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Bourton on Dunsmore, United Kingdom

Thye Y.P.,Imperial College London | Templeton M.R.,Imperial College London | Ali M.,Schumacher Center for Technology and Development
Critical Reviews in Environmental Science and Technology | Year: 2011

Pit latrines are the most common forms of sanitation in urban slums and unplanned settlements in developing countries. Often, little consideration is given to how to deal with the pits once they fill up. The authors summarize pit emptying technologies that have been designed to date to overcome the problem of fecal sludge management in such settings and presents a framework to assist decision makers in identifying potential pit emptying methods based on local technical conditions. © 2011 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

Lyons M.,London South Bank University | Schilderman T.,Schumacher Center for Technology and Development | Sanderson D.,Oxford Brookes University
Environmental Hazards | Year: 2011

This short piece argues that a series of progressive developments in our understanding of aid after disasters, and how we should seek to deliver and manage it, calls for a review of accountability systems in the sector. © 2011 Taylor & Francis.

Schilderman T.,Schumacher Center for Technology and Development | Lyons M.,London South Bank University
Environmental Hazards | Year: 2011

Our review of post-disaster reconstruction in 10 countries has demonstrated some of the weaknesses in currently dominant approaches, e.g. donor-driven reconstruction and owner-driven reconstruction. They have often been top-down and exclusionary, focusing on people with existing title to land and housing, and failing to reach the marginalized, especially in urban areas. Since they aim for safer dwellings, they rarely tackle people s underlying vulnerabilities. This paper argues that an inclusive and participatory approach, people-centred reconstruction, should be central to housing and livelihoods after disasters. Reconstruction programmes need to make people more resilient to future risks. That requires not just making their buildings safer, but also making people more capable to adapt to risk. As to housing, many agencies interpret building back is better, as reconstructed houses are safer than pre-disaster types. That concern for quality leads them to set high standards, engage architects and engineers to produce designs, and use contractors to construct. The end product is often inappropriate, difficult to maintain and too expensive to replicate. Damage assessments after disasters often point at vernacular technologies such as timber frames that have performed much better than others. Provided if any weaknesses are addressed, they can be incorporated in reconstruction strategeies because they are well known to local residents and builders and use mainly local resources, they require less support, thus they are cheaper and quicker. The reduction of people's vulnerabilities, however, requires more than better housing; programmes also need to rebuild people's livelihoods, restore local markets and social networks. To strengthen their capabilities to cope, survivors should play key roles in decision-making and resource management. Forty years ago, John Turner concluded that the process of housing matters as much as its end product, as it empowers people. Reconstruction is not different: putting people at its centre empowers them and strengthens their capabilities and resilience. © 2011 Taylor & Francis.

Di Bella V.,University of Brescia | Ali M.,Schumacher Center for Technology and Development | Vaccari M.,University of Brescia
Waste Management and Research | Year: 2012

In low-income countries, healthcare waste is mixed with the municipal waste stream and rarely receives special attention. This paper presents the lessons learned from a pilot project targeted to improve healthcare waste management in Hargeisa (Somaliland). The interventions were carried out in three of the main hospitals in the city. Consideration was also given to improve the overall situation regarding the management of healthcare waste. Three De Montfort incinerators were built and training was provided to operators, waste workers and healthcare personnel. Although the incinerators were constructed in accordance with the required standards, major constraints were identified in the operational phase: irregular de-ashing procedures, misuse of safety equipment, and ineffective separation of healthcare waste were seen in this phase. The paper concludes that in other small hospitals in the developing world, such as those in Hargeisa, on-site incineration by use of low-cost, small-scale incinerators could be successfully applied as an interim solution, provided that an agreed and acceptable plan of operation and maintenance is in place and responsibilities for the management of the facility are clearly identified. Moreover, when replicating this experience in other settings even greater importance should be given to the technical capacity building of operators and pressure should be exercised on local administrations in order to control and supervise the whole management system. © The Author(s) 2012.

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