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Proceedings from “Identifying gaps in emergency sanitation” workshop available

March 23, 2011










The 2-day workshop “Identifying gaps in emergency sanitation  – Design of new kits to increase effectiveness in emergencies” was held 22-23 February 2011 in Stoutenburg, The Netherlands. Organisers were Oxfam GB and WASTE.

This was the second workshop in this series. The first was held two years previously in 2009 also in Stoutenburg.

The sanitation solutions deployed in the emergency response are not sufficient or adequate to meet challenges of floods and high water table, unstable soils, urban and crowded areas. The more tailored sanitation solutions which are required are not developed to be available for immediate dispatch in the first phase of the emergency. As a response to this gap in available technologies, emergency and sanitation practitioners from different key organizations come together in Stoutenburg, The Netherlands 22-23 Feb 2011 to discuss how to improve gaps in technologies for the immediate phase, understand more about product design process and organize the way forward.

 First, the latest experiences from the field were shared as well as tool development for decision support. Then, three key technologies to fill critical gaps in the immediate phase were identified: 1) raised latrines (when digging down is not an option), 2) improved desludging options, and 3) a sludge disposal and treatment kit. For each of these, specific product requirements for a designer brief were discussed. Members of a core group were identified to steer the way forward, with the help of an advisory group, which members were also identified. The organizers (Oxfam GB and WASTE) were responsible to send invitations to these functions after the workshop and call for a next meeting.

The presentations from the 2011 Stoutenburg workshop can be found here

Along with the workshop report

The minutes from the 2009 Stoutenburg workshop can be found here

Photos from the workshop is found here

Videos on YouTube:

William Carter, International Federation of the Red Crescent and Red Cross Societies (IFRC) on sanitation products such as raised latrines.

Andy Bastable, Oxfam GB, talking about Sanitation experiences in Haiti and new developments and emerging trends

Julien Eyrard, Action Contre la Faim (ACF), on the biggest sanitation challenge in emergencies: The large volume of sanitation service which needs to be provided.

Julien Eyrard, ACF,  is also talking about the learning and new developments in sanitation design for vulnerable groups such as children and elderly.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Ihsan ullah Khan permalink
    March 29, 2011 9:52 am

    Dear All

    Its very great that gaps were identified in the workshop to acheive sustainable sanitation in emergencies. Being a WASH specialist i would like to contribute more towards sanitation in Flood emergency. As here in Pakistan i am working with save the children i would like topoint out some of the gaps in bullet form
    1. The high water table and feacal contamination
    2. The raised pit latrines and the collapsible soil
    3. The soil with high permeability and the source contamination
    4. The unawareness about the toilets
    5. The underground water aquifer if saline even before the flood
    6. Low cast household or communal filtration plants

    The possible outcomes

    Normally we carry out the chlorination of the water pumps which in my openion useless because the chlorine in less effective in turbid water. I think the chlorination of the under ground water source is not possible or sustainable one.
    The raised pit latrines is one of the option but the soil is sand in Pakistan flood affected area in Punjab.
    The greater possibility is the underground contaminant movement to the source.
    The availability of water in the pit latrines is always a question in the area.
    The odour is a common complaint in community

    the possible option for sustainable sanitation
    1. the appraoch of EcoSan
    2. Pur flush latrines
    3. Honey comb structure in the pits
    4. coomunal flitration plants like reverse osmosis

    Its very good appraoch that the Oxfam has adopted. Cheer up Oxfam

  2. April 22, 2011 11:58 am

    It’s good to hear about this workshop looking at these important issues. More work needs to be done to find a range of options for anything outside of optimum conditions, especially when digging a pit is not reliable or possible.
    Live & Learn and Engineers Without Borders Australia have been developing a type of raised latrine, using an ecosan approach, for floating communities in Cambodia. Emphasis has been on low cost and cultural acceptance as well as designing for restrictive physical constraints. It’s been successful so far, and there are huge numbers of people who could benefit from this approach. We’ll be sharing this further with SUSANA and others soon but feel free to be in touch.

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