Saturday, March 15, 2014

Factoring conflict reduction into water, sanitation, hygeine programmes

IRIN: Evidence that sanitation interventions can contribute to local stability and conflict reduction is encouraging and should be considered in programme design, experts say.

"We have seen that WASH [water, sanitation and hygiene] interventions done well have the direct benefit of supporting community cohesion. This is itself a very significant indicator, and crucial to the sustainability of any project," Ben Ayers, the Nepal country director for the dZi Foundation, a development organization working in eastern Nepal, told IRIN.

However, WASH programmes, such as "Open Defecation Free" (ODF) campaigns, must be carefully crafted if they are to take into account local socio-political conditions, say experts.

"Delivering services such as WASH is not necessarily going to contribute to peacebuilding or community cohesion on its own. It really matters how the services are delivered - and there are many methods, none of which works universally," explained Nathaniel Mason, a research fellow at the London-based Overseas Development Institute (ODI).

After a 2009 diarrhoea outbreak in Nepal's Far West Region that killed hundreds of people, the government in 2011 launched a national campaign to end open defecation, which can contribute to water contamination and the spread of infectious diseases, including cholera, by 2017....

A well in Bhaktapur, Nepal, shot by Michel Royon, Wikimedia Commons,  under the Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication 

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