Podcast: Emergency sanitation in focus

Emergency, Humanitarian, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) 0 Comments

Esther Shaylor talks to Andy Bastable, Oxfam’s expert on public health engineering, about the challenge of providing sustainable sanitation in emergencies. What happens when toilets in camps are not well planned out? How and why should tiger worms and urine dry diversion toilets be used? Find out more: Our work on water, sanitation and hygiene

A woman walks through Hassansham camp for displaced people, near the town of Khazer, Iraq, December 2016.

All these unused toilets – who are we building them for?


General, Protection, Refugees and IDPs, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) 0 Comments

Going to the toilet is one of the most dangerous things you can do as a woman living in a refugee camp. That’s why we’re conducting research into the use of lighting to promote safety around latrines and wash facilities, for World Toilet Day Kerry Akers and Julie Lafrenière share the key findings so far. These shocking quotes are from people …

Sustainable emergency sanitation – no longer a pipe dream!

General, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) 0 Comments

How do you install safe and sustainable toilets in crowded refugee camps which are on boggy or rocky ground? We might have the answer. For World Toilet Day Lucy Polson discusses the merits of the urine diversion dry toilet and the tiger worm toilet. How can we build sustainable and user-friendly toilet options for refugee camps? It’s an ongoing challenge …

Liezel, a builder from Bantayan Island training more builders in Guiuan, Eastern Samar, August 2016. Photo: Rona Ramos

The challenges of working with micro-financing institutions

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) 0 Comments

For many, the main barrier for access to clean sanitation is money. Tom Wildman, WASH Advisor, shares the opportunities and challenges of working with micro-finance institutions in the Philippines to obtain loans for the poorest. In the Philippines, it’s not a lack of knowledge or desire that prevents people from owning a toilet, it’s money.  Most have little left over for …

Opportunities in challenging times

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) 0 Comments

Bayan Academy, based in the Philippines, shares how it works, its mission, and how its partnership with Oxfam helped it become a big contributor in the WASH sector. In the words of Dr. Eduardo A. Morato, Jr., Chairman and President of Bayan Academy, “who would have thought that there could be so many opportunities in toilets? And not as just …

A women in Far Western Nepal uses a water pump to wash pots and pans. (Photo credit: Andrew Reckers

Why access to water may not benefit all women equally


Gender, Gender & Development Journal, General, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) 1 Comment

In a study of water projects in Western Nepal Stephanie Leder and Floriane Clement found that community dynamics impacted on planning processes. As a result the more marginalized and disadvantaged women were less likely to benefit from improved water supplies. (Stephanie and Floriane, with Emma Karki, authored an article for the WASH issue of Gender & Development ). Global discourses …

A bike vendor in Juba, South Sudan. Credit: Jonathan Parkinson

Water tankers and bicycles: a lifeline in South Sudan

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) 0 Comments

Around 80% of Juba’s population relies on tankers and bicycle vendors for water. But as prices have soared, amid ongoing conflict and instability, water has become unaffordable. Oxfam has set up two initiatives working within the existing market to ensure the poorest can access clean water, as Mariana Matoso explains. Drinking water is a premium commodity in Juba. Since the …

Tiger worms: the little sanitation engineers

Humanitarian, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) 0 Comments

Could tiger worms be the answer to some of the challenges of providing toilets in refugee and displaced people camps? Oxfam is conducting a pilot project to find out, working with the IHE Delft Institute for Water Education in camps in Myanmar. ‘What do you think about worms? Would you be comfortable working with worms?’ Bagus Setyawan from Oxfam’s Global …

Turning waste into work in Za’atari refugee camp


Refugees and IDPs, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) 0 Comments

As Za’atari refugee camp continues to hosts a large amount of Syrian refugees, new recycling initiatives are offering opportunities for work. Soman Moodley and Alixandra Buck, introduce a new case study on the ‘cash for work’ initiative.  Za’atari refugee camp in Jordan is home to nearly 80,000 Syrian refugees. With no immediate prospect of returning home and limited opportunities to …

How recycling helped me regain my purpose

Refugees and IDPs, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) 0 Comments

As a Syrian refugee living in Za’atari Refugee Camp in Jordan, Jasem Al-Wrewir’s opportunities to work are very limited. However, Jasem is using his skills and expertise, developed over a 15 year career in waste management, to improve camp conditions for refugees and minimize environmental impact. Here he reflects on the opportunities and limitations of cash-for-work programmes, as well as …