We all need to go to the toilet – usually a number of times each day. Despite this, sanitation is something that people are often embarrassed to talk about, making it easy to ignore. Around 2.6 billion people lack access to safe sanitation, which results in hundreds of thousands of deaths each year. Sanitation is something we should not ignore! 

This issue of Footsteps is timely as 2008 is the United Nations Year of Sanitation.

Please find below articles from Footsteps issue 73 in html.

To download a pdf version of Footsteps issue 73, please click here (345KB).

  • Advocating for sanitation and hygiene

    by 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.

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  • Community-led 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 ...

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  • Gender and sanitation

    Compiled by Rachel Blackman When considering sanitation and hygiene, it is important to consider the different needs and preferences of both men and women.

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  • Health promotion in Darfur, Sudan

    by 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.

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  • Letters

    Respecting rights, recognising duties The idea of rights implies that of duties. The rights of one person bring about the duties of another and the duties of another bring about the rights of another.

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  • Resources

    A guide to the development of on-site sanitation by R Franceys, J Pickford and R Reed This book, published by the World Health Organisation, provides in-depth technical information about the design, construction, operation and maintenance of the major types of on-site sanitation facility, from simple pit latrines to aqua privies and septic tanks, with numerous practical design examples. It describes in detail the planning and development processes, and the financial and institutional factors ...

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  • Sanitation and HIV

    by 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.

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  • Selecting appropriate latrines

    by 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 ...

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  • Working to improve hygiene and health in Bolivia

    by 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.

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