Archive for the ‘Empowerment’ Category

Sanitation facilities improving school attendance in rural India

Sanitation facilities improving school attendance in rural India

At Wherever the Need we have always made it clear that sanitation should come first, because the only sustainable way to address issues of poverty is to tackle them at the point at which they originate. Whilst education is of critical importance to improving lives and alleviating poverty, effective learning can only take place when students are well enough to attend school and concentrate in lessons. But it is now widely accepted that illness created by inadequate sanitation damages school attendance and education levels. A month ago, we conducted a survey of attendance at girls’ schools in rural India, following the introduction of our new eco-sanitation facilities. The increased attendance figures proved that providing schools with sanitation facilities results in better health and better attendance. On average, there has been an increase of almost 15% in girls’ school attendance since sanitation facilities were available. [caption id="attachment_6209" align="alignright" width="608" caption="Attendance at Vadalur Girls' School has increased by 7% since Wherever the Need installed eco-sanitation facilities."][/caption] A notable example is the Orathur School, in Tamil Nadu. Since we installed new toilets in 2010, we have seen an incredible 30% increase in attendance. This ...

UK Government Recognises Sanitation as Human Right

UK Government Recognises Sanitation as Human Right

The World Health Organisation and the United Nations Children's Fund in their 2012 Joint Monitoring Programme report estimated that over 1/3 of the world's population do not have access to adequate sanitation.  The WHO also estimates that 1.4 million children are dying from diarrhoeal disease every year, the vast majority of which is due to inadequate water, sanitation and hygiene;  yet access to sanitation is one of the most off-target Millennium Development Goals. Following a review of international law, under the remit of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the UK government has formally recognised access to Sanitation as a human right under international law.  In accordance with this, the Secretary of State for International Development (Andrew Michell) has committed to doubling the UK's ambitions on water, sanitation and hygiene to reach at least 60 million people by 2015. Hopefully this commitment by the UK government will mean that many of these deaths, which are mostly preventable with innovational projects such as WTN's Ecosan initiatives, can be avoided.  If you, like the UK government, feel that sanitation is not getting the recognition the issue merits, please begin supporting us today, by signing up to follow us online (Facebook, ...

Fiona Bruce narrates our new film

Fiona Bruce narrates our new film

Well known BBC newsreader and presenter Fiona Bruce is the voice-over for our latest film, "Independence, not Dependence". The video gives an introduction to who we are, what we do and why we do it. We believe in creating the conditions to allow people to become empowered and independent in their way out of poverty, not becoming dependent upon foreign aid. Find out more by watching the film below.

Cleaning Delhi through Facebook

April 18, 2011  |   Empowerment,Environment,General news,India,Sanitation   |

Cleaning Delhi through Facebook

"When 22-year-old Piyush Goyal posted his complaint of garbage spilling over from the dump in his area, on the Facebook page of Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), little had he expected the civic agency to take action within 24 hours. But it did, pleasantly surprising Goyal. MCD launched its Facebook page earlier this month to ensure effective monitoring of garbage lifting at areas under its jurisdiction. The civic agency has started off on the surest of footing, Goyal feels. “When I heard about this initiative, I thought I should also post pictures of unclean dhalao (standalone garbage warehouse) in my area. I was expecting the action but never thought it will be so quick,” he says. On January 8, he clicked pictures of the seven dirty ones in South Delhi’s R K Puram area and posted them on Facebook. And the next day, he says, he saw the pictures of clean dhalaos uploaded by the MCD. “There is lot of transparency through this way. The man who actually cleans it asked me why I uploaded the pictures. So the information is going from top to the bottom,” says Goyal. It’s a not even a month, and the civic agency has already received close to ...

Feminism’s global challenge

March 07, 2011  |   Empowerment,General news   |

Feminism’s global challenge

"This Tuesday, International Women's Day will focus our attention on the struggle that millions still face against injustice and discrimination. In an impassioned essay, Mariella Frostrup argues that the fight for women's rights is far from over. In the western world the greatest triumph of spin in the last century is reflected in attitudes to feminism. Our struggle for emancipation and equality has been surreptitiously rewritten as a harpy bra-burning contest while elsewhere, in less affluent parts of the world, the response is altogether different. From Mozambique to Chad, South Africa and Liberia, Sierra Leone to Burkina Faso, feminism is the buzzword for a generation of women determined to change the course of the future for themselves and their families. At female gatherings all over sub-Saharan Africa you'll find enthusiasm and eager signatories to the cause. Not, they're quick to point out, that they're fans of the strident man bashing we enthusiastically took part in during feminism's second wave. Theirs is a quiet, dignified and entirely implacable determination to make equality not just an aspiration but a reality, in the areas of life where it most counts, from government to enterprise. And they're achieving it, too. Under the banner of Gender is ...

Indian brides inspire a toilet revolution

February 28, 2011  |   Empowerment,General news,India,Sanitation   |

Indian brides inspire a toilet revolution

"Young women are part of a campaign to bring much-needed social change and improve sanitation facilities If you don't have a toilet at home, you might not get a bride in India. In a silent revolution of sorts, Indian women across the country, especially in rural and semi-urban areas, have a single condition before they agree to a match – the groom must have a toilet in his home. The "No Toilet, No Bride" campaign, initiated by the government, is co-opting young women to bring in much-needed social change. Across the country, more people have access to mobile phones than to toilets..." Read the full article here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/global-development/poverty-matters/2011/feb/28/indian-brides-toilet-revolution

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala on aid vs trade

February 24, 2011  |   Empowerment,General news   |

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala on aid vs trade

Though this talk is a few years old, there are many points which are still extremely relevant, especially in light of the recent debates on whether the UK should be giving aid to India. "Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the former finance minister of Nigeria, sums up four days of intense discussion on aid versus trade on the closing day of TEDGlobal 2007, and shares a personal story explaining her own commitment to this cause."

Just building latrines won’t solve the sanitation crisis

January 24, 2011  |   Empowerment,General news,Sanitation   |

Just building latrines won’t solve the sanitation crisis

"Empowering local communities to solve their own problems is the best way to improve health across the continent". The Guardian rightly addresses the issue that good development must incorporate community empowerment. Without the local demand for sanitation, the facilities will not be used or properly maintained. This would have been a good opportunity for the Guardian to look at alternative sanitation facilities to latrines; ecological sanitation is a far more sustainable system to dealing with the world's sanitation crisis. Read the full article on the Guardian website here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/global-development/poverty-matters/2011/jan/21/nigeria-sanitation-local-solutions

India, Bihar: ‘Dirty, horrible job’ of manual scavengers

India, Bihar: ‘Dirty, horrible job’ of manual scavengers

A manual scavenger carries a tin of human waste from a dry latrine. Photo: BBC “The worst thing is that the baskets we carry the waste in, often leak and drips down over your clothes”, manual scavenger Lakshmi Devi from rural Bihar tells BBC correspondent Mike Thomson. All her seven children are boys who clean out sewage tanks for their work. Manual removal of excreta (night soil) from “dry toilets” is the job of ‘dalit’ (low caste) women in India. “If I had a daughter I would rather that we all die of hunger than allow her to do the work we do”, Lakshmi said. Listen to Laksmi Devi’s interview (10 Nov 2010), which was broadcast on BBC Radio 4, and read a background article (17 Nov 2010) by Mike Thomson on scavengers from the serie on “India’s forgotten people”.

World Toilet Day, November 19th

World Toilet Day, November 19th

November 19th is World Toilet Day. Join the Big Squat! A day to celebrate the importance of sanitation and raise awareness for the 2.6 billion people (nearly half of the world's population) who don't have access to toilets and proper sanitation. Where there are no toilets: 2.6 billion people worldwide are without access to proper sanitation, which risks their health, strips their dignity, and kills 1.8 million people, mostly children, a year. Diarrhoeal diseases kill five times as many children in the developing world as HIV/AIDS. That's 5,000 children DYING EVERY SINGLE DAY. Not only that, but the disease kills more children than either malaria or AIDS, stunts growth, and forces millions - adults and children alike - to spend weeks at a time off work or school, which hits both a country's economy and its citizens' chances of a better future. The majority of the illness in the world is caused by faecal matter. Lack of sanitation is the world's biggest cause of infection. One gram of faeces can contain 10 million viruses, one million bacteria, 1,000 parasite cysts and 100 parasite eggs. Safe disposal of children's faeces leads to a reduction of nearly 40% in childhood diarrhoea. Wherever the ...

UN declares sanitation and water a human right

September 15, 2010  |   Empowerment,General news,Poverty,Sanitation,Water   |

UN declares sanitation and water a human right

After more than 15 years of debate on the issue, the UN has passed a resolution declaring "the right to safe and clean drinking water and sanitation as a human right that is essential for the full enjoyment of life and all human rights". The 192-member Assembly also called on UN Member States and international organisations to offer funding, technology and other resources to help poorer countries scale up their efforts to provide clean, accessible and affordable drinking water and sanitation for all. Read the full resolution text here: http://www.un.org/Docs/journal/asp/ws.asp?m=A/64/L.63/Rev.1