According to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization (WHO) report 2019, around 2.2 billion people around the world do not have access to safely-managed drinking water and 4.2 billion lack safe sanitation services. In the wake of the COVID-19, key to keeping healthy is having access to clean water in order to maintain basic hygiene. Yet globally, 3 billion lack basic handwashing facilities at home and 2 billion people live without access to basic sanitation.
Sanitation measures across most developing countries tend to incline towards the provision of services and infrastructure for achieving citywide water and sanitation management. Although public health is a key outcome for most national policies and initiatives, approaches specifically streamlined to address this critical component of sanitation are often left out at city level. Management and investments in improvements on sanitation systems should be made based on adequate understanding of actual health risks posed by the systems and how these risks can be better managed. To address this, Sanitation Safety Plan (SSP) plays a vital role, being a risk based management tool for sanitation systems it highlights the integration of the health sector while reusing wastewater, excreta and greywater, and helps to bring a human health perspective to traditional non-health sectors like sanitation engineering and agriculture sector. The SSP approach supports the implementation and recommendation of WHO’s 2018 guidelines on sanitation and health and ensures universal access to safe systems along the entire sanitation service chain. It is also in line with the WHO’s 2006 guidelines for the safe use of wastewater, excreta and greywater. COVID-19 outbreak has reinstated the need for global action to ensure access of clean water and sanitation to all, as a human right and as a critical element to protect human health.
Over the past decade CSE – A Global Think Tank has done extensive research, advocacy, and capacity building of state and non-state practitioners highlighting urban water and sanitation realities, their links with public health, and the need to fix these issues. In this endeavor, the School of Water and Waste, AAETI, Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), is organizing 4 weeks online course on Safe Water, Sanitation and Health for all during and post COVID19.
To create change-agents who will have basic understanding about the concepts and principles of Sanitation Safety Planning (SSP) in order to ensure safe water and efficient management of sanitation services.
- Understanding the existing problems in urban water and sanitation management linked to public health
- Recognising the enabling frameworks and regulations applicable for improved water and sanitation for all
- Acquaintance to various tools and approaches for better water and sanitation planning and monitoring
- Understanding concept and approach of water and sanitation safety planning to protect public health
The programme comprises state-of-art teaching learning tools comprising self-study, powerpoint as well as virtual presentations, documentaries featuring case studies from various countries and reading material. It will be an interactive course with periodic assessment through group discussions, exercises and quizzes. Participants will also get a chance to interact and learn from experts at CSE and abroad through online interactions and a webinar.
The course is divided into four modules based on the following themes:
Theme 1: Linkage between water, sanitation and health: Current and future challenges
Theme 2: Enabling environment for improved water and sanitation for all
Theme 3: Tools and approaches for better water and sanitation planning and progress
Theme 4: Water and sanitation safety planning: Risk based approach to protect public health
Participants are expected to complete the course in a period of about four weeks with a workload of 24 hours. Participant is expected to spend about 6 hours per week on reading, discussion, interaction and assignments. At the end of the week and module, participants are expected to submit an assignment based on their learning. These assignments may have multiple choice questions, short answer type questions, quiz or essay type of question. Assessment will be done on the following criteria –
- Comprehensiveness of observations and problems identified
- Extent of critical engagement with course learning
- Depth and nuance in suggested interventions
- Ability to critique self-developed strategy