Making standards practical is critical to sanitation innovation for rapidly expanding urban areas in developing countries

Trabajadores de Sanergy recogen desechos procedentes de los retretes Fresh Life en Mukuru

WASH solutions can only implemented when they work in context. In the lead up to World Toilet Day, Katie Whitehouse explains why in some cases standards may not be achievable. Container based sanitation social enterprises are pushing the boundaries in decentralised sanitation management and yet continue to be classified as an unimproved form of sanitation. There are social enterprises – … Read More

The dilemma of managing toilets

Le dilemme de la gestion des toilettes

Where there are no sewers to connect to, we need to find other ways to manage waste. Here Katie Whitehouse looks at some of the issues that come with having a functioning toilet. It is pretty terrible that in 2016 over 2.4 billion people still do not have access to a toilet (even a basic pit latrine). A toilet seems … Read More

Toilet access is dominating programme delivery but what is the point of building more toilets if we cannot manage them?

Un homme construit une latrine à Logan Town, au Libéria (Abbie Trayler-Smith/Oxfam)

Katie Whitehouse looks at how building a toilet isn’t the end of the story and we need sustainable approaches to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH). Building a toilet and marking it as a metric achieved is relatively easy. Building a toilet and ensuring that it is continuously serviced and the waste collected transported and treated appropriately is much harder. Once … Read More

The forgotten nexus of sanitation, hygiene & water – is this the inhibitor to progress?

Un habitant collecte de l’eau à un tuyau, à proximité directe d’un égout et de canalisations à ciel ouvert (Sam Tarling).

In the lead-up to World Toilet Day, Oxfam’s Katie Whitehouse looks at how water, sanitation, hygiene and development are connected. In the 1800s, towns and cities across the world, including London, were battling cholera epidemics. Before John Snow published his theory in 1849 that cholera was a waterborne disease, efforts to manage poor sanitation and hygiene were minimal. The realisation … Read More

Tigers in the toilet

A tiger worm

Could the Tiger Toilet be a long lasting sanitation solution for refugee camps? We think it could be. Sanitation is a huge priority for Oxfam as we seek cost effective, appropriate and durable solutions for the many different contexts we operate in – humanitarian camps, following natural disaster and conflict, rural and urban environments. Earthworm, can digest the contents of … Read More

Responding to our toilet duties – an important subject!

Des dalles de latrines en plastique prêtes à être installées au dessus des fosses récemment creusées, une fois que la charpente aura été construite, au Soudan du Sud.

Sanitation in emergency contexts must consider a diverse range of social, environmental, cultural and economic parameters. Jenny Lamb explores what this means for Oxfam and for Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) practitioners more broadly. From the Haiti earthquake in Port-au-Prince to the refugee crisis in Ethiopia and the displacement of communities in South Sudan every new situation presents us with challenges. … Read More

The Ladies’ Room

Humanitarian camps are dark at night. The curfew is sunset and the camp is heaving. Spilling out of their crowded tents onto the streets, people sit around dim cooking stoves talking and waving the mosquitoes away. The streets are slippery with mud, dotted with deep pools of stagnant water. Making your way to the toilet after dark is treacherous, the … Read More

The impatient optimist: Urine-tricity to light humanitarian camps

In this blog we’re introduced to two sides of the ‘Urine-tricity’ story. Firstly, we hear from Oxfam’s Head of Water and Sanitation Andy Bastable, who shares his eager observations on the project, which produces electrical power from urine. To conclude, Ioannis Ieropoulos, Professor of Bioenergy and Self-sustainable Systems at University of the West of England, maps out the history of … Read More