Selling Toilets

August 29, 2016  |  by

It’s easy for most of us to take the simplest things–like flushing a toilet–for granted. Yet almost 2.4 billion people lack access to modern sanitation, and nearly 1 billion practice open defecation, according to the World Health Organization. The problem is worst in rural areas of sub-Saharan Africa and south Asia, particularly India. What’s to be…

A Big Agenda in the Big Apple: the Global Goals at the UN High Level Political Forum

August 17, 2016  |  by

When policy makers gathered recently at the UN in New York, WaterAid was there to highlight the importance of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) in achieving Agenda 2030. Advocacy Coordinator Jayde Bradley reflects on what was learned. Nearly 300 days after UN member states adopted Agenda 2030, I visited New York for the 2016 High Level…

Capacity Building Has a Face and a Name

August 16, 2016  |  by

The term capacity building is used a lot in international development and the water sector. It’s a nice, compact phrase that tries—but fails—to capture just how powerful it can be in peoples’ lives. Sure we need clean, universal phrases to help standardize communication, but they can sterilize emotion and impact: the very things that compel…

Reducing Early Childhood Diarrhea Through Improved Learning

July 25, 2016  | 

Despite the availability of inexpensive and easy-to-use technologies and simple behaviors that can prevent diarrhea, it was an unpleasant surprise for me to learn that it kills more than half a million children a year, predominantly in the developing world. More troubling still, social scientists have found it challenging to get high adoption rates and…

Solving the Sanitation Challenge in Malawi, One Toilet at a Time

July 6, 2016  |  by , ,

With implications in areas as diverse as nutrition, education, and health, the lack of proper sanitation and hygiene is considered one of the greatest barriers to global development. In Southern Africa, Malawi is all too familiar with these far-reaching consequences. Diarrheal disease is currently the fifth cause of death in Malawi and it is estimated…

Water, Climate, and Society: Who invited the mechatronics engineer?

July 5, 2016  |  by

Oxford’s REACH Water global consortium involves partners from many countries and organisations. Credit: REACH2016 I’m a robotics engineer from South Africa. I like technology, control theory, and data science – mostly things that don’t  (and can’t) get wet!  I know very little, if anything, about marine governance science, watershed management, or international water law. So…

Putting Local Wealth to Work for Safe Water Access

June 24, 2016  |  by

Photo Credit: Bobby Neptune Photography LLC Peaceful, jacaranda-shaded Embu, Kenya resembles many small cities in East Africa: bustling on market days, dusty and a little sleepy the rest of the week. But, water is always a major concern of its residents. Though Embu is situated near several rivers in the shadow of Mount Kenya, the…