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A lack of sanitation services can quickly spread disease in refugee camps and under-developed communities. Alternatively, with proper sanitation technology, residents have more healthful living standards, increasing well-being, quality of life and the community’s social and economic development.
In the pursuit of sanitation and other survival necessities for stressed populations, STAR-TIDES is working to provide a useful database of information on inexpensive, sustainable infrastructure that can be supplied to development areas/emergency situations with minimal transportation costs.
A Dutch non-profit organization named AKVO has created a website (www.akvo.org) that is a great resource for individuals, government officials, and NGOs seeking information on sustainable solutions to typical sanitation (and water) problems.
AKVO also catalogues numerous sustainable solutions to typical development scenarios/emergency situations in its online encyclopedia named akvopedia. In the section for sanitation, they categorize available sanitation methods by:
- Toilet Facilities
- Collection & Storage
- Centralized Treatment
- Use of Products/Disposal
All sanitation devices listed have a description, picture, and information on various pros and cons. AKVO has a comparable detailed portal of sanitation and water resources.
In addition, the akvopedia site has a section labeled, Organizations Portal that divides organizations interested in water/sanitation into: NGOs, government organizations, knowledge and research organizations, funding organizations and commercial companies. Each listing has a URL to follow.
Also on akvopedia is an Approach Portal that helps walk through:
- Product/service development (how to decide if a technology or business plan is appropriate, sustainable, etc
- Service delivery approaches (community controlled vs. private enterprise, etc.)
- Promotion/Demand stimulation (use of media and market development), and
- Support systems/Enabling environment (legislation, public-private partnerships, etc.)
In sum, by going to the Akvopedia page, any individual or organization requiring sanitation resources can:
- customize a program by choosing from the various options under the sanitation portal categories to suit their individual needs.
- Identify other organizations that could might have mutual interests, and
- Get ideas about business models, financing, technical assistance, etc.
The Sphere Project www.sphereproject.org is a good resource that offers common standards used by the international community when providing support to disaster victims, refugees, and other displaced populations. Sanitation is considered to be a “basic requirement” for sustaining the lives and dignity of stressed populations. Sphere provides detailed standards for proper sanitation within the humanitarian relief and assistance arena. TIDES highly recommends that those involved in such operations become familiar with the Sphere Standards available at the above link.
Other helpful organizations are:
- World Toilet Organization (WTO) is a global non-profit organization committed to improving toilet and sanitation conditions worldwide http://www.worldtoilet.org/
- UNICEF, International Year of Sanitation (2008) http://esa.un.org/iys/emergency.shtml
- University of Florida Cooperative Extension Service: Emergency Sanitation http://disaster.ifas.ufl.edu/PDFS/CHAP04/D04-14.PDF
- National Terror Alert Response Center: Emergency Sanitation http://www.nationalterroralert.com/sanitationhygiene/
- Loughborough University, Emergency Sanitation: Assessment and Programme Design
- Oxfam, Vulnerability and socio-cultural considerations for Public Health in Emergencies (PHE) http://www.oxfam.org.uk/resources/downloads/emerg_manuals/draft_oxfam_tech_brief_sociocultural.pdf
- Oxfam, Sanitation in Emergencies http://www.oxfam.org.uk/resources/learning/humanitarian/sanitation_in_emerg.html
- Water, Engineering and Development Centre Technical Brief http://www.lboro.ac.uk/well/resources/technical-briefs/38-emergency-sanitation-for-refugees.pdf
- IRC listing of international emergency sanitation aid providers http://www.irc.nl/page/15667
- World Health Organization, Water Sanitation and Health http://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/hygiene/emergencies/sanitation/en/
- Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council, Compendium of Sanitation Systems and Technologies http://www.eawag.ch/organisation/abteilungen/sandec/publikationen/publications_sesp/downloads_sesp/compendium_high.pdf
- NothingButNets, an organization that will use donations for the purchase of malaria-resistant nets and advocates for malaria prevention. http://nothingbutnets.net/
- NetsforLife, a partnership dedicated to fighting malaria in Africa. http://www.netsforlifeafrica.org/
Each link will lead you to a new page that lists lighting solutions under these broad categories. (Note: TIDES does not endorse any specific products or stores, nor are we responsible for the content on the links.)
- Individual/Household Use
- Larger Technologies
- Consulting Services
INDIVIDUAL OR HOUSEHOLD USE PRODUCTS (SHORT-TERM)
- Quake Kare, Inc.
- Pee Poople
- Dri-Let Waste Processor