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WaterAid/ Dieter Telemans

Recent posts

Wish We Had Better Healthcare?

Nearly 170 years ago in the Vienna General Hospital, the Hungarian physician Ignaz Semmelweis discovered that infection rates and deaths among new mothers could be drastically cut if healthcare providers simply washed their hands with chlorinated lime solution. Around the same time in London (1848), John Snow, one of the fathers of modern epidemiology, drew... Read more

Towards an Open Defecation Free Ujjain

On a cold day in January 2015, the Commissioner of Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh, Dr Ravindra Pastor (IAS), was reading a newspaper article on field trials by WaterAid India (WAI) and University of Delaware on a new toilet technology. Incidentally at that time, Dr Pastor was also up against the challenge of organising the Simhastha... Read more

Let’s talk menstruation!

Here’s why. India is home to around 120 million adolescent girls— that’s roughly 10% of the population. A girl menstruates on an average for five days a month, 12 months a year, and the cycle carries on till she reaches menopause in 30–40 years. Periods are normal and healthy, yet many girls across rural and... Read more

To be or not to be a toilet: Moving away from a one size fits all approach to sanitation

In the lush green environs of Itekhedi village in Madhya Pradesh, most homes have inbuilt toilets. The Sarpanch informs that save for 20—30 out of a 100 families, everyone has completed construction. This is not surprising, under the push given to the current rural sanitation programme. Contrary to the common notion that this might be... Read more

Rapid Action Learning Units — Real Time learning and adaptation for Swachh Bharat Mission

On a recent visit to a village in central India, we felt as if we had travelled back in time to the days of the Total Sanitation Campaign (TSC), when toilets were built as a tick-box exercise. Over a hundred concrete stalls with latrine pans had been built in the settlement. We call them concrete... Read more

Building WASH workforce army: the Open Access Way

Fifty-five year old Kalavati Devi is one of many trained masons in Kanpur city, Uttar Pradesh who works to build toilets across slums and in lower income settlements. Two years ago, she participated in a training programme on masonry with a focus on toilet construction that was organised by WaterAid India in partnership with Shramik... Read more

Jal Chaupal — A blend of ideas for water conservation and security

For many children of Jhabua in Madhya Pradesh, severe bone deformities are a harsh reality. We first heard of Nilesh (name changed) from Arvind Singh of India Natural Resource Economics and Management. Nilesh could not even walk, and at the age of six the stunting was so immense that he looked like a three year... Read more

Preparing for the millions: zero discharge toilet model demonstration at Ujjain

Ujjain, located in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh on the banks of river Shipra is one of the most sacred cities of India. Though it’s a religious destination all around the year, this year carries a special significance. The city will witness a month long Simhastha Kumbh beginning April 22. The event would... Read more