WASHplus Weeklies

WASHplus Weekly: The WASHplus Weekly highlights latest research and resources on topics such as Water, Sanitation, Hygiene, Household Air Pollution, Clean Cooking, Innovation, Nutrition, Food Safety, WASH in Schools, WASH Integration, and more.

2016

Issue 224 July 8, 2016 Focus on WASHplus Project Publications
Issue 223 May 25, 2016 Focus on Menstrual Hygiene

Issue 222 April 5 2016 Focus on the State of Handwashing
Issue 221 March 21 2016 Focus on Water Quality, Supply, and Livelihoods

Issue 220 March 4 2016 Focus on WASH and Nutrition
Issue 219 Feb. 19 2016 Focus on Sustainability, Accountability, and Governance
Issue 218 Feb. 5 2016 Focus on Behavior Change and WASH
Issue 217 Jan. 22 2016 Q&A on Investments in Cookstoves with Jörg Peters, RWI
Issue 216 Jan. 8 2016 Q&A with Adam Creighton

2015

Issue 215 Dec. 18 2015 Focus on Water Quality
Issue 215 Dec. 7 2015 Focus on WASH in Schools
Issue 213 Nov. 6 2015 World Pneumonia Day 2015
Issue 212 Oct. 30 2015 Focus on Enabling Environments
Issue 211 Oct. 23 2015 Lessons Learned in Sanitation
Issue 209 Oct. 9 2015 Focus on Global Handwashing Day 2015
Issue 208 Sept. 25 2015 Focus on Water & Agriculture
Issue 207 Sept. 18 2015 Focus on Handwashing Research
Issue 206 Sept. 11 2015 Focus on Cookstoves for Displaced Populations
Issue 205 Sept. 4 2015 Focus on Neglected Tropical Diseases
Issue 204 August 28 2015 Focus on WASH & Innovation
Issue 203 August 21 2015 Focus on World Water Week 2015
Issue 202 August 14 2015 Focus on Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS)
Issue 201 August 7 2015 Focus on Animal Waste Management
Issue 200 July 31 2015 Focus on Wearables for WASH & Health
Issue 199 July 17 2015 Focus on WASH & Financing
Issue 198 July 10 2015 Focus on Waste Pickers
Issue 197 July 2 2015 Focus on WASH & Nutrition
Issue 196 June 26 2015 Management of Infant and Child Feces
Issue 195 June 19 2015 Role of Women in Clean Cooking
Issue 194 June 5 2015 WASH & HAP & Child Health
Issue 193 May 28 2015 Menstrual Hygiene Management
Issue 191 May 15 2015 Focus on WASH & Pastoralism
Issue 190 May 8 2015 Focus on Hygiene
Issue 189 May 1 2015 Focus on Desalination
Issue 188 April 24 2015 Behavior Change in the Clean Cooking Sector
Issue 187 April 17 2015 WASH and Enabling Environments
Issue 186 April 10 2015 WASH in Non-Household Settings, including Schools
Issue 185 April 3 2015 Focus on World Health Day 2015 – Food Safety
Issue 184 March 27 2015 Focus on Water Safety Plans (WSP)
Issue 183 March 20 2015 Focus on Microfinance
Issue 182 March 13 2015 Focus on Urban Wastewater
Issue 181 March 6 2015 Community-Led Total Sanitation
Issue 180 Feb 27 2015 Water Quality
Issue 179 Feb 20 2015 Focus on WASH & Nutrition
Issue 178 Feb 13 2015 Focus on Barriers to Improved Cookstove Adoption
Issue 177 Feb 6 2015 Focus on Rainwater Harvesting (RWH)
Issue 176 Jan 30 2015 Focus on Fecal Sludge Management (FSM)
Issue 175 Jan 23 2015 Focus on WASH & Zoonotic Diseases
Issue 174 Jan 16 2015 Focus on Handwashing Research
Issue 173 Jan 9 2015 Focus on Multiple-Use Water Services

2014

Issue 172 Dec 19 2014 Focus on Clean Cookstoves
Issue 171 Dec 12 2014 Focus on WASH & Nutrition
Issue 170 Dec 5 2014 Focus on WASH & Climate Change
Issue 169 Nov 26 2014 Focus on Monitoring, Evaluation, Resolution, and Learning (MERL)
Issue 169 Nov 14 2014 Focus on World Toilet Day 2014
Issue 168 Nov 7 2014 Focus on WASH in Public Facilities
Issue 167 Oct 31 2014 Focus on WASH and Ebola
Issue 166 Oct 24 2014 Focus on Clean Cookstoves
Issue 165 Oct 10 2014 Focus on Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS)
Issue 164 Oct 3 2014 World Habitat Day – Focus on Slums
Issue 163 Sept 26 2014 Focus on Sanitation as a Business
Issue 162 Sept 19 2014 Focus on WASH & Human Rights
Issue 161 Sept 12 2014 Focus on Rural Water Supply
Issue 160 Sept 5 2014 Focus on WASH & Nutrition
Issue 159 August 29 2014 Focus on Cookstoves Monitoring & Testing
Issue 158 August 22 2014 Focus on WASH and Monitoring
Issue 157 August 8 2014 Focus on Disease Outbreaks
Issue 156 August 1 2014 Focus on Hand Washing
Issue 155 July 25 2014 Focus on Clean Cooking in Nepal
Issue 154 July 18 2014 Focus on Gaming Applications for WASH
Issue 153 July 11 2014 Focus on Fecal Sludge Management
Issue 152 July 3 2014 Focus on WASH and Nutrition
Issue 151 June 27 2014 Focus on Violence and Gender in the WASH and
Issue 150 June 20 2014 Focus on Gender Mainstreaming and Clean Cookstoves
Issue 149 June 6 2014 Focus on Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS)
Issue 148 May 30 2014 Focus on the Future of Water
Issue 147 May 23 2014 Focus on Menstrual Hygiene Day
Issue 146 May 16 2014 Focus on Clean Cookstoves and Behavior Change
Issue 145 May 9 2014 Focus on Information and Communications Technology (ICT)
Issue 144 May 2 2014 Focus on Sanitation
Issue 143 April 25 2014 Focus on WASH and Nutrition=
Issue 142 April 18 2014 Focus on Sanitation and Water for All
Issue 141 April 11 2014 Focus on WASH and Maternal Health
Issue 140 April 4 2014 Focus on Child Feces Disposal
Issue 139 March 28 2014 Global Burden of Disease from Household Air Pollution
Issue 138 March 21 2014 Focus on World Water Day 2014
Issue 137 March 7 2014 Focus on Multiple-Use Water Services
Issue 136 February 28 2014 Focus on Learning from Failure
Issue 135 February 21 2014 Focus on WASH-Related Diseases
Issue 134 February 14 2014 Focus on WASH and Small Towns
Issue 133 February 7 2014 Focus on WASH and Design Thinking
Issue 132 January 31 2014 Focus on Handwashing
Issue 131 January 24 2014 Focus on WASH and Nutrition
Issue 130 January 17 2014 Focus on Sanitation Marketing
Issue 129 January 10 2014 Focus on Carbon Finance for Cookstoves
Issue 128 January 3 2014 Focus on Microfinance

2013

Issue 127 December 20 2013 Focus on Inclusive WASH
Issue 126 December 13 2013 Focus on Community-Led Total Sanitation
Issue 125 December 6 2013 Focus on ICS Adoption in Bangladesh
Issue 124 November 22 2013 Household Water Treatment & Safe Storage
Issue 123 November 15 2013 Focus on World Toilet Day 2013
Issue 122 November 8 2013 Focus on Self Supply
Issue 121 November 1 2013 Focus on the Health Impacts of WASH Interventions
Issue 120 October 11 2013 Focus on Hand Washing
Issue 119 October 4 2013 Focus on Cookstoves and Consumers
Issue 118 September 27 2013 Focus on Management of Health Care Waste
Issue 117 September 20 2013 Focus on WASH and Nutrition
Issue 116 September 13 2013 Focus on Rural Water Supply
Issue 115 September 6 2013 Focus on Monitoring & Evaluation of Cookstoves
Issue 114 August 30 2013 Focus on Water Cooperation
Issue 113 August 23 2013 Focus on WASH and Emergencies
Issue 112 August 16 2013 Focus on Sanitation Marketing
Issue 111 August 9 2013 Cholera Prevention and Control
Issue 110 August 2 2013 Household Energy and Climate Change
Issue 109 July 26 2013 Focus on Rural Water Supply and Sanitation
Issue 108 July 19 2013 Focus on Food Hygiene

Issue 107 July 12 2013 Focus on Menstrual Hygiene Management, 2nd Edition
Issue 106 July 3 2013 Focus on Behavior Change

Issue 105 June 28 2013 Focus on Sanitation for Preschool-Age Children
Issue 104 June 7 2013 Focus on Microfinance for Sanitation
Issue 103 May 31 2013 Focus on Cookstove Fuels
Issue 102 May 24 2013 Focus on WASH-Related Diseases
Issue 101 May 17 2013 Focus on Rainwater Harvesting
Issue 100 May 10 2013 Focus on Community-Led Total Sanitation
Issue 99 May 3 2013 Focus on Water and Food Security
Issue 98 April 26 2013 Cookstoves and the Environment
Issue 97 April 19 2013 A Hand Washing Update
Issue 96 April 12 2013 Focus on Financing WASH Services
Issue 95 April 5 2013 Focus on Urban Sanitation
Issue 94 March 29 2013 Focus on Health Impacts of Household Air Pollution
Issue 93 March 21 2013 Focus on World Water Day 2013
Issue 92 March 15 2013 Focus on WASH Sustainability
Issue 91 March 8 2013 Focus on Gender Issues
Issue 90 February 22 2013 Focus on Sanitation Marketing
Issue 89 February 15 2013 Focus on Household Water Treatment & Safe Storage (HWTS)

Issue 88 February 8 2013 Focus on Neglected Tropical Diseases
Issue 87 February 1 2013 Focus on Cookstove Stacking
Issue 86 January 25 2013 Focus on WASH and Maternal Health
Issue 85 January 18 2013 Focus on Post-2015 MDG Goals, Targets and Indicators
Issue 84 January 11 2013 Focus on WASH and Environmental Conservation

2012

Issue 83 December 21 2012 Focus on HAP and the Global Burden of Disease
Issue 82 December 14 2012 Focus on Community-Led Total Sanitation
Issue 81 December 7 2012 Focus on Water Kiosks
Issue 80 November 30 2012 Focus on Fecal Sludge Management
Issue 79 November 16 2012 Focus on World Toilet Day 2012
Issue 78 November 9 2012 Focus on World Pneumonia Day 2012
Issue 77 November 2 2012 Focus on Water Conflicts
Issue 76 October 26 2012 Focus on Climate Change
Issue 75 October 19 2012 Focus on Waste Pickers
Issue 74 October 12 2012 Global Handwashing Day
Issue 73 October 5 2012 Focus on Water Technologies
Issue 72 September 28 2012 Focus on Entrepreneurship in WASH and Household Energy
Issue 71 September 14 2012 Focus on Household Water Treatment & Safe Storage
Issue 70 September 7 2012 Focus on WASH and Child Survival
Issue 69 August 31 2012 Focus on Biogas for Cookstoves
Issue 68 August 24 2012 Focus on Multiple-Use Water Services
Issue 67 August 17 2012 Focus on Water and Food Security
Issue 66 August 10 2012 Focus on Cholera Prevention and Control
Issue 65 August 3 2012 Focus on Menstrual Hygiene Management
Issue 64 July 27 2012 Focus on Marketing Cookstoves
Issue 63 July 20 2012 Focus on HIV AIDS and WASH
Issue 62 July 13 2012 Focus on Soil-Transmitted Helminth Infections
Issue 61 July 6 2012 Focus on Community-Led Total Sanitation
Issue 60 June 29 2012 Focus on WASH in Emergencies
Issue 59 June 8 2012 Focus on Public-Private Partnerships
Issue 58 June 1 2012 Focus on WASH-Related Diseases
Issue 57 May 25 2012 Focus on the Integration of WASH and the Prevention of IAP
Issue 56 May 18 2012 Focus on Water Security

Issue 55 May 11 2012 An Update on Sludge Management
Issue 54 May 4 2012 Focus on Self Supply
Issue 53 April 27 2012 Focus on Cookstove Adoption
Issue 52 April 20 2012 Focus on Small-Scale WASH Service Providers
Issue 51 April 13 2012 A Hygiene Behavior Update
Issue 50 April 6 2012 Focus on the Informal Sector and Solid Waste Management
Issue 49 March 30 2012 Focus on Nanotechnology
Issue 48 March 23 2012 Focus on Urban Health
Issue 46 March 8 2012 Gender Considerations for WASH and IAP
Issue 45 March 2 2012 A Focus on Multiple-Use Water Services (MUS)
Issue 44 February 24 2012 A Focus on Adoption of WASH and IAP Interventions
Issue 43 February 17 2012 A Focus on Ecological Sanitation
Issue 42 February 10 2012 WASH and Neglected Tropical Diseases
Issue 41 February 3 2012 Year in Review, Household Water Treatment & Safe Storage
Issue 40 January 27 2012 Health Impacts of WASH and IAP Interventions from 2011
Issue 39 January 20 2012 Year in Review – 10 Key Studies on CLTS from 2011
Issue 37 January 6 2012 Focus on WASH and IAP Technologies

2011

Issue 36 December 16 2011 Focus on Financing Examples for WASH and IAP Interventions
Issue 35 December 9 2011 Focus on Water Safety Plans
Issue 34 December 2 2011 Focus on Rainwater Harvesting
Issue 33 November 18 2011 Focus on World Toilet Day and Communal Sanitation
Issue 32 November 11 2011 Focus on the Prevention of Pneumonia

Issue 31 November 4 2011 Focus on Water Point Mapping
Issue 30 October 28 2011 Focus on Menstrual Hygiene Management

Issue 29 October 21 2011 Focus on Carrying Water
Issue 28 October 14 2011 Focus on WASH and Climate Change
Issue 27 October 7 2011 Focus on Hand Washing
Issue 26 September 30 2011 Focus on WASH and Humanitarian Assistance
Issue 25 September 23 2011 Focus on Sanitation Marketing
Issue 24 September 9 2011 Focus on Reuse in Sanitation
Issue 23 September 2 2011 Focus on WASH for the Disabled
Issue 21 August 19 2011 Focus on Sludge Management
Issue 20 August 12 2011 Focus on Cholera Prevention and Control
Issue 19 August 5 2011 Focus on Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)
Issue 18 July 29 2011 Focus on Prevention and Treatment of Diarrhea
Issue 17 July 22 2011 Focus on Drinking Water Quality
Issue 16 July 15 2011 Focus on HIV AIDS and WASH
Issue 15 July 8 2011 Focus on Marketing Approaches
Issue 14 July 1 2011 Focus on Household Water Treatment and Safe Storage
Issue 13 June 24 2011 Focus on Hygiene Behavior
Issue 12 June 17 2011 Focus on Mobile Technologies
Issue 11 June 10 2011 Focus on Monitoring and Evaluation
Issue 11 June 3 2011 Focus on the Health Impacts of WASH Interventions
Issue 9 May 27 2011 Focus on Financing
Issue 8 May 20 2011 Focus on WASH and Urban Issues
Issue 8 May 13 2011 Focus on Community-Led Total Sanitation

Issue 7 May 6 2011 Focus on Gender & WASH
Issue 6 April 29 2011 Focus on the Integration of IAQ WASH and Schools
Issue 5 April 22, 2011 Focus on the Integration of WASH and IAQ
Issue 4 April 15, 2011 Focus on Household Water Treatment and Safe Storage
Issue 3 April 8, 2011 Focus on Handwashing
Issue 2 April 1 2011 Focus on Sanitation

Issue 1 March 1 2011 Welcome to Washplus Updates

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Sanitation and nutrition: Let’s break the vicious circle!

This short, educational, animated video from Generation Nutrition explores the links between sanitation and nutrition. The video has been translated into English with funding from the USAID WASHplus project.

WASHplus is working on integrating WASH and Nutrition programming not only by improving water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) in places where we work but also by working towards a fuller integration of WASH, health and nutrition programming. Learn more about WASHplus’s work in WASH-Nutrition Integration.

 

Celebrating World Health Day: Why Food Hygiene Matters

You are what you eat

It is estimated that 2 million deaths occur every year from contaminated food or drinking water. Diarrheal disease alone kills an estimated 1.5 million children annually, and most of these cases are attributed to contaminated food or drinking water, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). 

In Uganda, the WASHplus project worked closely with USAID implementing partners including Community Connector, SPRING, STAR-SW, FANTA, and others to integrate WASH and aspects of food hygiene, among other interventions, into HIV care and support. WASHplus developed a series of job aids to support outreach workers and clinical counselors to integrate WASH into their home-based and clinical practice. The job aids are available in English, and two local languages, Rukiga and Rufumbira. Also, notable in WASHplus’s work in Uganda is the application of the small doable action approach to food hygiene to address local challenges of keeping food safe.

Resources developed by WASHplus are provided below.

Integrating Safe Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene into Infant and Child Nutrition Programmes. A Training Resource Pack for Uganda, 2014.

Integrating Safe Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene into Infant and Child Nutrition Programmmes

In Uganda, the WASHplus project is integrating WASH into to Nutrition and Feed the Future Programming. Integrating WASH into nutrition focuses on the importance of improving household sanitation and nutritional needs in a child’s first 1,000 days. By building capacity of implementing partners and district focal and community resource personnel, WASHplus facilitated the integration of WASH into clinical nutrition assessment, home visits with householders of small children and families affected by HIV, and through community mobilization campaigns. For example, Community Connector now not only includes WASH as part of the model homes in its 1,000 days campaign, the project included WASH in its community drama initiatives, radio talk show, behavior change communication materials, and field day exhibition, which emphasized the integration of nutrition, agriculture, income, and WASH. Integrating WASH into the District Nutrition Coordination Committees further emphasized the importance of WASH and nutrition integration during the budgeting process, implementation, and supervision of district efforts to fight undernutrition.

Small Doable Actions for Improving Household Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Practices. Job Aids for Village Health Teams, Peer Educators, and their Supervisors (English, RufumbiraRukiga), 2104.

Small Doable Actions for Improving Household Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Practices -Job Aids for Village Health Teams_Peer Educators_Supervisors

Small Doable Actions for keeping food safe

Working with SPRING, WASHplus created the first-ever job aids promoting small doable actions for food hygiene, based on the World Health Organization’s “Five Keys to Safer Food.” The job aids address issues of food safety during preparation, serving, and related to storage. This initiative directly addressed the contribution of poor food handling in spreading contamination that leads to diarrhea. Other job aids highlight safe disposal of infant and animal/poultry feces, which may be significant contributors of undernutrition and inhibitors of growth according to a growing evidence base. Feces from these sources find their way to a child’s mouth through food or water contamination or through direct ingestion, causing diarrhea, enteropathy, and contributing to the excessive growth stunting documented in the region.

Additional WASHplus Resources

You Are What You Eat: Why Food Hygiene Matters for Child Growth. Julia Rosenbaum, FHI 360/Deputy Director of the USAID funded WASHplus Project, and Merri Weinger, USAID/Bureau for Global Health/Environmental Health Team leader. A presentation at the USAID Mini-University, March 2015.

Why WASH Matters for Improved Child Health, Nutrition & Growth: A Knowledge Sharing Event. Julia Rosenbaum, FHI 360/Deputy Director of the USAID funded WASHplus Project, June 2014.

Hygiene Intervention Reduces Contamination of Weaning Food in Bangladesh, Islam et. al. Tropical Medicine and International Health, Volume 18, no 3, pages 250–258, March 2013.

Update from UNGA and TEDMED: Handwashing, Partnerships, Integration and Innovation

by Layla McCay

Cropped_headshot_reasonably_smallAbout the author: Dr. Layla McCay is the Director of the Public Private Partnership for Handwashing (PPPHW) Secretariat, housed at FHI 360. The USAID-funded WASHPlus Project supports the PPPHW in its efforts to promote handwashing and hygiene improvement. Follow Layla on Twitter: @LaylaMcCay

Partnerships and integration were the buzz words surrounding the UN General Assembly in New York in September. The Public Private Partnership for Handwashing secretariat delved into the deluge of international development players, with the purpose of seeking opportunities for handwashing, and learning about current issues in partnerships for international development.

A key message being reiterated in the development community over the course of UN General Assembly week is that as a community, we are becoming ‘post-public-private-divide’. There is increasing appreciation of the synergies and complementary roles of the different sectors, and an appetite to bring all players together to maximize impact. While that can be easier said than done, tendencies to either sanctify or vilify different sectors or particular players were deemed outdated; instead, the focus this September was on the benefits of working together to inspire and drive better practices all around. In terms of business, there was recognition that social good is starting to move out of the CSR/philanthropy departments to become business as usual, a business investment in efficiency and sustainability – which means we should expect more public-private partnering. Indeed, looking towards the successors to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are expected to be key drivers of the multi-sector partnerships that will be needed to deliver them.

Another persistent message during ‘UNGA’ was the importance of integration, as opposed to programming in silos. In the context of handwashing, this means exploring opportunities to integrate handwashing programs ‘horizontally’ into a range of sectors, such as sanitation, nutrition, maternal and child health, healthcare, HIV/AIDS, education, gender empowerment, economic development… but also considering how to integrate ‘vertically’, across the enabling environment, including investment in infrastructure and the social determinants of health. This approach is about harnessing the power of cross-sectoral partnerships to address a range of development challenges being experienced by a population, rather than focusing on single issues. It was striking how many of our development colleagues believed the barrier to meaningful, strategic integration was not just the practicalities of integrating on the ground, but the ‘single issue’ nature of funding for international development. For example, investing in school uniforms may help girls attend school – but to keep them in school, investing in menstrual hygiene materials and facilities may be needed too, but these two interventions may have entirely different funders and programs. The “celebrity couple” of nutrition and hygiene came up repeatedly, with the implication that this “couple” should think about taking their relationship to the next level, with greater integration of nutrition and hygiene work.

Integration across sectors for health promotion was also a theme at the TEDMED conference, which I got the opportunity to attend in September. You can read my general write-up of the whole event here. In terms of food for thought regarding handwashing, there was a compelling discussion about refreshing and diversifying messaging for health promotion. Using the example of breastfeeding promotion, one speaker noted that messages about breastfeeding for babies’ health are important but as these messages become increasingly familiar to people, they (a) risk losing their impact, and (b) only engage a subset of people. However by diversifying the messages to also make breastfeeding a women’s health issue, and a heart health issue (focusing on how breastfeeding reduces the mother’s risk of obesity and heart disease), new lines of engagement are opened, with the opportunity for new champions, new messages, new incentives, greater reach, more targeted appeal, and hopefully more uptake of the behavior. There may be useful lessons for diversifying hygiene messages to expand impact.

My first experience of seeing a ‘celebrity handwashing champion’ in action came in the form of Kajol, at Unilever’s Help a Child Reach 5 hygiene event with USAID. Her messages were simple, but her presence created a clear buzz. In addition to the keen interest of press in the room, some of whom told me they were there specifically to see her, it was interesting to see Kajol’s legions of fan clubs and fans around the world picking up and retweeting her handwashing messages (a tweet I sent about her reached over 100,000 people). This was an interesting insight into the potential reach of handwashing promotion messages from strategically selected and deployed celebrity champions.

Finally, the use of technology to improve hygiene is always an interesting question, and it tends to come up on these forward-looking platforms. It was inspiring, for example, to see examples from Unilever and MAMA of how mobile phones can be used to deliver hygiene education directly to pregnant women. At TEDMED, there was also some interesting discussion about crowdfunding health – using the web to set up facilities like Kickstarter to enable the public to directly fund specific health interventions in specific places. With the Millennials embracing this sort of targeted giving, there could be some interesting opportunities for crowdfunding hygiene in future. Throughout the events, there was significant talk about harnessing the voice, experiences, ideas, and energy of youth to drive progress.

WASHplus Kenya End of Project Experience Sharing Workshop and Report

From January 2010 to September 2014 WASHplus worked with the Kenyan government to generate demand for sanitation; improve water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) practices among all households; and introduce simple supportive technologies to vulnerable households. The project supported the Ministry of Health (MOH) and its partners to integrate improved WASH practices into HIV policies, programs, and training. To do so WASHplus worked within existing structures under the MOH, such as the departments of Environmental Health, Sanitation and Community Health Services and the National AIDS and STI Control Program, as well as with other U.S. government bilateral partners—the APHIAplus projects and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention partners.

The two WASHplus program components—integrating WASH into HIV and advancing improved sanitation uptake—worked together to improve WASH practices across Kenya. The program objectives were to:

  • Assist government and NGO programs in Kenya to integrate improved WASH practices into HIV policies and programs, with special emphasis on inclusive approaches
  • Support uptake of improved sanitation practices using a community-led total sanitation (CLTS)-plus approach
  • Help to build a vibrant private sector to address demand for sanitation especially focused on quality latrines that meet minimum standards

What started as an activity to integrate sanitation and hygiene practices into HIV/AIDS care and support programs has grown over the years into a holistic approach to prevent diarrhea among households at risk. USAID’s WASHplus project helped communities and households in Kenya make the connection between improved sanitation, healthy hygiene habits, and positive outcomes for people living with HIV and AIDS (PLHIV), their families, children, the elderly, and other vulnerable households. Along the way WASHplus technical support, participatory training, partner engagement, and behavior change efforts yielded valuable lessons for other countries battling to improve sanitation and health outcomes in the context of uncertain funding. Innovation, flexibility, and commitment to working hand-in-hand with the government proved to be keys to the project’s success. With the government’s endorsement and adoption of WASHplus’s signature approach, small doable actions are likely to continue to resonate with many audiences long after the WASHplus transition.

On September 24th the WASHplus Kenya project held an end-of-project experience-sharing workshop in Nairobi. Photos from the workshop are presented below. The WASHplus Kenya end-of-project report “Integrating WASH into HIV Interventions and Advancing Improved Sanitation Uptake” can be downloaded from the WASHplus website.

Pic2 -Dr John Kariuki
Kenya’s deputy Chief Public Health Officer Dr John Kimani addresses the WASHplus Kenya end-of-project experience-sharing workshop held in Nairobi on September 25th 2014. Photo: Elisha Ratem
Kenya’s deputy Chief Public Health Officer Dr John Kimani addresses the WASHplus Kenya end-of-project experience-sharing workshop held in Nairobi on September 25th 2014. Photo: Elisha Ratem
Kenya’s deputy Chief Public Health Officer Dr John Kimani addresses the WASHplus Kenya end-of-project experience-sharing workshop held in Nairobi on September 25th 2014. Photo: Elisha Ratem
Caroline Vata, a government public health officer, presents a case study during the WASHplus Kenya end-of-project experience-sharing workshop  of in Nairobi September 25th 2014. Photo: George Obanyi
Caroline Vata, a government public health officer, presents a case study during the WASHplus Kenya end-of-project experience-sharing workshop held in Nairobi on September 25th 2014. Photo: George Obanyi
Pic-4_Makena presents
Evelyn Makena, WASHplus manager in Kenya, makes a presentation during the end-of-project experience-sharing workshop held in Nairobi on September 25th 2014. Photo: George Obanyi
Pic6_Charles Odira
Charles Odira of Plan International makes a point during the plenary session of an experience-sharing workshop held in Nairobi on September 25th, 2014 to enable other partners scale up its approaches. Photo: Elisha Ratemo
Pic5_CHW Kamau
A community health volunteer admires his own photo displayed in  gallery showcasing achievements of WASHplus program in Kenya. This was during the Kenya end-of-project experience-sharing workshop held in Nairobi on September 25th 2014 to enable other partners scale up its approaches. Photo: Elisha Ratemo
Pic7_Yatich with Dr Mores
Public Health Officer James Yatich explains about a commode he improvised for chronically ill patients. The innovation was displayed in a gallery showing the works of WASHplus program in Kenya over the past four years. Photo: Elisha Ratemo

Postcard from Montana

 

sarah fry thumbnailA postcard from “Sustaining the Blue Planet” Conference 2014, Big Sky, Montana

Montana is not a usual spot for international WASH and development folks to congregate.  Usually it’s Dakar or The Hague.  But here we are from Nigeria, China, Laos, India and many U.S. states, to talk about integrating water and WASH literacy into the classrooms of the world.

The WASH in Schools global community set a challenge for itself this year to attend and present at conferences sponsored by the education sector to highlight WASH as a critical element of quality education.  Integration of WASH and Education has special challenges that stem from different visions.  Education wants children to stay in school and learn; WASH wants to prevent diarrheal disease in small children; and WASH in Schools wants to keep schoolchildren healthy.  The key to effective integration of WASH and Education is to meld the two visions into one shared one that everyone can support:  assuring a clean and safe school environment and healthy habits that keep children in school, able to learn and grow into well-educated, healthy and economically secure adults.

Project WET is a pioneer in this, and their annual conference is heavily attended by education professionals.   Honoring the commitment to be present at education events, the WASHplus project (funded by USAID) sent me to this conference to share our experience from the SPLASH (Schools Promoting Learning and Achievement  through Sanitation and Hygiene) project that we are implementing in Zambia and to talk about how we are integrating WASH into the Zambian educational system.  Yesterday our talk described how WASH integration is occurring in two streams, by:

1) creating opportunities to learn (OTL) through WASH (improving educational outcomes) and

2) creating opportunities to learn about WASH (improving life skills and forming hygiene habits).

Usually WASH in Schools makes us think of building nice latrines and tippy taps for hand washing.  In fact, we have found that weaving WASH into the education sector is a complex job that presents many opportunities worth seizing.  The education sector identifies nine “OTL”s of which five are influenced by WASH improvements.  An example of opportunities to learn would be student and teacher attendance, which can be affected by the presence or absence of improved, gender segregated toilets and safe drinking water.  More WASH-related obstacles to learning that present opportunities when fixed are lack of places and means for hygienic managing of menstruation and also hand washing, and schoolyards that are unsafe and unsavory due to nearby open defecation practices.

WASH in Schools also creates opportunities for the pupils, teachers and the nearby community to learn about the importance of using latrines, drinking safe water and practicing hygiene, hopefully leading to lifelong good habits.   SPLASH uses SLTS (school-led total sanitation) to help the school community along the path to becoming WASH friendly.  SPLASH also builds WASH into the official teacher in-service training system where the teachers themselves can develop classroom activities that fold WASH themes into history, language, math, science and other subjects.  This is what most of the participants at this conference are actively doing – finding innovative ways to support teachers to teach the next generation of leaders and managers about water conservation, battling invasive species, engineering challenges and using the latest technologies to solve challenges, just as examples.

The setting here in Montana is breathtaking and our hosts are quick to point out the state’s abundant natural resources and its commitment to preserving them.  One participant took the theme “Sustaining the Blue Planet” to a stratospheric level last night…literally!  Astronaut and conservation advocate Richard Arnold shared his stunning photos and moving video clips taken by himself from the International Space Station, showing us the glory and the fragility of our shared blue home, another thing that educators and WASH practitioners can bond over.

Author: Sarah Fry is a Senior Hygiene and School WASH Advisor with the USAID funded WASHplus Project. She is the WASHplus point person for integration of WASH and Education, manages the USAID-funded SPLASH program in Zambia and an urban hygiene improvement program in Benin.  Sarah has been working in WASH since her Peace Corps days in Benin.  She has a MPH from UNC/Chapel Hill.