Blogs

'Funerals and sanitation in Africa are closely related': personal reflections on taking CLTS back to our own communities

It feels like more than a year since I blogged. No sooner did I come back to work on the 9th January 2012 than was I forced by circumstances to take compassionate leave to be with my mother and family after our dear sister (my immediate follower) passed on. It was painful but we are adjusting to the loss. Funerals and sanitation in Africa are closely related. We could not help but quickly agree with my family that with the influx of many people coming to console the family and to attend the burial itself, that we needed do something.

Discrimination, duties and low hanging fruit:Reflections on equity

The equity day at the WSSCC Global Forum in Mumbai (October 2011) made a deep impact on me. I am ashamed to admit this. I should not have needed this. I have been banging on about ‘putting the last first’ for years, but the fuller implications of this with sanitation only came home to me on this day. Thank you those who came and shared their experiences with us –rehabilitated manual cleaners, slum dwellers, disabled, minorities… and Louisa Gosling, Archana Patkar and Nomathemba Neseni and who pulled scales from my eyes.

Backspace vs delete

A few weeks ago..

I sat beside Phalombe’s District Water Supervisor in his office today, my computer fully charged in anticipation to facilitate another computer lesson on Microsoft Excel. He had committed to working on computer lessons twice a week with me in hopes of improving his technical skills on inputting, analyzing, interpreting and making decisions with the district’s water point data.

Ending Open Defecation to Save Lives: World Toilet Day 2011 in Kenya

The last one month we have been really busy gearing up for the World Toilet Day. This is the fifth year running that Plan International Kenya will be celebrating World Toilet Day. As usual we celebrate this day on the ground where villages have attained Open Defecation Free (ODF) status. The first (2007), second (2008) and third (2009) year we celebrated in Kilifi, the 4th (2010) in Homa Bay County. This year the celebrations will be in Siaya County.

Global Handwashing Day Celebrations in Mathare

Mathare community joined the rest of the world in celebrating Global Handwashing Day in Mathare on 15th October 2011. The day was marked at Kiboro Primary school where about 400 community members from Mathare Valley gathered to wash their hands together. The event was strategically organized at a school to attract the participation of children and the theme was Wash your hands and save your life.

A passionate family: Reflections on the WSSCC Global Forum on Sanitation and Hygiene

This was the first ever Global Forum on Sanitation and Hygiene. There have been the regional meetings – Sacosans, Africasans and so on, but never one for the whole developing world. WSSCC (and most notably Archana Patkar, who got a standing ovation at the end) did a great job in imaginative and thorough planning. The facilitation by Archana, Barbara Evans and others was outstanding. WSSCC had brought together some 450 of us. There was fuller representation of Africa than usual, and fewer Indians than one might have expected.

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