BRAC’s researchers are in the process of documenting the effectiveness of . In the fields outside the research centre, rows of rice and cabbages treated with faecal sludge are growing alongside control crops treated with chemical fertiliser and with cow dung i
Is there a publicly stated government policy on sanitation and hygiene – backed by statements from cabinet ministers and the President or Prime Minister?
3 Is there a plan to promote not just a few pilot projects but water and sanitation for everyone – with a budget and timetable?
Currently only 54% of Ethiopia’s 83 million people has access to an improved water source and 60 per cent to sanitation, while there is a big disparity between rural and urban coverage . Some 14% of under-5 childhood deaths in 2010 were caused by diarrhoea .
What do people in low-income communities think of their water and sanitation utilities?
- Can they express their grievances?
- Are they listened to?
- Do local people elect those who make the decisions over what money is spent where and on what?
- Are charges set too low to allow the system to be maintained and expanded? Are they set too high for the poorest to be able to afford them?
Is there a sustainable business case for sanitation?
The business case for sanitation in developing countries is testified by the thousands of small scale entrepreneurs springing up to tackle problems of open defecation and process faecal waste and urine. Will these businesses be profitable and sustainable? Can they address the huge scale of the problem? Will they address the issues in rural areas as well as urban areas? These questions are much harder to answer. The evidence from an event at the International Water Week (Amsterdam, 5 November 2013) leading up to the Sarphati Sanitation Award was mixed. Read more
Mrs. Rasheda Sahab, the 38-year old widow has come a long way from the uncertain situation in which she was left by her husband’s death in 2006. His medical expenses left her penniless, with a ten month old son and three other children to support. Rasheda’s husband had run a small sanitation shop in Hobirbari village of Bhalukasub-district, Mymensingh, Bangladesh, and although she had only occasionally helped out in the shop, Rasheda had no choice but to take over the business.
Ethiopia WASH Coverage Read more
Ethiopia: the success of the ArborLoo latrine The Government of Ethiopia does not endorse subsidies for sanitation and households must therefore purchase slabs and pay other building costs. Many private artisans have been trained to make slabs, but materials are often hard to come by. Project partner organisations still have to assist in getting materials, and often have to cover the cost of slabs for the poorest families. Slowly, however, the ArborLoo is becoming a part of Ethiopian rural culture by providing a payback for efforts made. Read more
Ethiopia, Balizenda: lack of toilets threatens education for girls The pressure on girls to drop out peaks with the advent of puberty, facing the realities of menstruation in a school with no latrine, no water, and no hope of privacy other than the shadow of a bush. Read more
Ethiopia, Addis Ababa: nearly a quarter of residents lack toilets Almost a quarter of Addis Ababa’s three million residents, have no access to toilets and defecate in rivers crossing the city, says a new report by the city authorities. One promising sanitation solution being promoted by a US-based NGO is the ArborLoo, a single pit shallow compost toilet Read more
School sanitation: Ethiopian teenage girls hardest hit by lack of latrines A new study by WaterAid in Benishangul Gumuz, a remote, drought-prone and marginalised region of Ethiopia, has shown that teenage girls were hit the hardest by a lack of decent school sanitation. Read more
Ethiopia: Open-air defecators pick up their own punishment They have a new way of doing things in Fura kebele (village) in Ethiopia. They call it community-led total sanitation (CLTS), but part of it is much simpler than that. Read more
Story ideas for WASH
Story ideas on sanitation, water and hygiene
Dick de Jong
“Brown gold” from pit latrines
2 million in Bangladesh
Bangladesh: government cuts water and sanitation
budget by US$ 121 million (July 2012)
• The Bangladesh government has reduced its allocation for water and sanitation by
around 10 billion taka (US$ 121 million) in the proposed 2012-13 budget. This is 29
per cent less than in 2011-2012. Just two months earlier at the Sanitation and
Water for All High Level Meeting in Washington, DC, the government had
committed to increase the allocation for sanitation and water supply by 50 per
• Speaking at a press conference in the capital Dhaka, WaterAid country
representative Md Khairul Islam said that the government should raise the water
and sanitation allocation and bridge the disparity between urban and rural people.
Zimbabwe: ‘I am not nobody now’
This story was told by Amai (Mother) Toriro before she
died in 2010 in Zimbabwe from an AIDS related illness.
The key message that she wanted readers to know was
that she had changed her life through becoming active
with the help of a community health club.
Source Bulletin (2011) Story from the field
Ethiopia: rush to achieve water and sanitation for all by
• Addise, comment
I have read the news on IRC site stating Ethiopia's ambition to achieve 98.5% water
and 100% sanitation coverage. That is a noble ambition. The ground reality is,
however, the opposite ….
E-Source Tuesday 24 July 2012 http://www.source.irc.nl/page/73068
• Team up with Engr Ebele Okeke, the first WSSCC
Ambassador from Nigeria.
Dick de Jong, comment on First consultation on developing post-2015 monitoring
indicators, Berlin: Refocusing the monitoring approach
Corruption destroys sustainability
• Zimbabwe, Namibia: examples of corruption
Zimbabwe's urban residents have to grease the palms of officials to ensure they can get access to
water supply and sanitation services. In Namibia community members manning water points in
villages should be paid for their work, says Henock Kankoshi, a Swapo MP in the National Council
• Corruption and decentralization: strengthening capacity for local
Corruption destroys sustainability
Shordt_Corruption_and_decentralization.pdf (348.4 kB)
• Pro-poor anti-corruption approaches
By Janelle Plummer
This paper addresses how corruption impacts on the poor, and how we can try to
ensure that anti-corruption actions are pro-poor.
• Plummer pro-poor anti-corruption approaches.pdf (1.2 MB)
What do people think?
From WSP calendar, May 2013. All available from:
School sanitation and hygiene is important for girls
• Editorial, Daily Champion, Nigeria
It beats the imagination that it had to cost the students such grievous assault before
they could get government to provide basic water for their school. (E-Source - 2007)
• IRC's Dick de Jong on the need for sanitation and hygiene in schools
Video http://www.irc.nl/page/67991 24 November 2011
There is one issue which IRC's Dick de Jong is passionate about: the need for
sanitation facilities in schools. The lack of decent toilets in schools causes kids -
especially girls - to drop out once they reach puberty. Dick talked to Louisa Selander in
the Watercube at the World Water Day 2011 celebrations in Cape Town.
Sanitation as a business
The Bokul Sanitation Centre on the Road of Hobirbari village.
Bangladesh. Photo: IRC/Dick de Jong, 2013B
“Competition? I am the best”
she sells around
30 sets of toilet
rings and slabs
per month –
which brings in
35,000 taka –
and that she
clears a profit of
euros) per year
Generate story ideas
• You can get additional story ideas from IRC’s E-Source news service
at http://www.source.irc.nl, and in Google, using for instance:
ethiopia (sanitation | latrines | toilets)
• Follow BBC World News video series on Human Waste: Toilet
• Communications over a 30-year period
Dick de Jong talks about the changes in communication in the water, sanitation and hygiene sector over a
30-year period at the Water Cube in 2011.
See blip tv video.
Become part of a global community of journalists dedicated to raising awareness and giving
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• IRC’s MySource you decide what water and sanitation news you want to get, when and
• Become member of WASH journalist network
• Dick de Jong, email: email@example.com
• Retired journalist, 30 years with IRC
• Now free lancing (occasionally): H2O Communications