WEDC Institute publishes village and school program evaluations

This July Program Director Angelique Dioguardi and Program Manager Osbert Atwijukye presented three papers at the WEDC International Conference, with topics including improving water point sustainability through savings groups, creating hygiene habits in schoolchildren, and turning sludge into fuel briquettes.

Below we have included the conference paper abstracts and links for download. Please note that we plan to host a webinar on adapting savings groups for water and sanitation this fall, and if you are interested in learning more, please send us an email.

Traditional water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) approaches have failed to achieve adequate sustainability of rural water points and hygiene behaviour change. Community-based savings groups have several strengths that suggest their integration into WASH programs may significantly improve sustainability and hygiene and sanitation. This paper documents how The Water Trust integrated the formation of savings groups, referred to as “self-help groups” (SHGs), into its program. This paper shares year-one results of an 18-month pilot implemented across 18 communities, including indicators of sustainability, SHG performance, hygiene and sanitation, and health. Notably, annual water point contributions spent or available for repairs increased from $2 to $164 in SHG communities, more than three-times the levels of contemporaneous pilots and more than needed for annual maintenance and repairs. Handwashing facility coverage also increased from 5% to 36%. Learnings from the pilot are shared along with a discussion of the potential for scale and future research.


Empowering schools to instil good hygiene habits in children and maintain infrastructure in rural Uganda

In 2017, The Water Trust partnered with Mutunda sub-county in Kiryandongo district with the objectives of universal coverage of basic water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) across all 18 government primary schools, benefitting directly more than 14,000 children and indirectly the more than 40,000 people that live in the students’ communities. The project employed user-centred design of handwashing facilities and invested in teacher training and coaching to improve school management and teaching practices. At the project’s conclusion, 89% of students observed using the latrine were observed washing their hands with soap, and handwashing facility coverage in the area is estimated to have increased from 5% of households to 21%. Facility maintenance practices improved dramatically, however, in the one-year project period the challenge of establishing a clear revenue source for future repairs and pit emptying remained unmet.


Low cost faecal sludge dewatering and carbonisation for production of fuel briquettes

Globally, there is an increasing demand for energy to support development needs. The challenge of inadequate energy resources is more pronounced in developing countries/ regions like the Sub Saharan Africa. The quench for energy resources has translated into environmental degradation contributing to climate change. The waste industry is also growing with corresponding increase in population and urbanization. Most of the wastes especially municipal and domestic wastes contribute to global warming. This study sought to devise means of utilizing some waste streams like faecal sludge to partly address the energy deficiency in developing countries, but also trigger studies in similar line. The application of the findings in the study will also solve public health and sanitation issues in urban or peri-urban areas. In this paper, one will find effective and efficient means of dewatering and carbonizing faecal sludge to produce fuel briquettes for cooking.