is recommended as this will considerably reverse the situation and thus lead to improved human health.

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A Model for Developing Water and Sanitation Capacity

Sanitary Surveys can identify potential hazards, Kenya

Misati AG, Ogendi G, Peletz R, Khush R, Kumpel E. Can Sanitary Surveys Replace Water Quality Testing? Evidence from Kisii, Kenya. International journal of environmental research and public health. 2017 Feb 7;14(2). pii: E152. doi: 10.3390/ijerph14020152.

Information about the quality of rural drinking wateR sources can be used to manage their safety and mitigate risks to health. Sanitary surveys, which are observational checklists to assess hazards present at water sources, are simpler to conduct than microbial tests. We assessed whether sanitary survey results were associated with measured indicator bacteria levels in rural drinking water sources in Kisii Central, Kenya. Overall, thermotolerant coliform (TTC) levels were high: all of the samples from the 20 tested dug wells, almost all (95%) of the samples from the 25 tested springs, and 61% of the samples from the 16 tested rainwater harvesting systems were contaminated with TTC. There were no significant associations between TTC levels and overall sanitary survey scores or their individual components. Contamination by TTC was associated with source type (dug wells and springs were more contaminated than rainwater systems). While sanitary surveys cannot be substituted for microbial water quality results in this context, they could be used to identify potential hazards and contribute to a comprehensive risk management approach.

Hand Washing Practices, Vietnam

To KG, Lee JK, Nam YS, Trinh OT, Do DV. Hand washing behavior and associated factors in Vietnam based on the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey, 2010-2011. Global health action. 2016 Jan;9(1):29207. doi: 10.3402/gha.v9.29207.

Background: Handwashing is a cost-effective way of preventing communicable diseases such as respiratory and food-borne illnesses. However, handwashing rates are low in developing countries. Target 7C of the seventh Millennium Development Goals was to increase by half the proportion of people with sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation by 2015. Studies have found that better access to improved water sources and sanitation is associated with higher rates of handwashing.

Objective: Our goal was to describe handwashing behaviour and identify the associated factors in Vietnamese households. Design Data from 12,000 households participating in the Vietnam Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey 2011 were used. The survey used a multistage sampling method to randomly select 100 clusters and 20 households per cluster. Self-administered questionnaires were used to collect data from a household representative. Demographic variables, the presence of a specific place for handwashing, soap and water, access to improved sanitation, and access to improved water sources were tested for association with handwashing behaviour in logistic regression.

Results: Almost 98% of households had a specific place for handwashing, and 85% had cleansing materials and water at such a place. The prevalence of handwashing in the sample was almost 85%. Educational level, ethnicity of the household head, and household wealth were factors associated with handwashing practice (p<0.05). Those having access to an improved sanitation facility were more likely to practise handwashing [odds ratio (OR)=1.69, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.37-2.09, p<0.001], as were those with access to improved water sources (OR=1.74, 95% CI: 1.37-2.21, p<0.001).

Conclusions: Households with low education, low wealth, belonging to ethnic minorities, and with low access to improved sanitation facilities and water sources should be targeted for interventions implementing handwashing practice. In addition, the availability of soap and water at handwashing sites should be increased and practical teaching programs should be deployed in order to increase handwashing rates.