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We are problem solvers focused on the sustainable management of water for health and human development. We contribute to improving access to safe water, sanitation, and hygiene for all.

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water-health-drops

Water Institute Newsletter #56

Our newsletter offers up-to-date information about The Water Institute at UNC as well as relevant news briefs from around the globe. The latest issue highlights the UN’s Millennium Development Goals report, a late-breaking call for abstracts for our upcoming Water and Health Conference, new publications and new faces at the Water Institute. To subscribe to our newsletter, please click here.

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Water and Health Conference 2015

The Water Institute at UNC will host the Water and Health Conference: Where Science Meets Policy on October 26-30, 2015 in Chapel Hill, NC, USA.  The Conference considers drinking water supply, sanitation, hygiene and water resources in both the developing and developed worlds with a strong public health emphasis. For details including registration and sponsorship, please visit the Water and Health Conference website.

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Launch of WASH Performance Index

On May 8, we recorded a special webcast to launch our WASH Performance Index, a ranking of how well countries are progressing towards universal access to safe water and sanitation. Special guest speakers included Catarina de Albuquerque, vice chair of Sanitation and Water for All (SWA). To view the recorded webcast online, please visit http://bit.ly/1D5TAPG.

water-petri-dish-homepage

Water Microbiology Conference 2015

The Water Institute at UNC, in partnership with the Water Environment Federation, hosted the Water Microbiology Conference on May 18-22, 2015 in Chapel Hill, NC, USA. The Conference was a forum for researchers and practitioners focused on microbiology and public health. You can access the conference agenda, abstract document, and the participant list at the conference website.

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Featured Publications

Bundling Machine-Sealed SachetsPhoto by Ashley R. WilliamsBundling Machine-Sealed Sachets
Photo by Ashley R. Williams

Packaged Sachet Water in Sierra Leone

Water in plastic bags (sachets) is widely consumed in sub-Saharan Africa, yet few rigorous studies have investigated the quality of sachet water in comparison to alternative sources of water. In PLoS One, we assessed the quality of packaged sachet water (PSW) in Freetown, Sierra Leone and found that while 19% of samples contained detectable E. coli, samples of stored household water for consumption were significantly more contaminated than PSW samples. We conclude that while PSW products clearly need to be better regulated and monitored, they may be safer than alternative water sources.

Household Latrine in Mozambique
Photo by David HolcombHousehold Latrine in Mozambique Photo by David Holcomb

Urban Sanitation in Maputo, Mozambique

Densely populated urban slums represent an important gap when studying sanitation and health, despite the prevalence of intestinal infection, disease, and transmission in such areas. In BMJ Open, we present the research protocol for the first controlled trial of a latrine intervention on child health and pathogen transmission within informal settlements in Maputo, Mozambique. The resulting evidence regarding the relationship between population density, sanitation, and enteric infections can be used to inform investments in sanitation interventions that deliver the greatest health impact.

Open Defecation Signage
Photo by Plan InternationalOpen Defecation Signage
Photo by Plan International

CLTS in Lao PDR

In an effort to reduce open defecation, Plan International supports community-led total sanitation (CLTS), a behavior change intervention, in various countries. In this learning brief and country report, we illustrate the roles of local actors and highlight the enabling and constraining factors for successful CLTS implementation in Plan International Laos’ program areas. Plan International and other sanitation practitioners can support government and local actors by strengthening community selection for CLTS, expanding the cadre of CLTS trainers, and advocating for formal recognition of the role of district government in the CLTS process.

CLTS Triggering in a School, Photo by Jonny CrockerCLTS Triggering in a School
Photo by Jonny Crocker

CLTS in Cambodia

In an effort to reduce open defecation, Plan International supports community-led total sanitation (CLTS), a behavior change intervention, in various countries. In this learning brief and country report we present the roles of local actors in Plan International’s CLTS activities in Cambodia and highlight considerations for optimizing outcomes. Plan International and other sanitation practitioners can support government and local actors in developing a systematic approach to community selection, strengthening facilitation training, and standardizing monitoring and evaluation processes.

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