Filtered by: Water and sanitation <Back to previous page Advocacy - communicating with people in power - good practice guide Advocating for sanitation and hygieneby Mwakamubaya Nasekwa and François Kiza The Democratic Republic of Congo, a country coming out of a long war, faces many challenges, including that of improving the living conditions of its population through the promotion of sanitation and hygiene. Studies suggest that fewer than one in ten people in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have adequate access to sanitation and hygiene. Bible studiesThese Bible studies are designed to use in small groups. They may provide a useful introduction to a meeting where different topics from the Guide… Bible study: Being clean before God and clean before othersJesus has taught us clearly that it’s not outer dirt or cleanliness that matters to God, but the cleanness of our hearts. So what is the importance of hygiene? Bible study: Setting a good exampleThis Bible study helps us to think about how we should live responsibly and set a good example to those around us. Bible study: The power of waterIn this issue we have been looking at water. In the Bible, water is used as a symbol to show several different aspects of God’s power. Bible study: Water for lifeWater for life. The Bible has a surprisingly large number of references to water – over 300 in my concordance, not to mention another 80 on rain. Which is the first verse that comes to your mind when you think about water? Biosand filtersBiosand filters purify dirty water so that it becomes safe to drink. They are very useful, both in rural and urban areas which lack safe piped water. Calgary University, Canada, developed an innovative low-cost design using concrete. Communityled total sanitation‘Community-led total sanitation’ was pioneered in Bangladesh by Kamal Kar (a development consultant from India) and the Village Education Resource Centre while they were evaluating an NGO’s traditional subsidised sanitation programme. They wanted to convince the NGO to stop subsidising toilet construction because subsidies in the past had not led to community ownership and toilet usage. Instead, they suggested that the NGO should encourage people to help themselves. They developed an approach ... Conflict and watershed managementby Vidya Gorakshkar. The watershed of a river includes all the land which drains into a river, the upland and wooded areas where streams begin, as well as areas nearer the river itself. Managing this watershed area may involve soil and water conservation, afforestation, fodder, animal husbandry, fuelwood, community development and indeed most aspects of rural life. Some villages in the Ahmadnager District of Maharashtra State in India are participating in the Indo-German Watershed ... D20 Sanitation in emergencies Adequate sanitation is rarely considered by communities when preparing for disasters. However, without it, there is no doubt that many more people… Disease and sanitationAction in low-income communities by Professor John Pickford of the Water, Engineering and Development Centre at Loughborough University of Technology. EditorialIn this issue we look at the three related subjects of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene. It is now realised that these three must go hand in hand to achieve real improvements in health. Richard Franceys and Paul Dean have helped to provide articles and practical instructions for each of these three key areas. Issues for both rural and urban situations are considered. We show how to build a water tank for use alongside a home, school, health centre or church. (We know from your letters that some ... Encouraging good hygiene and sanitationEncourages changes in practice and understanding attitudes, with practical ideas to encourage hand washing, to keep food safe, to provide safe drinking water and maintain good health. It also includes advice on improving water supplies and building different types of latrines. Ferrocement TankFerro-cement water tanks can be used to store rainwater collected from roofs. They use wire mesh to reinforce the walls. This means that the walls do not need to be thick, so less cement is needed. If mesh is not too expensive, the tanks can be much cheaper than ready-made alternatives. Gender and sanitationCompiled by Rachel Blackman When considering sanitation and hygiene, it is important to consider the different needs and preferences of both men and women. Glossarychlorine bleach a strong chemical that can be used to make water safe for drinking. cholera a serious disease causing severe diarrhoea with vomiting… Glossary of words used in this issueANAL relating to the anus, through which faeces pass DEFECATION passing faeces from the body Goal 7 Ensure environmental sustainabilityTargets include the need to protect the environment, to reduce by half the number of people without access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation, and to significantly improve the lives of slum dwellers. Hand washingEven if our hands look clean, they can still be covered with millions of germs. Washing hands with soap is one of the most important ways to keep ourselves healthy and stop these germs from spreading from one person to another. Health promotion in Darfur Sudanby Anne McCulloch Knowing the best way to keep yourself and your family healthy is important. This is especially the case for the people of Darfur in Sudan, who have been displaced from their homes due to fighting and are living in cramped basic conditions in camps or with relatives. Tearfund is working to provide safe water and sanitation in these areas and give appropriate health messages so that people use the resources effectively. Helping a community to improve hygiene and sanitationWe asked community facilitator Pratikchya Khadka of Share and Care Nepal about her sanitation and hygiene work. We hope you will be inspired by her experience of respectfully helping people to change their behaviour. Household sanitation: myths and realitiesWhy do sanitation programmes often fail? Here are some common myths about improving household sanitation, followed by explanations of why the reality is different. How to convert rain into safe drinking waterIn rural areas, the main water sources are normally groundwater borewells or surface water, rivers and lakes. However, an often overlooked, easily… Improving health through water sanitation and hygieneby Sue Yardley. Reducing child and maternal mortality are targets within Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5. In 2010 many donor governments and international agencies are focusing on these issues. There has been some encouraging progress in meeting these goals, but greater effort is still needed to achieve them. Improving access to water, sanitation and hygiene education (WASH) can help significantly to improve the life chances of children and ... In search of waterDowsing or water divining, can mean different things to different people. To the scientific community it is superstitious nonsense; to many farmers in Britain and elsewhere it is a useful method of finding good water for their livestock; to many it is something of a mystery. Finally, some Christians believe it to be dangerous and linked with satanic powers. However, due to its widespread use in many parts of the world it is a phenomenon worthy of investigation. Keeping sanitation on the school agendaby Awoyemi Olawale Sanitation is not a priority in schools because people do not realise the need for a safe and clean environment. This attitude means that when there are many competing priorities, resources are allocated to academic activities while sanitation is neglected. But good sanitation facilities, such as latrines, safe drinking water supply, and hand-washing facilities, are important for the success of basic education. Knowledge and practice using water in the homeby Yudith Contreras Veloso Linking climate, environment, food, water and disasters - activity Making the most of waterA collection of ideas on storing and using it.. Moulds for water jars The water department in the Diocese of Kigezi, Uganda uses specially shaped wooden moulds which fit together to form the shape of a small water jar. Clay is used to smooth any gaps before plastering over the moulds with layers of cement. Once the mortar has set firm (within a day) the moulds can be removed through the lid of the jar. The Department has about ten similar sets of moulds which can be reused over and ... N12 Doorsized gardensMany homes, particularly in towns and cities, have little or no room for growing vegetables. However, outside many homes is an area of ground that… N8 Personal hygieneGood personal hygiene plays an important part in good health. We should wash ourselves, and our clothes, regularly with soap and water to prevent the… Objectives and anticipated outcomesThis Guide helps communities to consider improving their lifestyle to reduce disease and infection. Promoting effective and low-cost sanitation,… Overcoming challenges in Community-Led Total SanitationIt is widely accepted that the success of a Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) process depends mostly on the skills of the facilitator. This is because in most cultures defecation is considered a private, personal activity, which should not be publicly discussed. Planning a pit latrineCompiled by Brian Skinner, Richard Franceys and Isabel Carter Poster with a gender challengeTearfund’s partner in Ethiopia, Kale Heywet Church, has supported work in water and sanitation over many years in Ethiopia. They have a team of health educators who work with communities, raising awareness of hygiene, sanitation and capacity development. Water and Sanitation committees are elected and the educators train the committee members in hygiene and management. Many of these committees are now well organised and effective. However, changing attitudes is a slow process. The Water, ... Recommended readingSanitation and cleanliness for a healthy environment (2005) by J Conant. Hesperian Foundation and UNDP Encouraging change: Sustainable steps in water… ResourcesA selection of books, websites and training material on the subject of hygiene and sanitation. Revealing climate change - information for facilitators Revealing environmental degradation - information for facilitators Revealing the need for sanitation - information for facilitators Sanitation and HIVby Jennifer Organ HIV is affecting communities across the world, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. People living with HIV often suffer from diarrhoea and tiredness. Diarrhoea increases the need for easy and frequent use of a toilet, while weakness reduces people’s mobility and access to sanitation facilities. Sanitation and the Millennium Development Goalsby Frank Greaves and Laura Webster Selecting appropriate latrinesby Frank Greaves Why do so many latrine programmes not have their intended impact on the health of the community? In recent years there has been more emphasis on changing attitudes towards sanitation and hygiene, hygiene education and community ownership. But sometimes this has meant that little attention has been given to selecting appropriate latrine technologies. This article looks at how we can guide communities to select technically appropriate latrines, while at the same time ensuring ... Simple lowcost improvements for latrinesLatrines are commonly made with reinforced concrete slabs, as shown in article 'Planning a pit latrine.' However, this method uses a lot of cement and can be too expensive for many. This means that people either do not build latrines or build them with mud floors which are hard to clean. Here are two methods of building latrine covers which are easy to keep clean but which use much less cement. Eight sanplats, for example, can be made from one bag of cement. Soap makingMaking simple plain soap is relatively easy and involves basic equipment. This article describes how you can make simple hard soaps that are suitable for many uses around the home, including hand washing. Storing rainwater in RajasthanIn the past 15 years, climate extremes such as flooding, drought, cyclones and mud slides have caused about 85% of deaths related to natural disasters and over 60% of the financial damage. Extreme weather events unfortunately are becoming more common due to climate change, so we need to be better prepared. Supporting Water Councils in Hondurasby José Vidal Lanza The impact of climate change on nomadic peopleby Jeff Woodke The Knotty Problem of the Haunted WellsIn Footsteps No.12 we reported that people living near Mengo Hospital in Uganda preferred to drink dirty river water instead of the clean water offered to them because of their fear of spirits. The MukombeA useful idea sent in by Andrew Maclean, WaterAid, Rukungiri, Uganda. The three legsby Richard Franceys. We all know that water is a wonderful gift. It falls as rain and collects in streams and rivers or under the ground. From there we can take it for drinking, for cooking, for bathing and for washing pots and pans and clothes. The Tippy Tap by Elena Hurtado. Shortage of water is the main reason why people fail to wash their hands regularly. Here is an idea which only uses about a tenth of the amount of water usually used to wash hands. The Tippy Tap is made from an old plastic container with a hollow handle. It is based on the mukombe (Footsteps 14). It also uses less soap as the soap is hung up and protected from rain so it does not become soggy. The water programme in Saradidi Rural Health ProjectThe Saradidi Rural Health Project is found in Western Kenya, near the shores of Lake Victoria. It was begun almost ten years ago. It has strong links with the 61 villages within the project area, nearly all of which now have their own health worker and an agricultural worker. From the beginning, the community has been fully involved in deciding the priorities of the project. The woman who wanted a toiletWhen Anita Narre left her in-laws’ home because it had no toilet, the residents of the village of Zitudhana were shocked. Defecation in the open was usual even among the few graduates in the village, so the new bride’s decision made news in the community. Towards better sanitationClean water and safe sanitation improve everyone’s health and opportunities in life. When people have clean water and safe sanitation, many diseases are less easily spread. But why is good sanitation so difficult to achieve? W1 Healthy livesGood health is a great blessing. None of us enjoy feeling unwell. We have all had times of feeling unwell. Sometimes this is because we catch an… W10 BreastfeedingDuring the first six months of a child’s life, breast milk alone is the ideal food. It contains all the nutrients and water needed for healthy… W11 Womens hygieneMenstruation is a natural event for all women of reproductive age. For most women it occurs once a month. Each month the womb develops a special… W12 Keeping food safeThe microbes that cause diarrhoea and other diseases can be spread through food as well as water. Most people already have good ways of handling… W13 Washing and drying dishesGood hygiene in handling food is very important. However, it is also important to make sure that the dishes and utensils used for serving food are… W22 Using latrinesIf people do not have access to latrines, then burying faeces in the ground is a simple step that will improve hygiene. It will reduce people’s risk… W23 Planning a pit latrineLatrines need to be built near the house but at least 20 metres from any water source. The walls can be built of mud, brick, matting or corrugated… W24 Childrens latrinesYoung children are often afraid to use a latrine. They may be unable to open the door, afraid of the dark or the pit. However, even young children… W25 Emergency latrinesLatrines take a long time to plan and build well. Sometimes there may be situations when there is no time to build proper latrines, such as after… W26 Sharing the messagesPeople are more likely to respond to positive messages that respect their reasons for doing things, rather than to warnings about dirt. Share… W27 Recording changes in understandingAfter a time of sharing the messages learned from this Guide with people in the community, it is good to assess their impact. We need to know whether… W4 Taking a health walkIn this Guide we will learn many useful messages that we can share with people to help them to live healthier lives. It is very helpful to first find… W5 Hand washingMost of the time when we look at our hands, they seem clean. However, they can look clean but still be covered by many thousands of tiny microbes.… W6 Washing with little waterIt is helpful to make washing hands regularly as quick and easy as possible. If water is limited, there are ways of washing hands that use very… W7 Investigating hand washing behaviourIt can be hard to encourage people to wash their hands if they don’t see the need. If we know what people believe about washing hands, we can share… W8 Keeping ourselves cleanWe have already learned about the importance of keeping our hands clean. The rest of our body also needs to stay clean. Every day we should wash our… W9 Treating diarrhoeaWhen people get diarrhoea, they can lose a lot of water and salts from their body very quickly. Babies and young children suffer most. In many… Water some of the problemsThe World Health Organisation has estimated that 80% of all sickness and disease in the world is caused through lack of clean water and poor sanitation. What works best? Different approaches to changing hygiene behaviourAs with many things, when it comes to approaches to changing hygiene behaviour, one size does not fit all. A method that works in one context is unlikely to have the same results in another. Words used in this issueExplanations of some of the words and phrases used in this edition. Working to improve hygiene and health in Boliviaby Felina Albornoz, Paulina Rivas and Hermógenes Lizarazu Part of the Mosoj Yan programme in Cochabamba, Bolivia, is a ‘Motivation Centre’ which works with young female street dwellers. These people have acute health needs as they live in unhealthy and unhygienic conditions and suffer from frequent infections and an unbalanced diet. Working with children in agricultureMany of the ideas which Richard Franceys has suggested for involving children in improving water supplies and sanitation, could also be adapted to be used with agricultural work. Working with children in water supply and sanitation improvementsBy Richard Franceys. The provision of clean water for drinking, and the safe disposal of human waste, are vital for human health. The Director-General of the World Health Organisation has said that the number of water taps per 1,000 persons is a better indication of health in a country than the number of hospital beds.