Members of the German WASH Network wrote in to inform us about their activities for World Water Day 2015:

“Under the slogan #WasserMarsch we will walk 4 km through Cologne starting at the Aachener Weiher and ending with a final announcement at the Bahnhofsvorplatz. Together we will fetch water at the Aachener Weiher with buckets and jerrycans (please bring something!) which are used in many countries to collect water. With a 4 km march through Cologne`s inner city we want to solidarise with the 780 million people worldwide who still do not have access to clean drinking water and have to walk this distance every day to get water. Water and sanitation are human rights and should be available for everybody – here in Europe and in the so-called developing countries as well as in crises, wars and catastrophes.”

The event will take place on March 21, 2015 at 2pm in Cologne, Germany. For more details, pls visit the Facebook event page!

P.S.: World Water Day 2015 is on March 22!

How to use a toilet, Wilbur Sargunaraj style

Yeah, we all love travelling, but how about the sanitary facilities at your destination? Will there be enough toilets? And will I be able to use them?

Famous YouTube star* Wilbur Sargunaraj from India, probably best known for his “Love Marriage” parody or the recent collaboration with NPR for “Dunk-A-Chicken“, offers a bit of help by explaining the use of some different toilet systems for a first class toilet experience:

Squatting toilet and manual anal cleansing with water, in “the” India:

Squatting toilet and manual anal cleansing with leaves or old paper (“What if there is no water?” – “Well, you uhmm….”), Uganda:

Pedestal (sitting) toilet and automatic anal cleansing with water, in Japan

(so desu ne!)

Pedestal (sitting) toilet and manual anal cleansing with water, in the EU:

And, as a bonus, a pedestal (sitting) toilet with manual anal cleansing using paper towels – on an Airbus A380-800:

(btw: did you know that most bowls for these vacuum toilet seats come from the same manufacturer?

Not enough? Here’s from from Wilbur – enjoy!

(* i.e. “Performing Artist and global ambassador for Cultural Intelligence“)

Every bum has the right to a loo

Every bum has the right to a loo

“Every bum has the right to a loo” – pupils from Berlin and Potsdam demonstrated for the Human Right to Water and Sanitation in front of Brandenburg Gate in Berlin on December 10th, 2014.

Although the United Nations have officially announced the Human Right to Water and Sanitation in 2010, still 2,5 billion people worldwide do not have access to adequate Sanitation facilities (WHO/UNICEF). Regarding the Human Rights Day on the 10th of December, pupils from Berlin and Potsdam demonstrated together with the German Toilet Organization and called for worldwide solidarity, as everybody has the right to a toilet, no matter where from, or any cultural background.

After a press conference at the German Institute of Human Rights, the pupils marched through the streets of Berlin, passing checkpoint Charlie, to the Brandenburg Gate.

[via GTO]

Linking Relief and Development in the WASH Sector

WASHNET pubThe publication aims to provide a more in-depth overview of existing definitions, prevalent categorisations and models that are currently being used to describe the relief to development contiguum in the WASH sector and identify existing challenges and opportunities that come along with it. It looks into the main disaster and crisis scenarios and how they affect the WASH sector. It provides definitions for the different assistance types (relief, recovery and development) and the role that WASH plays in each of them. It furthermore summarises main concepts and approaches that are being used and makes an attempt to map out the complex structures and funding mechanisms in both relief and development and identifies existing challenges and opportunities in the transition contiguum. For this paper a wide range of sector professionals have been asked to provide feedback reflecting either their individual and/or organisational views and experiences regarding current challenges, opportunities as well as recommendations for the way forward.

The publication should be seen as a current snapshot of the sector at the interface between humanitarian assistance and development cooperation. It intends to foster the mutual understanding of each other’s field of work and provides impulses for fuelling the on-going international debate on how to better link relief, rehabilitation and development in the WASH sector.

The publication can be downloaded under the following link: (PDF, 4.1 MB).

(via GermanToiletOrg)

No modern public toilets in Frankfurt

The following blog post is a reply (in German) I received the other day from the City of Frankfurt am Main in Germany upon my request for more public toilets.

A short proposal that asked the city to invest in more public toilets that would improve the overall toilet situation in Frankfurt (which is still bad) and that would make use of technologies such as vacuum toilets and/or Urilift urinals. A quickly drafted idea that I shared on Bürgerhaushalt FFM a while ago (which is a website by the city of Frankfurt to pool public participation). You may want to use Google translate if German isn’t your language…

A snapshot of closed urinals in a public toilet / restroom - seen at Frankfurt Airport in Oct. 2013. #fail

A snapshot of closed urinals in a public toilet / restroom – seen at Frankfurt Airport in Oct. 2013. #fail

The idea
Vorschlag und Ergebnis der Bürgerbeteiligung
Vorschlag Nr.: B903
Titel: Förderung öffentlicher Toiletten

In der Innenstadt sollte es mehr öffentliche Toiletten geben, gerne auch mit einer Benutzungsgebühr.

– Sicherstellung der sanitären Grundversorgung (!)
– Gastlichkeit für Besucher der Innenstadt
– Auslagerung der Verantwortung in eine GmbH
– Wassereinsparungen durch wasserlose Urinale
– Betriebskosten für Wasser durch Verwendung von Vakuumtoiletten einsparen
– Nährstoffrecycling mit z.B. Verwendung des org. Düngers in den Grünanlagen der Stadt
– Grauwasserrecycling, z.B. Handwaschbeckenspülwasser aufbereiten für Toilettenspülung
– Aufbesserung des Images des Stadt
– Zusatzangebote wie z.B. Verkauf von Hygieneartikeln, Handyladestation, etc.
– versenkbare Urinale (in den Niederlanden populär) für Vergnügungsviertel, die in der Nacht
aus dem Boden ausgefahren werden
In anderen Städten Europas wurde dies teilweise schon umgesetzt.
Bei richtiger Kalkulation, d.h. Umlage der Betriebskosten, könnte dies sogar rentabel sein, es
müsste aber eine Förderung seitens der Stadt geben.

Their reply

Beschlussempfehlung: Der Vorschlag wird abgelehnt.

Read more →