Tricia’s snippets 2011-11-24


VOL 30; NUMB 4; 2011
ISSN 0262-8104
Thirtieth anniversary edition – what are the lessons and achievements of the last 30 years? What should be the focus in the next 30 years?


Title: Water and sanitation issues for persons with disabilities in low- and middle-income countries: a literature review and discussion of implications for global health and international development.
by Groce, N; Bailey, N; Lang, R; Trani, J F; Kett, M
Journal of water and health, December 2011, 9(4):617-627
The critical importance of unrestricted access to clean drinking water and basic sanitation for all is highlighted in Millennium Development Goal 7, which calls for the reduction by half of the proportion of people without such access by 2015. Unfortunately, little attention has been paid to the needs of such access for the one billion people living with a disability worldwide, despite the fact that the right to equal access for all international development initiatives is guaranteed in the new United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. In this paper, we review what is currently known about access to water and sanitation for persons with disabilities in low- and middle-income countries from the perspective of both international development and global health, and identify existing gaps in research, practice and policy that are of pressing concern if the water and sanitation needs of this large – and largely overlooked – population are to be addressed.

Title: Using child health outcomes to identify effective measures of handwashing.
by Luby, Stephen P; Halder, Amal K; Huda, Tarique M N; Unicomb, Leanne; Johnston, Richard B
The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene, November 2011, 85(5):882-892
We assessed which practical handwashing indicators were independently associated with reduced child diarrhea or respiratory disease. Fieldworkers collected 33 indicators of handwashing at baseline in 498 households in 50 villages in rural Bangladesh. Community monitors visited households monthly and asked standard questions about diarrhea and symptoms of respiratory illness among children under 5 years of age. In multivariate analysis, three handwashing indicators were independently associated with less child diarrhea-mothers reporting usually washing hands with soap before feeding a child, mothers using soap when asked to show how they usually washed their hands after defecation, and children having visibly clean finger pads. Two indicators were independently associated with fewer respiratory infections-mothers allowing their hands to air dry after the handwashing demonstration and the presence of water where the respondents usually wash hands after defecation. These rapid handwashing indicators should be considered for inclusion in handwashing assessments.

Title: The effect of temperature on survival of pathogenic bacteria in biogas plants.
by Iwasaki, Masahiro; Yamashiro, Takaki; Beneragama, Nilmini; Nishida, Takehiro; Kida, Katsuya; Ihara, Ikko; Takahashi, June-Ichi; Umetsu, Kazutaka
Animal science journal = Nihon chikusan Gakkaiho, October 2011, 82(5):707-712
The paper deals with the hygienic advantages of sanitation to treat dairy manure in full-scale biogas plants. The slurry samples were collected from two thermophilic biogas plants (55°C) and two mesophilic biogas plants (38°C) in Hokkaido Japan. A detectable number of Coli-aerogenes group and Enterococcus in the slurries after anaerobic digestion (AD) could not be found in either thermophilic biogas plants. However, in both mesophilic biogas plants the viable numbers of Coli-aerogenes group and Enterococcus were detected in the slurries even after anaerobic digestion. The mean decimation reduction time (T(90) ) values of the Coli-aerogenes group and Enterococcus in the slurries during mesophilic digestion were 13.3 days and 16.7 days, respectively.© 2011 The Authors. Animal Science Journal © 2011 Japanese Society of Animal Science.

Title: Water access and attendance for diarrhea in primary health care centers, Gaza strip.
by Abouteir, A; El Yaagoubi, F; Bioh-Johnson, I; Kamel, A; Godard, N; Cormerais, L; Robin, F; Lesens, O
Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, October 2011, 105(10):555-560
Water access and sanitation has worsened in Gaza strip since the conflict between Israel and Palestine in January 2009. This study aimed to investigate the relationship between attendance for diarrhea to a Primary Health Care Center (PHCC) in Gaza strip and several potential risk factors including water access. A matched case control study with prospective data record was performed. Cases were patients attending a PHCC for diarrhea, and controls were patients attending for any other cause with no diarrhea within the previous three months or since birth. We matched 133 cases and 133 controls, for date of inclusion, age, gender. All patients attended PHCC and were included in January/February 2010. A stool analysis for bacteria and parasites was performed for cases. Of the 266 patients, 62% (166) have to buy water from a private provider. In multivariate analysis, four variables were independently predictive of diarrhea: public water access (OR: 0.046; 95% CI: 0.005-0.454; P=0.0083), poultry or rabbits at home, and presence of cooker at home. A bacterial cause was found in 5.5% (7) and Giardia duodenalis in 20% (26). Treatments did not comply with WHO recommendations. Efforts should be made to improve water access and to implement guidelines for a better management of diarrhea in Gaza strip.Copyright © 2011 Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

VOL 45; NUMBER 19; 2011
ISSN 0043-1354
pp. 6347-6354
Development of biomass in a drinking water granular active carbon (GAC) filter.
Velten, S.; Boller, M.; Koster, O.; Helbing, J.; Weilenmann, H. U.; Hammes, F.
Indigenous bacteria are essential for the performance of drinking water biofilters, yet this biological component remains poorly characterized. In the present study we followed biofilm formation and development in a granular activated carbon (GAC) filter on pilot-scale during the first six months of operation. GAC particles were sampled from four different depths (10, 45, 80 and 115 cm) and attached biomass was measured with adenosine tri-phosphate (ATP) analysis. The attached biomass accumulated rapidly on the GAC particles throughout all levels in the filter during the first 90 days of operation and maintained a steady state afterward. Vertical gradients of biomass density and growth rates were observed during start-up and also in steady state. During steady state, biomass concentrations ranged between 0.8-1.83 x 10-6 g ATP/g GAC in the filter, and 22% of the influent dissolved organic carbon (DOC) was removed. Concomitant biomass production was about 1.8 x 1012 cells/m2h, which represents a yield of 1.26 x 106 cells/mg. The bacteria assimilated only about 3% of the removed carbon as biomass. At one point during the operational period, a natural 5-fold increase in the influent phytoplankton concentration occurred. As a result, influent assimilable organic carbon concentrations increased and suspended bacteria in the filter effluent increased 3-fold as the direct consequence of increased growth in the biofilter. This study shows that the combination of different analytical methods allows detailed quantification of the microbiological activity in drinking water biofilters.
pp. 6355-6361
Nutrient gradients in a granular activated carbon biofilter drives bacterial community organization and dynamics.
Boon, N.; Pycke, B. F.; Marzorati, M.; Hammes, F.
The quality of drinking water is ensured by hygienic barriers and filtration steps, such as ozonation and granular activated carbon (GAC) filtration. Apart from adsorption, GAC filtration involves microbial processes that remove biodegradable organic carbon from the ozonated ground or surface water and ensures biological stability of the treated water. In this study, microbial community dynamics in were monitored during the start-up and maturation of an undisturbed pilot-scale GAC filter at 4 depths (10, 45, 80 and 115 cm) over a period of 6 months. New ecological tools, based on 16S rRNA gene-DGGE, were correlated to filter performance and microbial activity and showed that the microbial gradients developing in the filter was of importance. At 10 cm from the top, receiving the freshly ozonated water with the highest concentration of nutrients, the microbial community dynamics were minimal and the species richness remained low. However, the GAC samples at 80-115 cm showed a 2-3 times higher species richness than the 10-45 cm samples. The highest biomass densities were observed at 45-80 cm, which corresponded with maximum removal of dissolved and assimilable organic carbon. Furthermore, the start-up period was clearly distinguishable using the Lorenz analysis, as after 80 days, the microbial community shifted to an apparent steady-state condition with increased evenness. This study showed that GAC biofilter performance is not necessarily correlated to biomass concentration, but rather that an elevated functionality can be the result of increased microbial community richness, evenness and dynamics.
pp. 6453-6460
Sludge quality aspects of full-scale reed bed drainage.
Dominiak, D.; Christensen, M. L.; Keiding, K.; Nielsen, P. H.
Sludge-drying reed beds can be a cost-effective and sustainable solution to surplus activated sludge dewatering and mineralization, especially for small wastewater treatment plants. However, the simplicity as well as low energy and monitoring requirements of this technology are often counterbalanced by frequent operational problems consisting of slow and insufficient dewatering, poor vegetation growth, odor, and overall poor mineralization of the sludge residues. The main reason is that the general rules for facility design and operation are based on empirical experience rather than on the actual and current sludge parameters. In this study a new method for the assessment of activated sludge drainage properties has been applied to determine the reasons behind operational problems faced by the operators of reed bed facility accepting surplus activated sludge from two wastewater treatment plants in Esbjerg, Denmark. The importance of sludge quality monitoring as well as the damaging effect of shear forces, oxygen depletion, and long-distance sludge transportation were demonstrated. Finally, more general guidelines for reed bed facility design and operation are given, based on experimental data from seven full-scale plants.

VOL 47; NUMB 9; 2011
ISSN 0043-1397
p. W09530
Water resources implications of integrating malaria control into the operation of an Ethiopian dam.
Reis, J.; Culver, T.B.; McCartney, M.; Lautze, J.; Kibret, S.
Author(s): Ferro, G. ; Romero, C. A. ; Covelli, M. P.
Article Title: Regulation and performance : A production frontier estimate for the Latin American water and sanitation sector
ISSN: 0957-1787
Year: 2011
Volume/Issue: VOL 19, NUMB 4
Page(s): 211-217
The objective of this paper is to analyze the efficiency of the water sector in Latin American countries. We try to find factors affecting efficiency rather than identifying which country or individual provider is more or less efficient. We also consider which model would be more fitting for the water sector production in this region. Our motivation is to develop instruments to make benchmarking operative for regulatory actions that can reduce information asymmetry and increase efficiency in Latin American countries. We estimate econometric efficiency frontiers using data from a regional survey conducted by the Latin American Association of Water Regulators. The paper develops a model based on the core variables that explain the phenomena and explores ”environmental” (contextual or beyond management control) variables to achieve fair comparisons. The study does not ”name and shame” services but provides elements to foster the development of indicative goals at the regional level.
Title: Implementing pro-poor policies in a decentralized context: the case of the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Program in Tanzania
by Jimenez Fernandez de Palencia, Alejandro; Perez-Foguet, Agusti
Sustainability Science. Vol. 6, no. 1, pp. 37-49. Jan 2011.
Article Subject Terms:; Politics; Rural areas; Sanitation; Water supplies; funds; intervention; responsibility; sustainability; villages
Article Geographic Terms:; Tanzania
This paper examines the challenge of achieving a balance between the implementation of centrally designed pro-poor policies and the decentralization of responsibilities to local governments in many African countries. It analyzes the implementation of the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Program in Tanzania. Key mechanisms for planning and allocating resources are analyzed at ministry, district, and village levels. Results show that a mixture of policy incoherencies, technical shortcomings and political influence determine that only a small proportion of funds reaches the underserved areas. We argue that a greater connection between the bottom-up and top-down planning mechanisms, and a sharp increase of downwards accountability are needed before decentralized decision-making result in better resources allocation. Meanwhile a bigger intervention from central government is needed.

Title: Development of impact factors on damage to health by infectious diseases caused by domestic water scarcity
by Motoshita, Masaharu; Itsubo, Norihiro; Inaba, Atsushi
International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment [Int. J. Life Cycle Assess.]. Vol. 16, no. 1, pp. 65-73. Jan 2011.
Article Subject Terms:; Desalination; Desalination plants; Diets; Energy consumption; Housing; Residential areas; Water supplies; scarcity; water use
Article Geographic Terms:; Africa
Background, aim, and scope: Water scarcity is a critical environmental issue. In particular, domestic water is a necessary resource for our fundamental activities, and poor water quality may lead to damage to health caused by infectious diseases. However, there is no methodology to assess the damage of domestic water scarcity (low accessibility to safe water) caused by water consumption. The main objectives of this study are to model the health damage assessment of infectious diseases (ascariasis, trichuriasis, hookworm disease, and diarrhea) caused by domestic water scarcity and calculate damage factors on a country scale. Materials and methods: The damage to health caused by infectious diseases was assumed to have resulted from domestic water scarcity due to loss of accessibility to safe water. Damage function of domestic water scarcity was composed of two steps, including assessments of water accessibility and health damage. This was modeled by applying regression analyses based on statistical data on a country scale. For more precise and realistic modeling, three explanatory variables (domestic use of fresh water, gross domestic product per capita and gross capital formation expenditure per capita) for water accessibility assessment and seven explanatory variables (the annual average temperature, the house connection to water supply, the house connection to sanitation, average dietary energy consumption, undernourished population rate, Gini coefficient of dietary energy consumption, and health expenditure per capita) for the health damage ssessment were chosen and non-linear multiple regression analyses were conducted. Results: Water accessibility could be modeled by all three explanatory variables with sufficient explanatory power (R super(2)=0.68). For the health damage assessment, significant explanatory variables were different from those for diseases, but the R super(2) values of the regression models for each infectious disease were calculated as more than 0.4. Furthermore, the house connection to water supply rate showed a high correlation with every infectious disease. This showed that domestic water scarcity is strongly linked to health damage caused by infectious diseases. Based on the results of the regression analyses, the calculated damage factors of domestic water scarcity ranged from 1.29E-11 to 1.81E-03 [Disability Adjusted Life Years (DALYs)/m super(3)], and the average value (weighted mean value by domestic use of fresh water for each country) was 3.89E-07 [DALYs/m super(3)] and the standard deviation of damage factors was 1.40E-07 [DALYs/m super(3)]. Discussion: According to the calculated damage factors for each country, countries sensitive to domestic water scarcity appeared to be located in the African region, and in addition, the amount of available domestic water tended to be less in the most sensitive countries. Water production technologies represented by desalination are expected to be a countermeasure for the reduction of water stress. As an example of the application of damage factor analysis, health damage improvement compared with the effects of CO sub(2) emission caused by the introduction of desalination plants showed that there were several countries where desalination was worth introducing after considering the advantages and disadvantages of the environmental impact. Conclusions: Damage assessment models of domestic water scarcity were developed by applying non-linear multiple regression analysis. Damage factors could be calculated for most countries, except for those without statistical data for the analysis. Damage factors are applicable to not only the assessment of water consumption, but also the evaluation of benefits of water production in countries suffering from water scarcity. Recommendations and perspectives: The analyses of this study were conducted by applying data on a country scale, and the regional and local characteristics within each country are expected to be taken into account in future studies. The water resource amount, which was represented by the amount of domestic use of fresh water in this study, should be estimated with consideration of the effects due to climate change.
Author(s): Akmalah, E. ; Grigg, N.S.
Article Title: Jakarta flooding : systems study of socio-technical forces
ISSN: 0250-8060
Year: 2011
Volume/Issue: VOL 36, NUMB 6
Page(s): 733-747

Title: Disgust as an adaptive system for disease avoidance behaviour
by Curtis, Valerie; de Barra, Micheal; Aunger, Robert
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, Series B: Biological Sciences [Philos. Trans. R. Soc. Lond., Ser. B: Biol. Sci.]. Vol. 366, no. 1563, pp. 389-401. 12 Feb 2011.
Article Subject Terms:; Avoidance behavior; Emotions; Epidemiology; Evolution; Hygiene; Immune system; Infection; Learning; Pathogens; Personality; Pollution; Pregnancy; Problem solving; Psychology; Public health; Sanitation
Disgust is an evolved psychological system for protecting organisms from infection through disease avoidant behaviour. This ‘behavioural immune system’, present in a diverse array of species, exhibits universal features that orchestrate hygienic behaviour in response to cues of risk of contact with pathogens. However, disgust is also a dynamic adaptive system. Individuals show variation in pathogen avoidance associated with psychological traits like having a neurotic personality, as well as a consequence of being in certain physiological states such as pregnancy or infancy. Three specialized learning mechanisms modify the disgust response: the Garcia effect, evaluative conditioning and the law of contagion. Hygiene behaviour is influenced at the group level through social learning heuristics such as ‘copy the frequent’. Finally, group hygiene is extended symbolically to cultural rules about purity and pollution, which create social separations and are enforced as manners. Cooperative hygiene endeavours such as sanitation also reduce pathogen prevalence. Our model allows us to integrate perspectives from psychology, ecology and cultural evolution with those of epidemiology and anthropology. Understanding the nature of disease avoidance psychology at all levels of human organization can inform the design of programmes to improve public health.

Title: Gender and the hygiene hypothesis
by Clough, Sharyn
Social Science and Medicine [Soc. Sci. Med.]. Vol. 72, no. 4, pp. 486-493. Feb 2011.
Article Subject Terms:; Allergies; Asthma; Gender; Hygiene; Morbidity; Respiratory diseases; Sanitation; depression; estrogens
The hygiene hypothesis offers an explanation for the correlation, well-established in the industrialized nations of North and West, between increased hygiene and sanitation, and increased rates of asthma and allergies. Recent studies have added to the scope of the hypothesis, showing a link between decreased exposure to certain bacteria and parasitic worms, and increased rates of depression and intestinal auto-immune disorders, respectively. What remains less often discussed in the research on these links is that women have higher rates than men of asthma and allergies, as well as many auto-immune disorders, and also depression. The current paper introduces a feminist understanding of gender socialization to the epidemiological and immunological picture. That standards of cleanliness are generally higher for girls than boys, especially under the age of five when children are more likely to be under close adult supervision, is a robust phenomenon in industrialized nations, and some research points to a cross-cultural pattern. I conclude that, insofar as the hygiene hypothesis successfully identifies standards of hygiene and sanitation as mediators of immune health, then attention to the relevant patterns of gender socialization is important. The review also makes clear that adding a feminist analysis of gender socialization to the hygiene hypothesis helps explain variation in morbidity rates not addressed by other sources and responds to a number of outstanding puzzles in current research. Alternative explanations for the sex differences in the relevant morbidity rates are also discussed (e.g., the effects of estrogens). Finally, new sources of evidence for the hygiene hypothesis are suggested in the form of cross-cultural and other natural experiments. a-[ordm Hygiene hypothesis identifies standards of cleanliness as a mediator of immune health. a-[ordm Feminist analyses of gender show standards of cleanliness are generally higher for girls than boys. a-[ordm Adding feminist research explains sex differences in immune health not addressed by other sources. a-[ordm Also provides new sources of evidence for hygiene hypothesis such as cross-cultural and other natural experiments. 

From Sanitation Updates:

‘Nigeria loses N455bn yearly to poor sanitation’
Posted: 22 Nov 2011 08:15 AM PST

NPR – Building a Better Toilet
Posted: 21 Nov 2011 09:40 AM PST

WASHplus Weekly on Communal Sanitation
Live & Learn Environmental Education – Grand Challenges Explorations Funding
Posted: 18 Nov 2011

Viet Nam: world’s first Unilever-sponsored Toilet Academy opens in 2012
‘T is for Toilet’ wins ‘ABCs of Death’ film contest
Plan International USA Receives $7 Million Grant for Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) Research
Winning the race: sanitation in rapidly-growing towns in Southern Africa – workshop video report
Posted: 17 Nov 2011

World Toilet Day 2011 Official Song
Former President John Agyekum Kufuor to chair the Sanitation and Water for All partnership
Posted: 16 Nov 2011 03:05 AM PST

Progress-Linked Finance: a study of the feasibility and practicality of a proposed WASH financing approach
Posted: 15 Nov 2011 06:50 AM PST

Leveraging Partnerships to Achieve Total Sanitation in East Africa
Human Waste to Revive Haitian Farmland?
Posted: 14 Nov 2011 10:19 AM PST

India: Sulabh International gets top UN consultative status
Posted: 13 Nov 2011 04:02 PM PST

WASHplus Weekly on the prevention of pneumonia
Posted: 11 Nov 2011 09:15 AM PST

USA: Amnesty and WaterAid “Give a Crap about Human Rights” campaign
Inclusive WASH free learning portal
defeatDD Poo Haiku contest winners announced
Posted: 10 Nov 2011

Effluent and Waste Water Management Conference, Nairobi, Kenya, 22-23 November 2011
Posted: 08 Nov 2011 01:50 PM PST