Archive for the ‘General news’ Category

Update: Ebola and our work in Sierra Leone

August 14, 2014  |   Featured project,General news,Sierra Leone   |

Update: Ebola and our work in Sierra Leone

As you may be aware, there is a major outbreak of the Ebola virus in West Africa, primarily in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. In Sierra Leone, this deadly virus has mainly effected the Kenema and Kailahun areas in the east of the country, but has also now spread to the regional capital of Bo. There are also now cases reported in Pujehun District, the area where we operate, but fortunately the chiefdoms we work in have remained clear. This tragic situation has made our support in the villages even more urgent and critical, as a key element to Ebola prevention is the implementation of effective hygiene practices. With your support, we will continue to bring people in Sierra Leone long-term health through effective sanitation, hygiene training and clean water, and help them over the next months to keep their communities clear of Ebola. Donate now If you are interested in finding out more about Ebola and the situation in West Africa, read more here: UK Government: Sierra Leone travel advice Blog: experiences of a development worker in Sierra Leone

A very Scilly swim

August 13, 2014  |   Fundraising,General news   |

A very Scilly swim

Sponsor a fundraiser - win prizes! Andrew Dobson is braving the British waters in the Scilly Swimming Challenge this autumn to raise money for our projects, and is offering prizes to make sponsorship a bit more fun. On the 7th September he is swimming a total of 13.5 miles in the following challenges:     Port Isaac Swim - 3 miles Scilly Swim - 9.4 miles (6 swims in the day and 6 miles walk) Castle to Castle Swim - 1.1 miles TOTAL - 13.5 miles The person who correctly guesses how many swim strokes he takes over these distances will win the following prizes: 2 Tickets to England v Australia Lords 2015 Case of Champagne Case of Wine So please take the time now to sponsor Andrew and make your guesses. Both Andrew and ourselves really appreciate your generosity. Sponsor Andrew now Thank you and good luck!

Sanitation initiative for Indian slums

July 21, 2014  |   General news,India,Projects,Sanitation   |

Sanitation initiative for Indian slums

We have developed a brilliantly simple solution to help mitigate the horrendous problems caused by a lack of sanitation in India’s slum areas. Using our unique waste management system, the content from the toilets is routinely collected by our own operatives and taken back to our central processing plant where it’s quickly composted down for agricultural use. The primary purpose of the project is, of course, to reduce disease and poverty but in addition, there is significant commercial potential to sell the compost and produce revenue for the project. This will make it self-sustaining as well as improve the overall welfare of the community. [caption id="attachment_8763" align="aligncenter" width="608"] Our composting facility[/caption]   The current pilot project is scalable and consists of 40 toilets across three slum areas in Pondicherry. Research surveys identify around 2,000 people across three slum areas (400 families) that will be able to use the facilities, equating to 50 people (or 10 families) per toilet.   [caption id="attachment_8765" align="aligncenter" width="608"] We have designed a lightweight ecosan toilet for slum areas[/caption]   The provision of sanitation has historically always been a huge cost for governments, NGOs and private individuals. We ...

Changing lives in a Sierra Leone community

Changing lives in a Sierra Leone community

Shenge village is a remote community in Barri Chiefdom, southeastern Sierra Leone, home to approximately 300 people. The village is very remote, two kilometres from the nearest dirt road. Much of the surrounding rainforest has been cleared for farming or rubber plantations, but there are still areas like Shenge that are vital forest wildlife habitats. When we first visited Shenge we found a very poor community who had no sanitation or clean water, meaning intestinal illness was very common, and particularly serious for the children. The villagers were reliant on subsistence farming, and children had to walk about 4 miles each way through the forest to the nearest school at Potoru, so younger children missed out on education altogether. [caption id="attachment_8723" align="aligncenter" width="475"] With no well, people had to collect dirty water from streams[/caption] Thanks to the generous support of a proactive community group we began working with the village in 2011, and Shenge now has a community ecosan toilet, a well, and cassava & groundnut farming livelihood support. More recently, thanks to a further generous donation from a regular supporter, we have also built a two-classroom primary school. The school will open its doors ...

Win a case of wine with Dinners for Dignity

July 09, 2014  |   Fundraising,General news   |

Win a case of wine with Dinners for Dignity

Dinners for Dignity is an exciting and easy way for you to make a lasting difference without having to run a marathon or climb a mountain. Simply hold a dinner party for your friends between 1st - 31st October, and ask them for donations in return for the meal. Be one of the first 100 to sign up as a host with Dinners for Dignity and you will be entered into a prize draw to win a case of wine! You don't have to cook a 3-course dinner; you could throw a house party, have a bonfire and barbecue, enjoy autumn cocktails or even nibbles at a Halloween party. You can really make your dinner your own. One host this year is holding a bonanza of a barn dance! So don't be afraid to be a little different - plan something you'll enjoy. So what are you waiting for? Sign up now! Find out more at www.dinnersfordignity.co.uk

Get ready for Dinners for Dignity

June 18, 2014  |   Events,Fundraising,General news,Sierra Leone   |

Get ready for Dinners for Dignity

1st - 31st October 2014 This October, you can save lives from your kitchen. Dinners for Dignity is an exciting and easy way for you to fundraise without having to run a marathon or climb a mountain. Simply hold a dinner party for your friends, and ask them for donations in return for the meal.  You don’t have to cook a 3 course dinner; you could throw a house party, have a bonfire and bbq, or try a poetry evening, enjoy autumn cocktails or nibbles at a Halloween party, you can really make your dinner your own. One host this year is holding a bonanza of a barn dance! So don’t be afraid to be a little different – plan something you’ll enjoy. We have some great tips to help you create an unforgettable dinner, along with ideas for recipes kindly donated by Giorgio Locatelli and some of the UK’s top food bloggers. So what are you waiting for? Sign up now!   The money you raise will go towards our projects in Sierra Leone, helping to bring life-saving sanitation and clean water to thousands of people.

Too ill to work or learn

May 14, 2014  |   General news,India,Sanitation   |

Too ill to work or learn

As part of our urban ecosan project currently in progress in Pondicherry (a bustling city on the south-east coast of India), we conducted a major health and wellbeing survey in each of the three slums in which we are going to be working. Our research in one of the slums uncovered two startling facts:   1  96% of working people have lost a minimum of ten working days in the past six months due to diarrhoea 2  44% of children have missed school in the past six months also due to diarrhoea Imagine a normal school class here in the UK. That's about 25 children. Now imagine 16 of the children too ill to come in and learn - nearly half the class! It's clear to see the terrible impact this will have on so many children's education. If 44% of children are absent from a class of 25... (grey = absent) That's some pretty shocking figures - even more so when you realise that something as simple as a toilet will keep people healthy. Almost half the people living in Pondicherry do not have ...

What’s a toilet worth?

May 07, 2014  |   General news,Sanitation   |

What’s a toilet worth?

This excellent infographic from the World Bank very clearly shows the shocking economic impact of sanitation.      

A whole village transformed in rural India

A whole village transformed in rural India

More than 200 people helped with sanitation, clean water and housing in rural India thanks to the staff at Allsop In the summer of 2011, we were introduced to a rural village in south-east India called Sengal Odai. The 39 families (more than 200 people) of this community were living in some of the poorest conditions we had ever come across. One of the worst things we witnessed was the water they had to drink, which resembled a thin mud. Many people we spoke to in the village complained of persistent stomach upsets from drinking the infected water, and this ill health was compounded by the fact that the village contained no toilets whatsoever. The houses people lived in were mostly tiny mud huts with thatched roofs that leaked during the rainy season, there was little work in the area and the nearest school was five kilometres away. Whilst the villagers needed toilets and clean water to drink, they also needed a means of earning a living and, if possible, new homes. Throughout 2012, the staff at Allsop set about raising funds to help the people of Sengal Odai. From skydiving to cycling ...

Cycling for Busu

March 26, 2014  |   Fundraising,General news,Sierra Leone   |

Cycling for Busu

On June 15th 2014, small teams will be cycling across the north Wiltshire countryside on either a 100km or a 100-mile route, with the sole aim to raise £31,000 to help the Busu community in Sierra Leone. Hundreds of villages in Sierra Leone were ravaged by the civil war, and Busu is no exception. The village is very rural, isolated and neglected by Government, being 200 miles from Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone. For years the community had no sanitation or clean water and children were dying from easily preventable intestinal illnesses. Determined to make a difference, back in 2010 Tim Miller and Helen Watkins raised £28,000 for Busu by hosting 'Singing for Busu'. Thanks to their great efforts we have been able to provide ecosan toilets and clean water for the whole village, as well as support for cassava farming. This year Tim and Helen want to go that step further, and are holding a cycling challenge in June to further enhance the skills, livelihood, education and self-sufficiency of the Busu community. The funds raised will help build and equip a new community skills centre, a women’s livelihood providing pigs and hens together with housing, feed and medicines, and provide ...

Bath Half raises over £1,000

Bath Half raises over £1,000

A dedicated team of ten ran the Bath Half marathon with us on the 2 March, raising £1,048 for sanitation in India. The money raised will enable us to build four more urgently-needed ecosan (composting) toilets for families in the village of Nathamedu in southern India, where the vast majority of people do not have any sanitation facilities and open defecation is commonplace. We would like to say a huge thank you to Rocco Richards, Sarah and Nathan Dittum, Paul and David Osben, Alex Morris, James Teale, Olumese Okoeguale, Vanden Bowen and Louise Kirby-Garton. Thanks to their efforts, four more families will have safe, clean and private toilets. [caption id="attachment_8313" align="aligncenter" width="318"] Thanks to the Bath Half runners, we are able to build four more family ecosan like this one[/caption]

Building children a future in Sierra Leone

January 27, 2014  |   Education,General news,Projects,Sierra Leone   |

Building children a future in Sierra Leone

Falcons School fundraises for primary education in Sierra Leone Last year, pupils, parents and staff from Falcons Boys Preparatory School in Richmond joined forces, raising over £10,000 towards education in Sierra Leone. Thanks to their phenomenal efforts, we have been able to build a primary school in Nyeyama village, bringing a good education to the children there for generations to come. Nyeyama is an impoverished and isolated village, home to 600 people in the Barri Chiefdom of Sierra Leone. Although education is a legal requirement for children in Sierra Leone, the country's 11-year civil war resulted in the destruction of 1,270 primary schools, making access to education in remote villages like Nyeyama a real struggle. Some children were having to walk 10 miles every day to reach the nearest school, while younger children who could not manage this walk were having to make do with under-resourced classes held in a run-down shack. [caption id="attachment_8215" align="alignleft" width="257"] Nyeyama's old school building[/caption][caption id="attachment_8214" align="alignright" width="237"] Teaching in the old building was a struggle[/caption] In late 2013 we finished building a new, fully-equipped primary school ...

Festival Kenya a roaring success

January 27, 2014  |   Events,Featured project,General news,Kenya,Water   |

Festival Kenya a roaring success

Over £60,000 raised for water in Kenya On November 21st last year, over 400 people came together in the heart of London to raise money for a sustainable water project in northern Kenya. We set out to re-imagine the black tie dinner, and laid on an evening of entertainment to celebrate Kenya's rich culture. With Dawa cocktails, Samburu dancing and a London debut fashion show from FAFA, our guests truly saw the real face of contemporary Kenya. You can find a full selection of photographs from the evening here. Thanks to the incredible generosity of everyone who came along we beat our target of £60,000, allowing us to build two sustainable rainwater reservoirs in drought-stricken Laikipia in the north of Kenya. Laikipia is home to one of the most vibrant ecosystems on our planet, but increasingly extreme weather has caused severe droughts which threaten the lives of the nomadic Samburu people and local wildlife. Working closely with the Samburu and The Samburu Trust - our Kenyan based partners - we can now build the first two in a network of six rainwater reservoirs. The reservoirs will bring ...

Comparison site with a conscience

January 08, 2014  |   General news   |

Comparison site with a conscience

If you are thinking about switching energy companies, you can support Wherever the Need whilst getting a cheaper price with Ethical Switching, a new comparison company whose sole purpose is to generate income for charities. We have been nominated as one of Ethical Switching's charities; when you compare and switch energy providers with them by using the postcode search on this page, Ethical Switching will donate 90% of the profits to our work. Take a look now to independently and impartially compare your current gas and electricity supplier tariffs with the latest available tariffs and, if there is a cheaper alternative, switch to that new supplier: www.ethical-switching.co.uk/charity/1070826/

Our Sierra Leone partner visits the UK

October 03, 2013  |   General news,Sierra Leone   |

Our Sierra Leone partner visits the UK

Senesi Fawundu MP, the director of our Sierra Leone partner organisation - the Pujehun Development Organisation (PDO) – recently visited the UK We have been working with the PDO in the Pejeh Chiefdom of Sierra Leone since 2006, after helping Senesi and his wife Mariama build a new well in the village of Gbongay. Since the success of this project, we have worked closely with our Sierra Leone partners to provide all 19 villages in Pejeh Chiefdom and five neighbouring villages in Barrie Chiefdom, with eco-sanitation, water and livelihoods. The commitment and support Senesi has given to his community over the last six years is phenomenal, and we were delighted when, in recognition of this support, he was elected as a local Councillor in 2011, and in the national election in December 2012 was elected MP for the Pujehun District constituency, with an 80% majority! Following on from this we invited Senesi to visit the UK, and in September he was with us for ten days. During his stay, Senesi had a busy ...

Hosting our first conference in India

September 24, 2013  |   Events,General news,India,Uncategorized   |

Hosting our first conference in India

In August, Wherever the Need India organised a conference in Pondicherry. The conference centred on The Sunley Foundation funded research project that we have been undertaking for the past two years. The research project, a collaboration with Annamalai University, one of the largest Universities in SE Aasia, is a three year programme monitoring the agricultural benefits of ‘human’ compost and fertiliser – something of which our ecosan toilets give us plenty! Initially the conference was planned for an expected 150 attendees, but after invitations were dispatched over 450 senior scientists from across India applied to attend, and over 260 research papers submitted. The final decision on numbers maintained the 150 attendees, and these were based on the quality of the papers they wanted to present. The event was opened by Smt Sheela Shanta Nair, one of India’s leading civil servants who is now Deputy Chairman of the Tamil Nadu Planning Commission. WTN UK’s scientific representative was Professor Stephen Northcliff of Reading University. The three day meeting was closed by Dr Ramamourti, the Pondicherry Government’s Minister of Agriculture.

A summer of fundraising

July 22, 2013  |   Fundraising,General news   |

A summer of fundraising

The Summer has only just begun, and we have several people eager and preparing for their fundraising challenges to help raise money for our work. One such person is Roberta Anderson, who is literally throwing caution to the wind on August 7th and jumping out of a plane to raise £1,500! She will of course be strapped to an experienced skydiver, but with a hatred of heights this will be a huge feat for her. To make Roberta's screams worthwhile, please spare 10 minutes to sponsor her: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/RobertaAnderson All the money she raises will help bring life-saving ecosan toilets to those most in need. The year so far... This year we have already had a huge amount of support from fundraisers, including: 39 people who ran the Bath Half Marathon for us in March, together raising £7,000 Ripples bathrooms, who raised over £2,900 in a sponsored cycle ride from London to Paris in May and Ian Aarons, who ran the Brighton marathon in April and raised over £1,800 staff and pupils at Falcons school who have ...

Glastonbury volunteers raise £5,700

July 18, 2013  |   Fundraising,General news,Sanitation   |

Glastonbury volunteers raise £5,700

Another Glastonbury Festival is over, and thanks to a dedicated team of stewarding volunteers we have been able to raise £5,700 towards our work. 45 people helped us provide stewarding in one of the camping areas, sticking out their long shifts through day, night, sun and rain. We want to say a huge thank you to everyone who supported us at the festival. Thanks to their work, Glastonbury Festival has given us £5,700 which will help us build ecosan (composting) toilets in some of the poorest parts of the world. [nggallery id=85]   Given that our work is first and foremost about providing ecosan toilets, we were delighted to see more composting toilets around the festival site itself. It's well known what a horrific state the chemical and pit toilets can get into, and we have been long-time advocators for a switch to composting models. They not only provide a much better experience for the festival-goer - being cleaner and free of nasty smells - but are also an ecological and sustainable way to manage what would otherwise just be 'waste'. We hope the trend catches on...perhaps one day all festivals will use composting toilets like ours!

Art for charity in Bath

July 01, 2013  |   Events,Fundraising,General news   |

Art for charity in Bath

Popped up in Bath Local art exhibition in Bath throughout July will raise funds for our sanitation projects For the month of July 2013, 7 Abbey Green in Bath will be the home of Popped Up Art - a selection of work by 15 local artists available to the public at affordable prices. There will be glass, ceramic, silver, paintings, prints, textiles and a whole lot more. All the proceeds from sales will be donated to us at Wherever the Need to help fund our life-saving sanitation projects in some of the poorest places in the world. If you are in the area, please come along to support us and Bath's independent artists. Find out more on the Popped Up Art website here. [nggallery id=81]

Stories from the field – living with poverty

June 04, 2013  |   General news,India,Stories from the field   |

Stories from the field – living with poverty

In another instalment of 'Stories from the field', Jane Bond looks a bit closer at what it means to live in poverty in India... Poverty is everywhere in India. We know this intellectually but the emotional reality is somewhat different. It is impossible to walk down a street in any town or city without witnessing people who are scraping a living one way or another. People live wherever they can, on pavements, in the middle of traffic circles and under overpasses. Poverty is not socially distinct as in the west, it exists cheek by jowel with wealth. My street here in Pondicherry is like the one I lived on in Calcutta. There are some nicer houses and there are some people who live in 1 room or a shack and cook on the street. Everyone knows everyone and much of daily life is conducted out in the open to get the benefit of fresh air. Child care is shared amongst an extended family and everyone knows everything. [caption id="attachment_7501" align="alignleft" width="296"] Millions of people in India live on the streets and in slums[/caption] [caption id="attachment_7502" align="alignright" width="225"]

BBC2′s ‘Toughest Place to be a Farmer’ inspires fundraising for a rainwater reservoir…

May 29, 2013  |   Fundraising,General news,Kenya,Water   |

BBC2′s ‘Toughest Place to be a Farmer’ inspires fundraising for a rainwater reservoir…

After experiencing first hand the Samburu farmers' daily struggle to find water to sustain themselves and their livestock, Richard Gibson (BBC2's 'Toughest Place to be a Farmer') and his wife Heather are raising money to build a rainwater reservoir, which will provide a sustainable water supply for the farmers all year round... "The Summer of 2012 was a very grim one for UK farmers. When the BBC invited me to audition for a documentary titled 'Toughest Place to be a Farmer' it seemed a good opportunity to experience a place contrasting the muddy fields of Devon . Fortunately I was selected and within a month flown off to an unknown destination.The BBC do not want you to overthink this and need you quickly on location. Only at the airport was I told that I was off to a remote part of North East Kenya to join the Samburu tribe. [caption id="attachment_7437" align="alignleft" width="263"] Richard with his host Lemergichen[/caption] [caption id="attachment_7438" align="alignright" width="263"] Richard learns how the Samburu farm[/caption] Arriving at the ...

Ripples cycle challenge success

May 21, 2013  |   Fundraising,General news   |

Ripples cycle challenge success

£1,660 raised so far, and still counting!   After enduring rain, ice and snow throughout their training, the Ripples team finally enjoyed some good weather as they dove into the 220-mile cycle challenge from London to Paris last weekend (May 16th-18th). The feat of endurance was tackled by a team of 19 staff members from Ripples showrooms all over the country, raising money to further support their ecosan and clean water project in the village of Arasur in Tamil Nadu, India. [caption id="attachment_7445" align="aligncenter" width="608"] The team celebrate their achievement in Paris[/caption] Marshfield Bakery kindly donated a large supply of their flapjacks to keep the riders going, which were thoroughly enjoyed on the journey. The ride itself happily went very smoothly, with sunshine almost all the way and only a couple of punctures to slow things down. We would like to extend a huge thank you to the Ripples team and everyone who has supported them. With your dedication and support, we are able to change the lives of those most in need. Help Ripples reach their £2,000 target, and donate today

Stories from the field – Marudor school

May 15, 2013  |   General news,India,Stories from the field   |

Stories from the field – Marudor school

Wherever the Need's Arumugaum and I stop at Marudor Middle School so I can see our newly installed toilet block there. We walk into the schoolyard - sandy earth with basic buildings around it. The windows have shutters and bars but no glass – shutters keep the heat out in the hot months and bars are for security or stopping children from escaping, I’m not sure which! Primary schools have alphabet window bars which I like. It’s quiet apart from repetitive chanting drifting through the air as children learn by rote – India’s key teaching method. A very smiley friendly lady in a purple sari and barefoot comes out of one of the classrooms. This is the headmistress - Thenmoshi. She takes me to her classroom to meet her students who are sitting on the floor reading English from the blackboard at the front. The sight of me means a break from lessons and they crowd around me. They are reluctant to say much and need a bit of prodding from Thenmoshi to speak English but they smile when I take their picture. They chant good morning to me and I ask them how they are; we practice English and they are ...

The Summer of Love

May 01, 2013  |   Fundraising,General news   |

The Summer of Love

Win a £500 donation this summer through Virgin Money Giving. This summer, Virgin Money Giving are spreading the love by giving away £2,000 in donations to help you raise more for the charities you care about. Whether you’re taking part in an organised event or taking on your own personal challenge, you can enter the prize draw every month throughout the summer to win a £500 donation to your fundraising page. Every time you receive a donation to your page in May, June, July and August, Virgin Money Giving will automatically enter you into a prize draw for that month. There is £500 up for grabs each month throughout the draw, and because every donation gets you one entry, the more donations you receive the more chance you’ll have of winning. So get yourself in the mood for the Summer of Love and set up your fundraising page now.

Spotlight on our work – Kumudimoolai, India

April 09, 2013  |   General news,India,Sanitation,Water   |

Spotlight on our work – Kumudimoolai, India

450 more people now with ecosan, thanks to support from the ACT Foundation Thanks to support from the ACT Foundation, the people of Kumudimmolai now have 90 more ecosan, clean water and livelihoods. Tamil Nadu in the south of India is considered to be one of the wealthiest states in the country, but behind the statistics of economic growth and development lies another story – one of acute poverty. The rural population of Tamil Nadu ranks among the poorest in the world, with an estimated 12 million people living on or below the poverty line. Kumudimoolai is a rural village in Tamil Nadu, 30 miles south of the bustling city of Cuddalore. The 1,973 people living here belong to one the poorest and most excluded social groups in India, and when we first visited the community, poverty was rife. There were no working toilets in the village, which meant people were forced to find somewhere to go out in the open, which was spreading illness and disease. On top of this, the area is prone to flooding, and is always water logged. Human waste and in-organic fertilisers had contaminated the ground and water supply, making it hazardous to drink. Maintaining work was also ...

Ripples London to Paris cycle challenge

April 09, 2013  |   Events,Fundraising,General news   |

Ripples London to Paris cycle challenge

Ripples rides for toilets Bathroom retailer Ripples have been dedicated supporters of Wherever the Need for several years now, having already raised £10,000 for eco-toilets, clean water and a livelihood programme in Tamil Nadu, India. Showrooms all over the country have been taking part in the fundraising activities, and this latest challenge will bring staff together from around the UK. On 16th May, a team of 21 cyclists will tackle the challenging 220-mile ride from London to Paris in just 3 days. The group, which includes MD Paul Crow and brand manager Juliet Harris, are aiming to raise £2,000 to further support their sanitation and clean water project in the village of Arasur, India. They have been training hard over the past months, braving freezing weather and suffering injury, but their determination has carried them on. [caption id="attachment_7244" align="alignright" width="300"] © Ripples[/caption] On the team website, Paul Crow writes "When Ripples started raising money for...Wherever The Need, we didn't really know what we were letting ourselves in for to be honest.  A luxury bathroom company providing Ecosan...facilities for a small village in India seemed the perfect match and helped create a nice feel-good ...

Stories from the field – a daily reality

Stories from the field – a daily reality

On a visit to a rural Indian village, Jane Bond contemplates the daily reality of living without a toilet I spend a day with one of our field staff, Arumugam to help me better understand our project work and life in rural Tamil Nadu. He takes me to some villages we are planning on working in as soon as we have funds. I know the facts - 7 million+ rural households here in Tamil Nadu don’t have access to toilets – 76% of the rural population. Water quality is worsening, largely due to human fecal waste in drinking water; 91% of water tested in one study was contaminated. Over the last five years incidences of acute diarrheal diseases have increased from about 116,000/year to 523,000/year. Today I’m going to be meeting just a few of the people who live with these conditions on a daily basis.   We go to a village called Boothampedi; the road doesn’t reach the village so we walk along a small dyke; on either side goats and young cows are gazing in recently harvested paddy fields. It’s very hot and it's quiet in the midday heat. The houses are small ...

Stories from the field – organic compost

March 27, 2013  |   General news,India,Stories from the field   |

Stories from the field – organic compost

In her third story, Jane Bond finds out more about our organic compost One of the fundamental benefits of Wherever the Needs approach to Sanitation and water is our compost toilets which mean that human waste is safely and effectively recycled. Human waste is very hazardous to health and can easily enter the water system if not properly managed. Here in India only 30% of the country has a sewage system and much of that is leaking or incomplete, common opinion being that around 20% of the system is approaching effective; mostly waste is dumped into water systems or into pits which often leak, leaching waste through the soil. Each person’s faecal waste is about 127kg/per year; every gram contains: 10 million pathogens, 1 million protozoa, 100,000 helminths (intestinal worms) and 10,000 worms and viruses. It makes my stomach turn and I feel pretty nauseous when I think of India’s 1.2 billion people and the incredibly huge amount of human waste they generate annually, most of it slowly creeping into the water system. So, David (Wherever the Need CEO) and Paramasivan (head of our Indian office) take me to ...

Stories from the field – Rice

March 20, 2013  |   General news,India,Stories from the field   |

Stories from the field – Rice

In the second of her stories from the field, Jane Bond gets to know India and discovers the world of rice... I’m adjusting to rural India and as we travel out to look at projects I am fascinated. Main roads are filled with cows, buses, motorbikes, bicycles and pedestrians sharing the same space – pavements don’t exist and traffic lights are often ignored. The river of humanity is chaotic and noisy, everyone honks musical horns, fails to use indicators and drives where they like. Only cows placidly move along, serene in the knowledge they are the rulers of the road! Roads become smaller, emptier and windier deeper into the rural areas. Its harvest time, paddy fields are being hand scythed by groups of people, haystacks are common, we slow down for herds of bullocks and goats walking along the roads and grain are being spread across the road. This is for threshing rice; as vehicles drive over the rice the outer husk is separated from the grain. I think this is an ingenious labour saving solution. We stop to see the rice grown on Wherever the Need's research ...

Stories from the field – living with dirty water

Stories from the field – living with dirty water

Jane Bond is volunteer Project Officer for Wherever the Need India. She has been living and volunteering in India since November 2011, based in Tamil Nadu since February 2013. Read her stories from the field...   Yesterday it rained heavily and unexpectedly in Tamil Nadu. For some areas it was the first rain in over a year, so I’m going to talk about the realities of living with India’s water supply. You’d think the rain would be a good thing, but it came at the wrong time and many farmers had seedlings damaged. Water here is a health risk we are lucky enough not to be familiar with in the west. When I first came to live in India water became a mild obsession as I adjusted – every drop I needed had to be pumped and was available only at certain times. For cooking and drinking my water had to be filtered and sometimes boiled - all of this took a lot of planning and time. At the time I lived in Calcutta which has terrible sanitation and water issues. Despite my care I was sick with water related illness regularly – sometimes as often as once a month. I ...

Bath Half Marathon 2013

March 04, 2013  |   Events,General news,India,Sanitation   |

Bath Half Marathon 2013

Almost 40 runners completed the Bath Half Marathon for Wherever the Need on Sunday 3rd March. This was a brilliant turnout considering that this year was the first year that we have officially participated in the Bath Half Marathon. Whilst the weather was slightly chilly, our team weren’t disheartened, and dove enthusiastically into the challenge. Together, the team has raised over £5,000 to provide Krishnapuram High School with much-needed sanitation. This is an incredible achievement for a small group of people who have had to train through ice and snow. Their commitment can be seen in their individual stories. The Hart Family raised over £1,000 to help Wherever the Need provide sanitation to those who need it most. Not only did the Hart Family do a fantastic job of raising funds, they encouraged friends to run the Bath Half too. Each member of the family finished in an impressive time, securing an extra £400 in sponsorship. Despite being hampered by a foot injury, Will finished the race just 5 minutes later than Nick and Chris. Emma Davey and Laura James documented their Bath Half journeys by blogging about their experience running for Wherever ...

How two determined school girls in India are helping us bring eco-toilets to their community

January 23, 2013  |   General news,India,Sanitation   |

How two determined school girls in India are helping us bring eco-toilets to their community

Anaivari is a small rural village in Tamil Nadu, India, and its story is very familiar to us. Home to 171 families the community is extremely poor – there is no sanitation, which means that the local environment and water sources are polluted, spreading illness and disease. [caption id="attachment_6863" align="alignright" width="280"] Without sanitation, water and the environment becomes polluted[/caption] Two teenage girls from Anaivari attend the nearby girls’ secondary school in the town of Chandra – a school where we worked to build eco-sanitation facilities for its 1200 pupils. Before the toilets were built girls attending the school had no option but to use nearby wasteland, which was a breeding ground for disease and where they risked being attacked. A lack of safe, private sanitation facilities meant that pupils were often kept away from school (especially once they reached adolescence) missing out on vital education. The new school facilities have been in use for almost a year now and in that short time there has been a reduction in sanitation-related sickness such as diarrhoea and, because parents know their children can go to the toilet in privacy and safety, there has been a reduction in ...

Our new animation, featuring Baroness Glenys Kinnock

October 18, 2012  |   General news,Poverty,Sanitation   |

Our new animation, featuring Baroness Glenys Kinnock

Here at Wherever the Need, we continue to champion sustainable sanitation as the most efficient way to alleviate poverty. Whilst we continue to give some of the poorest people in the poorest countries a fighting chance, our progress is slowed because many people are unfamiliar, ill informed or turned off by the topic. Our last news article focused on the importance of sanitation within the context of providing people with an effective education programme, and highlighted the improved enrolment rates of young girls by providing them with hygienic and safe sanitation facilities. Our new animation looks at the bigger picture. [caption id="attachment_6623" align="aligncenter" width="486"] Glenys Kinnock at The Soundhouse Studios[/caption] The animation, created with the help of Bradley Bailey, will generate awareness of the issues surrounding inadequate sanitation and clearly explain how a toilet can change a life. In order to do this, we’ve presented the information in a vibrant, exciting and engaging way. After seeing an early draft of the animation, Baroness Glenys Kinnock kindly offered to narrate it. In reference to the animation, Glenys Kinnock said: “I am delighted to be able to help its efforts through this informative and fascinating animation”. ...

Introducing an innovative sanitation project

October 15, 2012  |   General news,India   |

Introducing an innovative sanitation project

Tamil Nadu, on the south east coast of India, is considered to be one of the wealthiest states in the country, but behind the economic and industrial growth lies another story – one of acute poverty. We have started to work with six of the poorest villages in rural Tamil Nadu. Not a single family in these communities have access to a toilet, which means that the local environment and water sources are polluted, spreading illness and disease - diarrhoea remains one of the biggest killers of children in the region. So what are we doing? We are putting Sanitation First, and working to make sure every person in all six villages has access to good sanitation facilities. We are building ecosan (composting) toilets for each and every family within the villages. Why is this innovative? What's new and exciting is that we are providing a sanitation service to maintain the programme. We are employing a care-taking team to empty the toilets and make sure the facilities are well-maintained and clean. How do we pay for this? This is the great bit - there ...

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 ...

Sohail Rahman Reports on India’s Sanitation Problems

July 19, 2012  |   General news,India,Poverty,Sanitation   |

Sohail Rahman Reports on India’s Sanitation Problems

Reporting for Al Jazeera, Sohail Rahman covers the sanitation problems facing India, which become increasingly pressing as population growth and urbanisation continue apace.  Broadcasting from New Delhi he exposes the shocking statistics, including the fact that over 50% of Indians do not have access to a clean, constructed toilet and how 60% of all defecation in the world occurs in India.  It is also demonstrated how this is not just an individual issue, as the World Bank reported last year that poor sanitation cost the country $54 billion as a result of the related health issues, decreased productivity and reduced tourists.  You can now watch the short clip below: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RI_Q0ejCd7Y

Ripples London to Paris Bike Ride

July 05, 2012  |   Events,General news,Projects,Uncategorized   |

Ripples London to Paris Bike Ride

You may well have heard about our partnership with Ripples Bathrooms, who are helping to raise funds for our project in the village of Arasur in Tamil Nadu, India. Well the fundraising recently reached new gruelling highs with Paul Crow, Managing Director of Ripples Ltd, cycling unsupported from London to Paris.  The 200 miles trip, via Newhaven, Dieppe and Giesors, took him three days, during which he burnt around 15,000 calories and ground through 70,000 pedal strokes. His trip was recently featured in both the West Wilts and the South Wilts Magazines, a copy of which you can find below.  If you would like to support Paul you can donate below. You can donate online using paypal below. Thank you! Please donate... Yes No Are you a UK taxpayer and can we claim gift aid? Would you like to receive our occasional newsletter?

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, ...

WTN ecosan featured in Nature journal

June 19, 2012  |   Environment,General news,India,Sanitation   |

WTN ecosan featured in Nature journal

This is an exciting week for us, as our work has been published in Nature - the global journal of science. The article, credited to Shunmuga Paramasivan from our Indian office, is a good introduction to our work and how we use education/schools as a method to teach good hygiene practices through our ecological sanitation systems. Read the article in full here

Our Marathon Champions

June 07, 2012  |   General news   |

Our Marathon Champions

Fundraiser Updates We have recently had four fantastic supporters running and fundraising for Wherever the Need - with all of them beating the pain barriers to complete their runs! Firstly we had Victoria Tyler running the London Marathon, who had a particularly challenging 4 and a half hours after tearing her thigh muscle at only the 7 mile mark and hobbling the remaining distance. She had less issues with her fundraising however, successfully raising £3,665 for our charity. Secondly we had Oliver Gould running the Bath Half twice in one day, in memory of his friend Jessica Gunn, successfully battling through a knee injury to complete both runs in 2 hours 30 minutes, and raising over £1200 for WTN. And lastly we had Jemima and Ellie House running their first ever half marathon (lets hope it isn't their last), and successfully raising a fantastic £400. Thank you to all of them, and if you would wish to donate further to their causes you can do so below.