Webcast "end open defecation" by the UN Deputy Secretary General
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Webcast "end open defecation" by the UN Deputy Secretary General 22 May 2014 10:43 #8701

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Kindly note the inviation by the Deputy Secretary General for a webcast launching the UN campaign on how to end open defecation.

This effort for the 2015 target will take place on May 28, 2014 from 10:00 to 11:00am (arrive at 9:00am). Venue is the Dag Hammerskjöld Library Auditorium in New Your City (enter at 47th Street and 1st Avenue).

Follow the link to register here.

endopendefacationwebinar.jpg


[Posted by Sebastian Klos]
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Located at Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, Eschborn, Germany
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Last Edit: 28 May 2014 14:57 by secretariat.
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Re: Webcast "end open defecation" by the UN Deputy Secretary General 28 May 2014 16:43 #8767

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Dear SuSanA community,

Today, the UN Deputy Secretary General launched the global sanitation campaign to end open defecation.
The campaign aims to end the practice of open defecation and improve access to toilets and latrines for people without basic level sanitation, but they particularly want to break the silence on talking about open defecation and occurring deaths and diseases. Every 2 ½ minutes dies a child due to the lack of proper sanitation and hygiene. Ending open defecation in only 10 countries could prevent 80 per cent of deaths due to diarrhea and other diseases. 121 UN member states became co-sponsor on in targeting this topic.
Read more in the following link and stay tuned for updates here and on the twitter account on open defecation.

http://opendefecation.org/

https://twitter.com/opendefecation


[posted by Sebastian Klos]
Posted by a member of the SuSanA secretariat held by the GIZ Sustainable sanitation sector program
Located at Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, Eschborn, Germany
Follow us on facebook: www.facebook.com/susana.org and twitter: twitter.com/susana_org
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Re: Webcast "end open defecation" by the UN Deputy Secretary General 29 May 2014 09:19 #8771

  • joeturner
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I tuned into the webcast. Here is a brief synopsis of what was said:

Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations Jan Eliasson: talked about the silence regarding the issue of open defecation and said that if the practice could be ended in 10 countries, there would be an 80% drop. He said that sanitation was lagging behind the other MDGs.

Dr Nicholas Alipui from UNICEF: said that there should be a focus on human rights to tackle open defecation because the wealthy often are able to access sanitation improvements whereas the poorest and most vulnerable are left out. He also said that in addition to the numbers of child deaths caused by bad sanitation, 162 million children are stunted from repeated bouts of diarrhea leading to a massive loss of human potential.

His Excellency Mark Neo, Deputy UN Representative from Singapore: talked about a recent UN resolution put forward by Singapore about World Toilet Day and the problems within the UN with the word 'toilet' with some countries wanting to use the word 'restroom'. He said that 'open defecation' itself was a euphemism for 'shitting outside' (woop, he said shit at the UN) and that the issue was clouded by taboos, and that there were taboos within taboos, particularly relating to the effect on women and girls of open defecation.

Amanda Moreland from WSCCC said that there were proven methods to protect women and that local people can come up with solutions to their own problems - and that this was a strong approach because women are de-facto managers of sanitation improvements.

There was discussion about how WASH should be the core of the post-2015 agenda and that there needs to be a global mobilisation behind a campaign against open defecation as "nobody can do everything, but everyone can do something".

Journalists questioned the comment that the solutions were known and were 'easy', given the failure of improvements in sanitation under the MDG. It was said that in some places such as Nigeria the number of people practicing open defecation had actually increased in recent years.

It was said that sanitation targets had not been met due to limited resources from governments and that "sanitation is less sexy than water" and so was a harder sell to funders and the community, whereas it should be of equal importance.

Well, that's what happened. In my view it is just talk and anyway confuses a lot of different distinct issues. But to my mind the whole idea of describing sanitation as 'easy' and suggesting that Community Led Total Sanitation is an easy win which can be stimulated by local people is a complete fabrication. I still think that the division between unimproved and improved sanitation is a poor one, given that diarrheal disease can still be directly attributable to infection caused by 'improved' facilities.
I don't work for anyone, I am a philosopher interested to think about how we think about WASH and sanitation. All thoughts are mine alone, I am responsible for any errors.

Previously trained and worked as a Soil Scientist and worked on projects composting sewage sludge.
Last Edit: 29 May 2014 09:20 by joeturner. Reason: typo
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Re: Webcast "end open defecation" by the UN Deputy Secretary General 29 May 2014 14:47 #8778

  • canaday
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Hi Joe and all,

Thanks, Joe, for the summary. Is there a Youtube video?

An important next step is for these heads of state, dignitaries and diplomats to set the example by building and using simple UDDTs (especially if this is as easy as they say). The average poor person often wants the same kind of bathroom as those leaders, so it is key to show that UDDTs can be acceptable and preferable for at least some of these upper-class people. Sports, acting and music idols could also help set this example. (I have an idea for an entertaining animated movie.)

Could someone mention to the UN this UDDT design that costs nothing and is made just with a few plastic things salvaged from the garbage?:
inodoroseco.blogspot.com/2013/10/a-free-...ist-uddt-part-1.html

Best wishes,
Chris Canaday
Conservation Biologist and EcoSan Promoter
Omaere Ethnobotanical Park
Puyo, Pastaza, Ecuador, South America
inodoroseco.blogspot.com

Re: Webcast "end open defecation" by the UN Deputy Secretary General 29 May 2014 19:47 #8783

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This bold initiative by the UN community may on the surface seem like the right thing to do. But when one unpacks the problems surrounding sanitation and the prevalence of open defecation, this beckons a much more responsible approach than declaring a war of words on almost a billion people. What is required is a dialogue on dysfunction and lack of access within the sector. A dialogue on diarrhea and what it is caused by. A dialogue on sustainable and affordable practices that include pride and dignity. And like most everything within this taboo-laden chapter in human development, one needs to better analyze what the underlying factors are in the daily decision to remain an open defecator. And how possibly could one-seventh of humanity be wrong? In many instances open defecation is the only choice in an attempt to maintain some form of dignity and mental as well as physical health. The alternative is using unmaintained dysfunctional latrines that are a source of disease and humiliation.

And what is open defecation anyway? If faecal sludge from latrines ends up being dumped by paid operators in the neigbouring environment isn't this organised open defecation? What about the 90% untreated wastewater in developing countries? Is this not open defecation? And the final insult is the irrigation of vegetables with raw sewage water which occurs in at least 50 countries affecting some 700 million people on a daily basis resulting in helminth worm infections and other waterborne diseases.

So what is this UN declaration really about? How can we do this better?
Arno Rosemarin PhD
Stockholm Environment Institute
Linnegatan 87D, Box 24218
10451 Stockholm, Sweden
arno.rosemarin@sei-international.org
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Re: Webcast "end open defecation" by the UN Deputy Secretary General 29 May 2014 20:28 #8784

  • joeturner
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Good points Arno. As far as I read, 1 billion live with open defecation but 2.5 billion live without 'improved sanitation' - so there is a merging and confusion of terms just on that statistic. And what does it mean anyway to describe sanitation as a human right? What kind of sanitation?

Chris, I don't think it is on YouTube and the UN video website is very hard to navigate.
I don't work for anyone, I am a philosopher interested to think about how we think about WASH and sanitation. All thoughts are mine alone, I am responsible for any errors.

Previously trained and worked as a Soil Scientist and worked on projects composting sewage sludge.

Re: Webcast "end open defecation" by the UN Deputy Secretary General 30 May 2014 15:08 #8797

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Hi,

there is actually a link to the session on UN Live
webtv.un.org/media/index.php/watch/launc...mpaign/3592649051001

I have also stumbled over this first clip of the campaign with Sesame Street.
webtv.un.org/news-features/other-features/watch/sesame-workshop’s-muppet-friend-raya-encourages-proper-hygiene/3591210860001

Even as this campaign may not address the right questions as Arno and Joe have rightly pointed out, it will still provide a good platform to discuss ways out of the sanitation mess. SuSanA should be at the forefront to dash out recommendations on how to act - even creating its own campaign on what should we do ...

1. Solving the urban sanitation crisis by sustainable financing decentralised faecal sludge and wastewater management
2. Reaching people living in illegal settlements instead of only picking the low hanging fruits
3. Promoting temporary and usually more afforable sanitation solutions that follow through with the human right to sanitation, instead of aiming for long-term and expensive "concrete" solutions that will leave the unserved people still unserved for the next decades to come.
4. ...


Rgds,
Christian
Sustainable sanitation program
GIZ, Germany
and SuSanA secretariat
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Last Edit: 30 May 2014 20:23 by muench.
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Re: Webcast "end open defecation" by the UN Deputy Secretary General 30 May 2014 15:21 #8798

  • joeturner
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Well done on getting the UN video.

But there is almost no international media coverage of this campaign. Rather than breaking the silence, I think it has just underlined the fact that outside of the WASH field, few know or care about sanitation.
I don't work for anyone, I am a philosopher interested to think about how we think about WASH and sanitation. All thoughts are mine alone, I am responsible for any errors.

Previously trained and worked as a Soil Scientist and worked on projects composting sewage sludge.
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