The World Bank's Development Marketplace recently selected two projects of the Center for Global Safe Water (CGSW) as winners in its 2006 Global Competition. The winning proposals are for collaborative projects in Bolivia and Kenya that use income-generating local enterprises to increase access to safe water and improved sanitation in poor communities.
The CGSW is a partnership among Emory University, CARE USA, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Housed in Emory's Rollins School of Public Health, the Center was formed to help improve access to safe water and adequate sanitation and to reduce the burden of waterborne disease and death.
The two CGSW projects were among only 30 winners selected from more than 2,500 proposals submitted to the Development Marketplace, a competitive grant program of the World Bank that funds innovative, small-scale development projects that deliver results and show potential for expansion or replication. Winners will share $5 million for initiatives to provide clean water, adequate sanitation, and access to energy in developing countries.
The Bolivia proposal will assess sanitation behaviors and attitudes in the community to identify key "selling" points that relate to household latrine usage. Access to safe sanitation facilities is among the most effective ways to reduce diarrhea morbidity and mortality, which in Bolivia is among the highest in the Western Hemisphere. So far, efforts to increase sanitation coverage have been slow due to the expectation of households to adopt a single technology that does not accommodate every household's needs, budget or demands.
Working with the Fundacion Sumaj Huasi Para la Vivienda Saludable in Bolivia and with Drs. Enrique Paz and Rachel Kaufmann of CDC, the CGSW will use results of their assessments to conquer financial barriers and create acceptable, affordable, and effective latrine options as well as to build a commercial marketing campaign to create demand for sanitation services in the local communities. They will incorporate small businesses to train workers in latrine construction, sanitation promotion and marketing of waste-based fertilizers.
The Bolivia project also won the World Bank Infrastructure Award, a highly respected honor. The project is led by Christine Moe, PhD, associate professor in the Hubert Department of Global Health in the Rollins School of Public Health, and research coordinator Robert Dreibelbis.
The Kenya proposal builds on the existing Rotary Safe Water Project in Kenya's Nyanza Province, and is a partnership among CGSW, the Rotary Club of Atlanta, and CDC. The goal is to decrease water-related illnesses and generate income for rural women (in HIV/AIDS self-help groups) through sales of affordable household water treatment and safe storage products.
Almost three-quarters of Nyanza's population rely on unsafe water sources to meet their daily needs. This claims the lives of many young children and AIDS victims suffering the effects of diarrhea. Poor roads make delivery of preventive household water treatment and safe storage products difficult and expensive. This project aims to mobilize 700 local women's groups to teach other women in their communities about the approaches they can use for safe water; establish 1,500 vendors to distribute 25,000 affordable water treatment products per month; and give 200,000 people a safe water solution.
The project is led by Trish Anderson, CGSW project coordinator in Nyanza Province, Richard Rheingans, PhD, research assistant professor in the Hubert Department of Global Health, and Rob Quick, PhD, of CDC.
Donors to the 2006 Development Marketplace include the Global Environment Facility, the International Finance Corporation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Global Village Energy Project.