Archive for the ‘General news’ Category

Urine fertilising crops and saving money

July 14, 2011  |   Environment,General news,Sanitation   |

Urine fertilising crops and saving money

"Consider these facts about urine: Adults produce about four to eight cups (one to two liters) per day, it's a reservoir of nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus, the same elements that nourish crops; and it's cheap to make. That's the kind of information that Sridevi Govindaraj, an Indian agriculture expert, had in mind when she proposed that dousing fields with urine could improve sanitation and boost farmers' incomes. “Human urine is indeed not an unwanted waste, but it is a useful resource,” Sridevi wrote to E4C. Urine, it turns out, is a huge and mostly untapped reserve of crop fertilizer. If Indians collected and applied 40 percent of their urine, the country could save $26.7 million (1.2 billion rupees) in fertilizer costs, Sridevi calculates. A unique field Those figures are from her doctoral thesis at the University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore in 2009, with research funded by the Arghym foundation. Sridevi may be the only person in India with a doctorate in ecological sanitation. The urine proposal She proposes using urine in conjunction with regular fertilizers. People would collect it in specially rigged toilets, like EcoSan latrines. Or, in lieu of a commercial product, DIY attachments to toilets in the men's room ...

Donor aversion to ‘unsexy’ water projects threatens development goal

June 27, 2011  |   General news,Sanitation,Water   |

Donor aversion to ‘unsexy’ water projects threatens development goal

"More than 1 billion people will not get the basic sanitation and the clean water promised as such projects shrink sharply as a proportion of global aid budgets. A key development goal to halve the number of people without access to basic sanitation by 2015 will be missed by a long way because donor countries have diverted aid money away from "unsexy" water projects, according to the World Bank and a report from the charity WaterAid. Financial aid to provide people in developing countries with access to clean water and decent sanitation has been shrinking sharply as a proportion of global aid budgets, the new research has shown, with the result that more than 1 billion people will not get the assistance they were promised by rich countries under the millennium development goals. The key development goal on sanitation is likely to be missed by a wide margin, as donors restrict their aid to "sexier" projects such as schools and hospitals – even though the benefits of those projects are much diminished if their recipients have no clean water or toilets. "When you think that 2% of GDP is the difference between growth and recession, we are having the equivalent of three recessions every ...

Ecosan toilets for 2,000 people in Tamil Nadu

June 21, 2011  |   Featured project,General news,Projects,Sanitation   |

Ecosan toilets for 2,000 people in Tamil Nadu

In November 2010, we held a large fundraising event in the UK which raised enough money for us to build individual ecosan (composting) toilets for 2,000 people in the village of Kanur, Tamil Nadu, India. The Doorway to Dignity charity auction was a great success, auctioning off unique pieces of artwork from UK artists, musicians, celebrities, fashion designers and politicians; we had contributions from Annie Lennox, Kenneth Branagh, Ralph Steadman, Maggie Hambling and world-renowned shoe designer Manolo Blahnik, to name but a few. Visit the project page and see more pictures

Fiona Bruce narrates our new film

Fiona Bruce narrates our new film

Britain's well known BBC newsreader and presenter Fiona Bruce is the voice-over for our latest film, "Independence, not Dependence". The video gives an introduction to who we are, what we do and why we do it. We believe in creating the conditions to allow people to become empowered and independent in their way out of poverty, not becoming dependent upon foreign aid. Find out more by watching the film below.

Cleaning Delhi through Facebook

April 18, 2011  |   Empowerment,Environment,General news,Sanitation   |

Cleaning Delhi through Facebook

"When 22-year-old Piyush Goyal posted his complaint of garbage spilling over from the dump in his area, on the Facebook page of Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), little had he expected the civic agency to take action within 24 hours. But it did, pleasantly surprising Goyal. MCD launched its Facebook page earlier this month to ensure effective monitoring of garbage lifting at areas under its jurisdiction. The civic agency has started off on the surest of footing, Goyal feels. “When I heard about this initiative, I thought I should also post pictures of unclean dhalao (standalone garbage warehouse) in my area. I was expecting the action but never thought it will be so quick,” he says. On January 8, he clicked pictures of the seven dirty ones in South Delhi’s R K Puram area and posted them on Facebook. And the next day, he says, he saw the pictures of clean dhalaos uploaded by the MCD. “There is lot of transparency through this way. The man who actually cleans it asked me why I uploaded the pictures. So the information is going from top to the bottom,” says Goyal. It’s a not even a month, and the civic agency has already received close to ...

A film for World Water Day…

March 22, 2011  |   General news,Water   |

A film for World Water Day…

Water ink _ BDDP Unlimited and Solidarités International - UK from BDDP Unlimited on Vimeo.

1,500 teenage girls now with sanitation

March 17, 2011  |   Featured project,General news,Sanitation   |

1,500 teenage girls now with sanitation

Our recently completed sanitation project in Vadalore Girls Secondary School has provided 1,500 teenage girls with much needed sanitation facilities. The girls will benefit hugely from increased privacy the units provide and hygiene training, improving their health and ensuring they can stay in school even during menstruation. This will enable them to gain a full education and increase their future employment prospects. See the project photos here

Sustainable farming can feed the world?

March 14, 2011  |   Environment,General news   |

Sustainable farming can feed the world?

"The oldest and most common dig against organic agriculture is that it cannot feed the world’s citizens; this, however, is a supposition, not a fact. And industrial agriculture isn’t working perfectly, either: the global food price index is at a record high, and our agricultural system is wreaking havoc with the health not only of humans but of the earth. There are around a billion undernourished people; we can also thank the current system for the billion who are overweight or obese. Yet there is good news: increasing numbers of scientists, policy panels and experts (not hippies!) are suggesting that agricultural practices pretty close to organic — perhaps best called “sustainable” — can feed more poor people sooner, begin to repair the damage caused by industrial production and, in the long term, become the norm. On Tuesday, Olivier de Schutter, the United Nations’ special rapporteur on the Right to Food, presented a report entitled “Agro-ecology and the Right to Food.” (Agro-ecology, he said in a telephone interview last Friday, has “lots” in common with both “sustainable” and “organic.”) Chief among de Schutter’s recommendations is this: “Agriculture should be fundamentally redirected towards modes of production that are more environmentally sustainable and socially just."..." Read ...

Battle over Mumbai’s slums

March 11, 2011  |   General news   |

Battle over Mumbai’s slums

"Developers hope to raze the slums and make vast profits from commercial projects, but slum residents have other ideas. Ganesh Krupa Society is part of Golibar, Mumbai's second largest slum, spanning 140 acres. The site is at the centre of a fierce battle between its residents and a developer that wants to raze the area to make way for a commercial project. Already concrete homes across this narrow maze of more than 300 dwellings have been demolished. In January, violence erupted when the developer tried to evict 45 families following a high court order. None of the families moved, claiming their signatures consenting to the project had been forged. Devasandhan Nair, 47, a resident, says: "The basis of redevelopment is consent but our consent was forged. Even a dead woman's signature was forged. How can the court instruct the builder to evict us when a forgery case has been lodged by us with the police?" Conflicts between developers and slum dwellers have been unfolding across the city for more than a decade, stalling slum redevelopment projects designed to pull 60% of Mumbai's population out of harsh living conditions. Under a controversial slum rehabilitation policy, developers can snap up land for commercial development in exchange ...

Over 14,000 manual scavengers rehabilitated

March 04, 2011  |   General news,Poverty,Sanitation   |

Over 14,000 manual scavengers rehabilitated

"The Orissa Government has claimed to have rehabilitated 14,077 persons involved in manual scavenging in the State. In a report recently submitted to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), the State government mentioned that about 3,456 manual scavengers could not be rehabilitated due to their death and migration and many were not interested in receiving the benefits. According to the last survey, as many as 16,386 manual scavengers and their dependants were identified for rehabilitation and subsequently 1,147 were identified which took the total number of manual scavengers in the State to 17,533. The State government claimed that the number of scavengers in Orissa came down from 35,049 in 1997-98 to 17,533 in 2008..." Read the full article: http://www.hindu.com/2011/02/01/stories/2011020157200300.htm