Originally posted on Sanitation Updates:

Kigali Eco-Toilet. Photo: Eugene Dusingizumuremyi / SuSanA

The capital city of Rwanda has turned a delay in funding into an opportunity to revise its plans so that more areas get connected to a new centralised sewerage system. Construction of a US$ 70 million wastewater treatment plant in Giti Cyinyoni, Nyarugenge District, was due to start in 2012 but has been delayed by one year.

The lack of a centralised sewage system in Kigali (pop. 1 million) has been forcing real estate developers to provide onsite sewerage systems for new housing units. Schools, hospitals and other public buildings are already required by law to have their own sewerage systems. In future all these onsite systems will be connected to the new centralised system.

In 2008, according to a survey, 80% of the people in Kigali still used pit latrines [1]. These have proved to be not only hard to maintain, but…

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Originally posted on Water for the Ages:

A few weeks ago a freshman from City College of New York contacted me to ask a simple question for her Environmental Psychology class: “What is your take on the global water shortage?” She believed many people were not aware of the issue, or they thought such a scenario wouldn’t affect them. After pondering her question for a few minutes, I realized she made a good point in the North American context. In many lower-income countries where water access is a big problem, people are familiar with the idea of global water shortages. In North America, it feels like the general public is more aware of global water shortages existing primarily in other countries (now this may slowly be changing in areas such as the arid southwest US or in areas experiencing drought).

Nasa Image of Water Earth
Above Photo: Through the Cupola on the International Space Station by NASA

Let us first define…

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Originally posted on water services that last:

Driven amongst others by the mobile phone applications, more and more statistics are becoming available on the state of water services. These go well beyond the coverage data we were used to in the JMP reports (and which this year gave us some reason to be mildly optimistic). The new stats provide more insight into the functionality of infrastructure and the level of service being provided. And these are saddening. Just have a glimpse at the overview of these sad stats made by Improve International. Though the specific figures differ from one country to another, but the order of magnitude of non-functional water points is around 30%, with another 10-20% being partial functional. Of the ones that are functional only a small percentage provides services that meet standards. Going a level deeper, one can find more details, such as the percentage of water committees that perform according to…

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