Environmental Sanitation

Water and wastewater utilities, water and sanitation hygiene (WASH) practitioners, and regulating bodies, particularly in developing nations, rely heavily on indicator microorganisms, as opposed to pathogens, for much of their regulatory decisions. This commentary illustrates the importance of considering pathogens and not relying only on indicator organisms when making decisions regarding water and sanitation, especially with respect to meeting the current targets of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6.
This study supports SDGs 3 and 6 by suggesting that current methods of cholera control are insufficient at achieving zero transmission of Vibrio cholerae in Haiti, and that large-scale cholera vaccination campaigns are needed alongside improvements in water and sanitation for long-term cholera elimination.
Elsevier, Social Science and Medicine, Volume 119, October 01, 2014
Globally, an estimated 748million people remain without access to improved sources of drinking water and close to 1 billion people practice open defecation (WHO/UNICEF, 2014). The lack of access to safe water and adequate sanitation presents significant health and development challenges to individuals and communities, especially in low and middle income countries. Recent research indicates that aside from financial challenges, the lack of social capital is a barrier to collective action for community based water and sanitation initiatives (Levison etal., 2011; Bisung and Elliott, 2014).
Building toilets and getting people to use them is critical for public health. We deployed a political ecology approach specifically to identify the multi-scalar political, economic, and environmental factors influencing toilet adoption in rural India. The research used ethnographic and technical methods in rural villages of West Bengal and Himachal Pradesh over the period September 2012 to May 2013.