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
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.
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.
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.
The importance of achieving water and sanitation globally is not disputed. The “human right” aspects must be acknowledged and addressed. However, advocating for water and sanitation as a “global human right” is insufficient and in some cases counter productive.
Giné-Garriga R, Flores-Baquero Ó, Jiménez-Fdez de Palencia A, Pérez-Foguet A.
Monitoring sanitation and hygiene in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: A review through the lens of human rights. The Science of the total environment. 2016 Dec 15. pii: S0048-9697(16)32753-X. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.12.066.
International monitoring of drinking water and sanitation has been jointly carried out by WHO and UNICEF through their Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP). With the end of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) era in 2015, the JMP has proposed a post-2015 framework for integrated monitoring of water and sanitation targets included in the Sustainable Development Goal no. 6. This article discusses how each element of the proposed sanitation target and corresponding indicators can be understood from a human rights perspective. Building on the MDGs, and although some of the weaknesses and gaps persist, the discussion suggests that the post-2015 proposal is a step forward towards a monitoring framework where human rights elements related to sanitation are effectively promoted. In addition, to support the interpretation and implementation of the normative content of human rights obligations related to sanitation, the study proposes a reduced set of easy-to-assess indicators to measure the normative criteria of this right, which are then grouped in a multidimensional framework to describe increasing levels of sanitation service. To do this, the study combines literature review and specific local experience from three case studies. It is shown that the proposed monitoring tools, namely the indicators and the multidimensional indicator framework, provide guidance on monitoring the human right to sanitation. In doing so, they might ultimately help sector stakeholders in the realization of this right.
Luh J, Bartram J. Drinking water and sanitation: progress in 73 countries in relation to socioeconomic indicators. Bulletin of the World Health Organization. 2016 Feb 1;94(2):111-121A. doi: 10.2471/BLT.15.162974.
OBJECTIVE: To assess progress in the provision of drinking water and sanitation in relation to national socioeconomic indicators.
METHODS: We used household survey data for 73 countries – collected between 2000 and 2012 – to calculate linear rates of change in population access to improved drinking water (n = 67) and/or sanitation (n = 61). To enable comparison of progress between countries with different initial levels of access, the calculated rates of change were normalized to fall between -1 and 1. In regression analyses, we investigated associations between the normalized rates of change in population access and national socioeconomic indicators: gross national income per capita, government effectiveness, official development assistance, freshwater resources, education, poverty, Gini coefficient, child mortality and the human development index.
FINDINGS: The normalized rates of change indicated that most of the investigated countries were making progress towards achieving universal access to improved drinking water and sanitation. However, only about a third showed a level of progress that was at least half the maximum achievable level. The normalized rates of change did not appear to be correlated with any of the national indicators that we investigated.
CONCLUSION: In many countries, the progress being made towards universal access to improved drinking water and sanitation is falling well short of the maximum achievable level. Progress does not appear to be correlated with a country’s social and economic characteristics. The between-country variations observed in such progress may be linked to variations in government policies and in the institutional commitment and capacity needed to execute such policies effectively.