Recommended Documentaries

These are several documentaries that I’ve watched and enjoyed.  They’re really interesting and include a lot of information on various WASH related topics. Enjoy! FLOW – For the Love of Water Irena Salina’s award-winning documentary investigation into what experts label the most important political and environmental issue of the 21st Century – The World Water Crisis. Salina builds a case against the growing privatization of the world’s dwindling fresh water supply with an unflinching focus on politics, pollution, human rights, and the emergencecontinue reading

How Do You Wash Your Hands? A Look at Simple Hand Washing Stations

As we all know, washing our hands is very important.  This is especially true when you’re working with food, have just used the toilet, or are caring for children.  Washing our hands removes bacteria and pathogens and is a key part of keeping ourselves and our loved ones healthy, especially our children.  People all over the world wash their hands, but depending on where you are in the world the experience may be very different.  I’m fortunate to live somewherecontinue reading

Water Heroes: Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak – The Million Toilet Man

Water Heroes: Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak – The Million Toilet Man

Open defecation is a huge problem throughout the world.  Although the numbers have improved over the past 20 years, over one billion people still practice open defecation.  Nowadays, there are a lot of organizations working to eliminate the practice, but few have been working towards this goal as long as Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak.  His work started in 1970, when Dr. Pathak invented a pour-flush, compost latrine, and he hasn’t stopped since.  His latrine has been used in China, Bangladesh, Pakistan,continue reading

A Few Good Reads

Hey everyone, I’m having a busy week and don’t have time to write anything, but I wanted to get something posted so here are a few of my favorite WASH related books. Book titles occasionally include the term field guide in a euphemistic sense, and such works very rarely are actually used in the trenches. With Field Guide to Environmental Engineering for Development Workers, however, a more literal take is in order. Indeed, on the inside front cover the readercontinue reading

Nothing in the Toilet – Sanitation Coverage in Colombia

Nothing in the Toilet – Sanitation Coverage in Colombia

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about Colombia, and the issues the country faces with water coverage.  If you missed the post you can read it here.  This week I’ll shift from water, and instead take a look at the state of sanitation in Colombia. First, let me talk about what I saw on a recent trip to the country. Like I said in my post about water in Colombia, as a tourist not there to specifically look intocontinue reading

Celebrating Menstrual Hygiene Day with the Padini!

Happy Menstrual Hygiene Day! Today is a very important day for women and girls all over the world, and a day to break the silence surrounding menstrual hygiene. Menstrual hygiene is an important topic because without it girls cannot go to school during their period, women cannot go to work during their period, and neither girls nor women can be themselves when they have to hide their period every month. When girls can’t go to school, and women can notcontinue reading

The SWA process: is it worth all the effort?

I thought this article by Erma Uytewaal from Water Services that Last was pretty interesting and a good introduction to the SWA process. We are now in the final sprint of preparations for the Sanitation and Water for All (SWA) High Level Meeting (HLM) that will be held in Washington on 11 April.  “We” represent the almost 100 members of the SWA partnership. At country level, High Level Country Dialogues (HLCD) are being wrapped up; governments are revisiting and updatingcontinue reading

Battling Waterborne Diseases: Where They Come From, What They Do, and How to Beat Them

Waterborne diseases affect millions of people around the world every year.  However, it doesn’t need to be this way.  Clean water, proper sanitation facilities and good hygiene can eliminate the risk of these diseases.  Below you’ll find several brief overviews of the most common diseases, how they are treated, and how they can be prevented.  The links at the bottom of the article can be used to help your community stay safe and healthy.  Let’s start with what is maybecontinue reading

Got Toilets? Benefits of the Rural Sanitation Mart

Got Toilets?  Benefits of the Rural Sanitation Mart

Happy New Year to everyone, and I hope it’s been a good one so far!  I’m going to start out this year by talking about sanitation and a type of business that is helping people to gain access to improved sanitation and hygiene, the Rural Sanitation Mart (RSM).  But first, let’s talk about why RSMs are even needed. Maybe some of you are sitting on your porcelain throne right now as you’re reading this, but unfortunately 2.5 billion people worldwidecontinue reading

Nudge, Don’t Shove: A Case for Reflexive WASH Behavioral Change, Part II

About the author: Stephanie Tam specializes in behavioral approaches to sanitation and hygiene in international development, with a focus on how cultural practices mediate the impact of technology in operations and maintenance. A graduate of the Harvard Graduate School of Design, she has been working on human behavior through the lenses of performance studies and behavioral economics, and thanks Dilip Soman at the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto for support on this current project. She is deeplycontinue reading

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