E-Mail Alert

Add your e-mail address to receive forthcoming issues of this journal:

Journal Browser

Journal Browser

Special Issue "Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene in Humanitarian Contexts"

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441). This special issue belongs to the section "Water and Wastewater Treatment".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 28 February 2019

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Caetano C. Dorea

Department of Civil Engineering, University of Victoria
Website | E-Mail
Phone: 250-472-5844
Interests: water and sanitation for developing countries and humanitarian emergencies; drinking water quality and treatment; wastewater treatment and resource recovery
Guest Editor
Dr. Travis Yates

Yates International Limited
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +1 864-438-8307
Interests: water sanitation and hygiene (WASH) programming; evidence in humanitarian aid; impact evaluation; decision making; policy research
Guest Editor
Dr. Claire Furlong

IHE Delft Institute for Water Education, The Netherlands
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +31152151724
Interests: WASH in development and humanitarian settings; sanitation in protracted crisis; nexus of humanitarian and development; faecal sludge management; innovation in sanitation; sustainable sanitation; gender and WASH

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Humanitarian emergencies can result from the effects of unpredictable natural forces or from the cruelty of conflicts. The total number of natural disasters and violent manmade conflicts has been on the rise, affecting a growing number of poor and marginalised populations that often face displacement and unsanitary living conditions. Provision of adequate water supply together with sanitation, and hygiene promotion (WASH) form a vital three-pronged public health intervention approach aimed at preventing infectious water- and excreta-related (diarrhoeal) diseases. Such illnesses are one of the major contributors to the overall morbidity and mortality rates during a humanitarian crisis. Humanitarian WASH has cross-cutting implications to other areas also impacting maternal, child and newborn health (MNCH) and nutrition. In recent years, the increase in number of humanitarian emergencies has been compounded with changing contexts (e.g., urban disasters) and new challenges (e.g., Ebola outbreak). This has prompted a push for emergency WASH innovations. However, there is an overall lack of evidence to support many established and novel humanitarian WASH interventions.

This Special Issue is dedicated to the theme of humanitarian emergency WASH and seeks to capture the most up-to-date research and field experience curated to benefit practitioners, decision-makers, scientists, and engineers. Given the complexities of operating and researching in humanitarian contexts, relevant WASH research applied to development contexts will also be considered for this issue.

We would therefore like to call for original papers to disseminate and share research findings the theme of WASH in Humanitarian Contexts. Papers will be selected by a rigorous peer review procedure with the aim of rapid and wide dissemination of research results, development and application.

We would like to dedicate this Special Issue to Prof. Huw Taylor, who recently passed away. Huw has made significant contributions to WASH-related research with applications in humanitarian and development contexts. A formidable researcher, a great mentor and a friend to many, he will be sorely missed.

Prof. Caetano C. Dorea
Dr. Travis Yates
Dr. Claire Furlong
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Water is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Water treatment & supply
  • Sanitation & Faecal Sludge Management
  • Hygiene promotion
  • Handwashing
  • WASH innovations
  • Evidence of intervention impact/effectiveness
  • Use with other interventions (e.g. oral cholera vaccine, nutrition, etc.)
  • Capacity-building
  • Challenging & changing contexts
  • Recurrent & emerging diseases
  • WASH for vulnerable populations
  • Inclusive WASH
  • Behaviour change
  • Protracted crises
  • Approaches to provision of WASH

Published Papers (8 papers)

View options order results:
result details:
Displaying articles 1-8
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Jump to: Other

Open AccessCommunication Experimental Determination of Moisture Sorption Isotherm of Fecal Sludge
Water 2019, 11(2), 303; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11020303
Received: 4 December 2018 / Revised: 6 February 2019 / Accepted: 8 February 2019 / Published: 11 February 2019
PDF Full-text (3350 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Dewatering and drying of fecal sludge (FS) is a key treatment objective in fecal sludge management as it reduces volume (thereby reducing emptying frequency and associated transportation costs), inactivates pathogens, and is beneficial and/or necessary to resource recovery activities such as composting and [...] Read more.
Dewatering and drying of fecal sludge (FS) is a key treatment objective in fecal sludge management as it reduces volume (thereby reducing emptying frequency and associated transportation costs), inactivates pathogens, and is beneficial and/or necessary to resource recovery activities such as composting and combustion as fuel. However, studies on dewatering performances of FS are limited. The physical water distribution of such matrices is not fully understood, limiting the progress in the development and optimization of FS dewatering technologies. The objective of this study is to present a gravimetric method intended to assess the dewatering characteristics and associated modelling of FS through moisture sorption isotherms. Samples were placed in airtight jars containing different saturated salt (NaOH, CaCl2, NaCl, KCl, K2SO4) solutions to reproduce a range of relative humidity values (6 to 97%). Results confirmed the achievement of characteristic sigma-shaped moisture sorption isotherms with increasing moisture adsorption at higher values of relative humidity. Furthermore, experimental data best fit the three-parameter Guggenheim–Anderson–de Boer (GAB) model. This method can be replicated to contribute critical data about the characterization of fecal sludge, a seriously under-researched matrix. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene in Humanitarian Contexts)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle A Traditional Closed-Loop Sanitation System in a Chronic Emergency: A Qualitative Study from Afghanistan
Water 2019, 11(2), 298; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11020298
Received: 13 December 2018 / Revised: 28 January 2019 / Accepted: 6 February 2019 / Published: 9 February 2019
PDF Full-text (656 KB)
Abstract
The use of closed-loop sanitation systems (CLSS), or reuse-oriented sanitation systems, has increased in recent years, and such systems have been successfully implemented in many parts of the world. However, no research has explored Traditional CLSS (T-CLSS) for a long-term humanitarian situation. This [...] Read more.
The use of closed-loop sanitation systems (CLSS), or reuse-oriented sanitation systems, has increased in recent years, and such systems have been successfully implemented in many parts of the world. However, no research has explored Traditional CLSS (T-CLSS) for a long-term humanitarian situation. This study explores the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) of T-CLSS in peri-urban and rural contexts in three different provinces in Afghanistan (the first study of its kind in Afghanistan). Participatory research tools, such as transect walks, focus group discussions, smart community gatherings and interactive workshops, were applied to assess the SWOT associated with T-CLSS. The results indicate that T-CLSS has been practiced historically in both peri-urban and rural areas using local and traditional knowledge, skills and technologies. The socio-cultural acceptance of the system in both rural and peri-urban areas is an important strength of this established system. However, due to chronic development challenges in the study regions, T-CLSS may possibly lead to exposure to microbial contaminants. It is recommended that the feasibility of an improved CLSS be assessed and implemented in light of the issues that are inherent in the use of T-CLSS in Afghanistan. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene in Humanitarian Contexts)
Open AccessArticle Assessment of Recommendation for the Containment and Disinfection of Human Excreta in Cholera Treatment Centers
Water 2019, 11(2), 188; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11020188
Received: 3 December 2018 / Revised: 17 January 2019 / Accepted: 19 January 2019 / Published: 22 January 2019
PDF Full-text (2715 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Containment, safe handling and disinfection of human excreta in cholera treatment centers (CTC) are key to preventing the onward spread of the disease. This study compared the efficacy of three chlorine-based approaches at concentrations of 0.5%, 1%, and 2% and one hydrated lime-based [...] Read more.
Containment, safe handling and disinfection of human excreta in cholera treatment centers (CTC) are key to preventing the onward spread of the disease. This study compared the efficacy of three chlorine-based approaches at concentrations of 0.5%, 1%, and 2% and one hydrated lime-based (Ca(OH)2 at 30% w:v) approach. Experiments followed existing Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) cholera guidelines. Three simulated human excreta matrices consisting of either raw municipal wastewater (4.5 liters), or raw municipal wastewater plus 1%, or 20% faecal sludge (w:v), were treated in 14 liter Oxfam® buckets containing 125 mL of chlorine solution or hydrated lime suspension. Bacterial indicators (faecal coliforms (FC) and intestinal enterococci (IE)) and viral indicator (somatic coliphages (SOMPH)) were used to determine treatment efficacy following contact times of 10, 30 and 60min. Results showed that efficacy improved as chlorine concentrations increased. No statistical differences were observed with respect to the various contact times. Overall median log removal for 0.5% chlorine were: FC (1.66), IE (1.41); SOMPH (1.28); for 1% chlorine: FC (1.98), IE (1.82); SOMPH (1.79); and for 2% chlorine: FC (2.88), IE (2.60), SOMPH (2.38). Hydrated lime (30%) provided the greatest overall log removal for bacterial indicators (FC (3.93) and IE (3.50), but not for the viral indicator, SOMPH (1.67)). These findings suggest that the use of 30% hydrated lime suspensions or 2% chlorine solutions may offer a simple public health protection measure for the containment, safe handling, and disinfection of human excreta during humanitarian emergencies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene in Humanitarian Contexts)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Laboratory Efficacy and Disinfection by-Product Formation of a Coagulant/Disinfectant Tablet for Point-of-Use Water Treatment
Water 2018, 10(11), 1567; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10111567
Received: 26 September 2018 / Revised: 24 October 2018 / Accepted: 1 November 2018 / Published: 2 November 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2085 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Coagulant/disinfection products (CDPs) are a point-of-use (POU) water treatment technique that can improve microbial quality, reduce turbidity, and produce a free chlorine residual (FCR), serving as a potentially effective option for decentralized water treatment in a variety of contexts, including humanitarian emergencies. A [...] Read more.
Coagulant/disinfection products (CDPs) are a point-of-use (POU) water treatment technique that can improve microbial quality, reduce turbidity, and produce a free chlorine residual (FCR), serving as a potentially effective option for decentralized water treatment in a variety of contexts, including humanitarian emergencies. A novel CDP with a sodium dichloroisocyanurate-based disinfectant was evaluated with regard to its laboratory water treatment efficacy and generation of disinfection byproducts (DBPs). The CDP water treatment performance was assessed relative to bacteriological (E. coli) humanitarian water quality objectives, World Health Organization recommendations for evaluating POU water treatment options, and available DBP regulations and guidelines. At least 4 log10 E. coli reductions, for a “highly protective” status with regard to bacterial reductions, were attained in the tested conditions. Treated waters were consistently below 10 MPN/100 mL with regard to E. coli concentrations, with the majority of samples showing no detectable E. coli. For most conditions, target FCR values were not attained. Treated water turbidity levels were mostly between 5 NTU and 10 NTU. DBP levels were below the regulatory and health-based targets for both families of DBPs studied. This study has served to identify the performance envelopes of the CDP tested under challenging conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene in Humanitarian Contexts)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Determining the Efficacy, Safety and Suitability of Disinfectants to Prevent Emerging Infectious Disease Transmission
Water 2018, 10(10), 1397; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10101397
Received: 27 August 2018 / Revised: 27 September 2018 / Accepted: 2 October 2018 / Published: 9 October 2018
PDF Full-text (198 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The scale of the 2014–2017 West African Ebola Virus Disease outbreak overwhelmed the international response capacity. This has led to inconsistencies in international guidance documents, particularly around chlorine disinfection of surfaces and hands to prevent transmission. To provide evidence for the disinfection recommendations, [...] Read more.
The scale of the 2014–2017 West African Ebola Virus Disease outbreak overwhelmed the international response capacity. This has led to inconsistencies in international guidance documents, particularly around chlorine disinfection of surfaces and hands to prevent transmission. To provide evidence for the disinfection recommendations, three research strands were conducted: (1) impacts of chlorine chemistry; (2) efficacy of surface cleaning recommendations; and (3) safety and efficacy of handwashing recommendations. Strand 1 research found that the compound chemistry of the chlorine source has an impact on the chlorine solution shelf-life (<1 day–30 days), with testing of chlorine solutions recommended to ensure accuracy. Strand 2 research found that surface cleaning with 0.5% chlorine solutions with a 15-min exposure time is efficacious in reducing transmission risk. Strand 3 research found that community handwashing with chlorine solutions is as safe and efficacious as handwashing with soap and water or sanitizer, which offers a benefit of reducing pathogens in the rinsing water. Using calcium hypochlorite as the chlorine source compound provided a particularly good performance in chemistry and handwashing studies. The research was successful at providing information to align with the inconsistent international guidelines. Further research is needed to proactively establish the efficacy, safety and suitability of disinfection for the seven viral pathogens that are considered likely to cause severe outbreaks with few/no medical countermeasures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene in Humanitarian Contexts)
Open AccessArticle Evaluation of Key Antimicrobial Properties of Moringa oleifera in Relation to Its Use as a Hand-Washing Product
Water 2018, 10(9), 1154; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10091154
Received: 29 June 2018 / Revised: 23 August 2018 / Accepted: 27 August 2018 / Published: 29 August 2018
PDF Full-text (818 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Moringa oleifera (M. oleifera) is a fast-growing, drought-resistant plant found throughout tropical and subtropical regions. A previous study found dry M. oleifera leaf powder to be similarly efficacious to non-medicated soap when used as a hand-wash, even without the use of [...] Read more.
Moringa oleifera (M. oleifera) is a fast-growing, drought-resistant plant found throughout tropical and subtropical regions. A previous study found dry M. oleifera leaf powder to be similarly efficacious to non-medicated soap when used as a hand-wash, even without the use of water. These characteristics suggest that M. oleifera could serve as a potential hand-washing product in water and resource-limited contexts, such as humanitarian and emergency settings. The purpose of this study was to assess the efficacy of minimally processed M. oleifera sourced locally in Ghana as a hand-washing and antimicrobial product by assessing whether: (1) different preparations of M. oleifera have antibacterial properties against potential diarrheal pathogens through set-up of die-off studies; (2) M. oleifera is an effective hand-washing product by conducting an in-vivo trial with healthy volunteers; and (3) M. oleifera has antimicrobial properties in potentially reusable aqueous solutions, such as rinse water used for hand-washing. M. oleifera was found to be significantly less effective than non-medicated soap when tested as a hand-washing product and promoted the growth of bacteria in aqueous solution. Moreover, the Moringa used in the study was found to be host to pathogenic bacteria, reinforcing the idea that it is unsuitable to use as a hand-washing product. Accordingly, in its minimally processed form, M. oleifera appears to be an ineffective antimicrobial agent and its use as a hand-washing product in water-scarce and resource-limited settings is not recommended. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene in Humanitarian Contexts)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Development of a Field Laboratory for Monitoring of Fecal-Sludge Treatment Plants
Water 2018, 10(9), 1153; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10091153
Received: 1 July 2018 / Revised: 20 August 2018 / Accepted: 21 August 2018 / Published: 28 August 2018
PDF Full-text (1091 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In urban humanitarian-aid operations, safe treatment of fecal sludge is highly important. While currently field-deployable fecal-sludge treatment plants are being developed, field-ready analytical equipment for process-control and public health monitoring is missing. Within the Microbial Sludge Quality project, a field laboratory was developed. [...] Read more.
In urban humanitarian-aid operations, safe treatment of fecal sludge is highly important. While currently field-deployable fecal-sludge treatment plants are being developed, field-ready analytical equipment for process-control and public health monitoring is missing. Within the Microbial Sludge Quality project, a field laboratory was developed. A minimum set of parameters for the considered processes was developed through literature research. The analytical methods were tested on their field applicability and, if necessary, modified. The following methods were modified for field use: bacteriological analysis (sample homogenization and counting), chemical oxygen demand (sample digestion), volatile fatty acid–alkalinity titration (redesigned test setup), total solids (redesigned test setup), and ammonia determination (redesigned test setup). For bacteriological analysis, chemical oxygen demand, and total solids the modifications lead to highly comparable analytical results. The results obtained by the field methodology for volatile fatty acid–alkalinity titration and ammonia determination were sufficient for field-process monitoring; however, they did not correlate as well. To enable rapid startup of the laboratory during humanitarian-aid missions, it was developed to include analytical and support equipment. The usage of the developed laboratory should allow close-in-time process monitoring and public-health assessments of fecal-sludge treatment plants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene in Humanitarian Contexts)
Figures

Figure 1

Other

Jump to: Research

Open AccessFeature PaperCommentary Making the Case for a Female-Friendly Toilet
Water 2018, 10(9), 1193; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10091193
Received: 25 July 2018 / Revised: 20 August 2018 / Accepted: 21 August 2018 / Published: 5 September 2018
PDF Full-text (674 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Inadequate access to a private, comfortable, and well-located toilet remains a critical challenge for many girls and women around the world. This issue is especially acute for girls and women living in densely populated urban slums, displacement camps, and informal settlements, often resulting [...] Read more.
Inadequate access to a private, comfortable, and well-located toilet remains a critical challenge for many girls and women around the world. This issue is especially acute for girls and women living in densely populated urban slums, displacement camps, and informal settlements, often resulting in anxiety, embarrassment, discomfort, and gender-based violence. The unique sanitation needs of girls and women are rarely accounted for during the design and construction of toilet facilities, including needs related to their physiology, reproductive health processes, prevalent social norms, and their heightened vulnerability to violence. It is critical that a new norm be developed regarding the design of female-friendly toilets which better enables girls and women to feel confident, safe, and dignified while managing their daily sanitation needs. This includes adopting specific design measures which account for their menstrual hygiene, personal safety, and dignity-related needs. Ultimately, an enhanced dialogue must take place among designers, policy makers, water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) practitioners, and other relevant actors, in addition to the target female users themselves, about how to adapt toilets in a range of development and emergency contexts and operations to better address these critical needs of girls and women. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene in Humanitarian Contexts)
Figures

Figure 1

Water EISSN 2073-4441 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top