Integrating WASH, nutrition and health programmes to tackle malnutrition in Eastern chad (project by Concern Worldwide)

  • Annebauby
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Integrating WASH, nutrition and health programmes to tackle malnutrition in Eastern chad (project by Concern Worldwide)

Dear everybody,

I am the Programme Manager that Franck mentionned in a previous post (see here: forum.susana.org/forum/categories/92-nut...ion-programmes#12116 ) currently working in Chad. We are running a pilot project on ECOSAN latrines since November 2013. This is a very small scale project of 15 individual UDDT latrines builtd in 5 villages. Although the project is still on-going,we can list some lessont learnt so far.

* There is no particular taboos raised by this project until now, which is found as very surprising. We are in a muslim and semi-pastoralist area, which is not the best area to pilot such project. Religious and cultural taboos as well as issues related to beneficiairies leaving home for several weeks or months were expected at the begining of the project. However, they did not occur. We selected 3 volunteer families per village and one Imam was a volunteer.
* Latrines are highly accepted by the communities, not only by the volunteer families. The latrines were designed for being used by a households composed of in average 5 members and for a year. The vaults got full much faster because in some case more than 20 people have access to them. According to the result of our monitoring, the latrine did not raised any particular issue in the communities and everyone would be willing to use them (except from ederly who has difficulties to climb the steps).
* We focused a lot on sentitization, software activities and beneficiairies participation at all the stage of the project. They choose the design of the latrines to be built (we proposed UDDT, composting latrines, arboloo......)and for instance they participated in the construction. This factor is seen as reason for the success of the acceptance and the strong community leadership on the facilities.
* the beneficiairies are actually spreading the dry excreta on the fields or waiting for the rainy season to do so. Therefore we cannot know, the real success on agriculture yield yet. Therefore it is really too early to link this project with Nutrition outputs, which is the topic of this conversation!
* lastly, the design of the latrines is a bit poor. We did not have an engineer in the team when we designed the project and therefore we made some mistakes in the technical design (slabs a bit too small and steps too high) but they are not preventing users to actually use them. Also, even if we tried to reduce the construction cost...... the unit cost is about 300€/latrine which is a hight amount for a household latrine. We probably won't scale up this project for financial reasons.

I am happy to answer to any question!

Anne-Laure
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  • WASHanna
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Re: 8 practical ideas to link more WASH and Nutrition programmes

Hi Anna-Laure,

I'm curious about the nutrition outcomes you are seeking since you mention agriculture yield. Could you share more on this aspect?

Thanks!

Hanna Woodburn
Acting Secretariat Director
Global Public-Private Partnership for Handwashing
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  • exobarbiche
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Re: 8 practical ideas to link more WASH and Nutrition programmes

Hi Anne Laure

Thanks for sharing this info. So far we have not "dared" to start ecosan in Tchad, fearing some resistance from population, but apparently that's possible, great! The experience we have with ecosan in sahel is mixed, in general people do use the built latrine, and sometimes also use the product for agriculture, but it seems that ecosan latrine are more expensive and difficult to make than traditional latrines, so since our strategy is to maximizing the latrine coverage to see clear effect on health and nutrition (which involve people making and financing their own latrine without subsidies) built ecosan latrine can be counter-productive...We also found that ecosan more relevant in urban or peri urban area, where empting and disposal of latrine is an issue (this operation tend to be easier with ecosan) than rural area, where they have a lot of space, and also a lot of other organic matter than human feces (such as straw, or animal feaces) if they want to produce organic fertilizer or compost. this being said, ecosan latrine have a lot of advantages, including environmental benefit, reduce smell etc...so we should try a way to reduce their cost!

Best
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  • Annebauby
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Re: 8 practical ideas to link more WASH and Nutrition programmes

Hi,

This pilot project in Chad in included into an integrated programme aiming at building Community Resilience to accute malnutrition involving four sectors of intervention - WASH, Health and Nut, livelihoods and DRR. We are trying to implement integrated activities in order to maximize the benefit of each one on child health and nutritional status. When we designed the ECOSAN pilot project, the idea was to create safe compost through this type of latrines to be spread on market gardening fields (parcelles de maraichage in french) to improve the soil fertility and therefore to improve the agricultural yields while the livelihood team would provide technical trainings on how to grow the vegetables. At the time of the harvest the Nutrition team would provide trainings to the mothers on how to prepare them for the children. But because we are just in the stage of spreading the dried excreta on fields, it is too early to say if this approach is working and if ECOSAN could be an interresting tool to improve nutritional status for children.

Also the second reason we designed this pilot project was to try to find an altermative latrine design to the CLTS latrines which are in the area. The CLTS latrines built by beneficiaries are poor quality and they tend to collapse during the rainy season. Therefore we wanted to know if we could promote ECOSAN to reach another step on the sanitation ladder and see if we could promote a more sustainable sanitation solution. But the cost of the latrine will prevent us from scaling up this project.....any idea to reduce their cost would be very useful.....maybe another pilot project aiming at testing different designs and materials.....

Anne-Laure
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  • muench
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Re: 8 practical ideas to link more WASH and Nutrition programmes

Dear Anne-Laure,

Thanks for sharing this information from Chad. Are there any documents about your project which you could share or perhaps post some photos?

You mentioned ecosan and UDDTs... It's a common question how the costs of UDDTs could be reduced to make them more competitive with simple pit latrines... There are actually various ways to do it.

I think you might enjoy reading these two previous forum threads from Uganda and Peru:
Operating costs of dry sanitation (UDDTs) - and is 5% of household income a reasonable target? forum.susana.org/forum/categories/164-fi...-a-reasonable-target

and
Low-cost UDDTs in Adjumani, Northern Uganda - supported via surcharge on water bill
forum.susana.org/forum/categories/34-uri...charge-on-water-bill

And also, it would be nice to include your integrated programme in the SuSanA project database here:
www.susana.org/en/resources/projects

If you send me the basic information (title of project, organisation, duration, website link), I can easily get that done.

Kind regards,
Elisabeth

Community manager and chief moderator of this forum
(Funded via GIZ short term consultancy contract)

Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
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  • muench
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Re: Integrating WASH, nutrition and health programmes to tackle malnutrition in Eastern chad (project by Concern Worldwide)

I didn't get a response from Anne-Laure about my questions yet - I believe she left Concern Worldwide for a while. But there was a paper presented about this work at the WEDC conference.
I am attaching the paper below.

I would copy here the abstract but the pdf files from these WEDC papers which we received on a memory stick are protected in a way that you cannot copy and paste from them. :-(

Anyway her paper had the title:
"Integrating WASH, nutrition and health programmes to tackle malnutrition in Eastern chad (project by Concern Worldwide)"

The paper concludes with this statement:

Tackling malnutrition is therefore a very complex process and reaching significant improvements on nutritional status on the under-fives is challenging.
Sustaining them is even more challenging.


At the conference the paper was presented by her co-author Franck Flachenberg as Anne-Laure was on holidays, I think.

I hope Franck or Anne-Laure will also post the presentation as that is always a good way to get a quick overview about the results.

Regards,
Elisabeth

Community manager and chief moderator of this forum
(Funded via GIZ short term consultancy contract)

Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
Independent consultant located in Brisbane, Australia
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Twitter: @EvMuench
Sanitation Wikipedia project leader: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProject_Sanitation
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