Clean water is essential to human survival in all environments. This is especially true for stressed populations in post-disaster, post-war, and/or impoverished situations. Since lack of water is one of the principal causes of death among refugee populations and a reliable source of water is needed for community development, the provision of clean drinking water is a crucial task not only for emergency responders but also for development planners. Water collection, storage, treatment, and transportation analysis must be conducted.
STAR-TIDES is working to provide a useful database of information for inexpensive, sustainable water infrastructure that can be supplied to emergency and development efforts that will support individual, governmental, NGO, and international efforts formulating and implementing sustainable solutions to typical water (and sanitation) problems.
A Dutch non-profit organization named AKVO has created a website (www.akvo.org) is a great resource for individuals, government officials, and NGOs seeking information on sustainable approaches to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) . Akvo’s online encyclopedia called Akvopedia <https://akvopedia.org/wiki/Main_Page> has a number of “portals” containing much more detailed information. Their Water Portal <https://akvopedia.org/wiki/Water_Portal> characterizes water by:
With easy-to-understand icons under each category, and common descriptions associated with each one. A goal is to help visitors 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 resources in Akvo’s areas can:
customize a program by choosing from the various options under the 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.
Besides sanitation, described below, Akvopedia has comparably detailed portals for Finance <https://akvopedia.org/wiki/Finance_Portal>, aligned by:
and, Food and Nutrition Security <https://akvopedia.org/wiki/Food_%26_Nutrition_Security_Portal>, with the following categories:
Right to Food
There even is a section on Sustainable Oil Palm Farming <https://akvopedia.org/wiki/Sustainable_Oil_Palm_Farming>, and a handbook on Data Collection <https://akvopedia.org/wiki/Handbook_on_Data_Collection<, which is the AfriAlliance Handbook that provides guidance on how best to develop a data collection project to ensure high quality data is collected and maximum impact is achieved, along with other useful references. Akvo has “started our language program with translators for French, Spanish, three Indian languages (Hindi, Malayalam, and Tamil), Korean, Chinese, Indonesian, and Japanese, with many more to come.”
International humanitarian and development standards recognize that 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.With effective sanitation technology, people have more healthful living standards, increasing well-being, quality of life and the community’s social and economic development. Additionally, in disaster response situations, early assessments and implementation of sanitation efforts can prevent the start and spread of disease that not only threaten the local populace, but can significantly divert, delay or disrupt national and international resources and response efforts.
The following resources and technologies are focused on assisting humanitarian response and development efforts in the design, planning and establishment of effective and efficient sanitation systems to enable mission success.
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.
As noted above, AKVO’s Akvopedia is a great resource for individuals, government officials, and NGOs seeking information on sustainable approaches to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH). The Sanitation Portal <https://akvopedia.org/wiki/Sanitation_Portal> categorizes available sanitation methods by:
Collection and Storage / Local Treatment
(Semi-) Centralized Treatment
Use of Products / Disposal
As with water, all sanitation devices listed have a clear icon, description, picture, and information on various pros and cons.
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/
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.)