For people affected by disaster, whether wars, earthquakes, or disease epidemics, conditions of life can change suddenly and in ways that require rapid adjustments. Often, adaptation includes taking greater care to prevent transmission of disease, in order to minimize the new threats to public health.
Assessing emotional motivators for handwashing with soap in emergencies: results from three Asian countries
This paper examines how emotional motivators can be used to promote handwashing with soap (HWWS) among mothers affected by an emergency. The impact of using emotional motivators along with other behaviour determinants for behaviour change in development settings has been well documented; however there is limited evidence for the use of motives for HWWS in emergency contexts.
Rebuilding household toilets after the Nepal earthquake: an emergency or an interruption to development
This paper considers the damage to household toilets in the aftermath of the 2015 Nepal earthquake through the lens of good performance in progress towards national sanitation targets. In doing so it highlights the very different drivers of development and emergency relief, an issue that is rarely documented.
Emergency response in water, sanitation and hygiene to control cholera in post-earthquake Nepal in 2016
After the 2015 earthquake in Nepal that killed approximately 9,000 people, the country faced an increased risk of cholera outbreaks due to extensive destruction of water and sanitation infrastructure and massive displacement. The disaster revealed long-standing weaknesses in water and sanitation systems in the country. Anticipating a cholera outbreak in 2016, UNICEF, Johns Hopkins University, and the Group for Technical Assistance partnered to support the Government of Nepal to ensure a safe water supply and improve sanitation and hygiene.
Minimizing the Risk of Disease Transmission in Emergency Settings: Novel In Situ Physico-Chemical Disinfection of Pathogen-Laden Hospital Wastewaters
The operation of a health care facility, such as a cholera or Ebola treatment center in an emergency setting, results in the production of pathogen-laden wastewaters that may potentially lead to onward transmission of the disease.
Batch water treatment consists of the intermittent use of settling tanks for water clarification, and is a common treatment practice during emergency relief efforts. This article presents simple improvements to coagulant dosing and water quality based on experience gained in the aftermath of the 2005 South Asian earthquake.
Development of low cost household drinking water treatment system for the earthquake affected communities in Northern Pakistan
The devastating earthquake of 2005 severely damaged over 4000 water and sanitation schemes in northern Pakistan. The present study aimed at testing a low cost household sand filter (HSF) in treating low quality drinking water in disaster-hit areas of northern Pakistan. Two villages were randomly selected for practical demonstration of a low cost drinking water treatment system in earthquake affected areas. The on-site performance of HSF was monitored during the operational period.
This paper describes the potential of ecological sanitation (ecosan), and in particular of urine-diversion dehydrating (UDD) toilets, to provide sustainable excreta disposal in emergency situations in low-income countries. Three case studies of emergency sanitation were analysed: El Salvador (hurricane), Afghanistan (civil war) and Pakistan (earthquake). The analysis of these case studies has shown that the systems implemented in the long-term phase of the emergency were sometimes more sustainable than what was in place before the emergency occurred.
In response to the recent cholera outbreak, a public health response targeted high-risk communities, including resource-poor communities in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. A survey covering knowledge and practices indicated that hygiene messages were received and induced behavior change, specifically related to water treatment practices. Self-reported household water treatment increased from 30.3% to 73.9%.
Innovative designs and approaches in sanitation when responding to challenging and complex humanitarian contexts in urban areas
As recent emergencies have shown, there are still significant challenges in the timely provision of safe sanitation in natural disasters or conflict situations. In urban emergencies or areas where it is impossible to dig simple pit latrines because of high water tables, hard rock, or lack of permission, it takes agencies considerable time to construct elevated latrines or alternative designs such as urine diversion toilets.