Category Archives: rural

Do it yourself machine shop

In case you hadn’t seen this on the other site, I urge those readers interested in recycling, appropriate technology, and self-sufficiency to take a look. Be sure to read the first comment.

old construction projects
old cars, trucks, sno-gos (snow machines) contribute petrochemicals, carcinogens, lead, cadium, antifreeze poison, etc. Let’s put this to good use, eh?

Add to Bookmarks:

Bring health info to communities

The library at the University of Utah has a valuable service in a web log (blog) format. The format is especially good at providing links to information resources quickly with a minimum of Internet fuss (suitable for rural and remote dial-up) and available through feeds.

An easily accessible format won’t be too useful were it not for the knowledgeable person selecting the resources to provide, Siobhan Champ-Blackwell, Community Outreach Liaison.

She has a series of entries linking to resources for health literacy, which is a critical topic.

This blog focuses on health information issues related to the community, especially underserved communities.

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Pay as you go clean-toilet program

It’s too easy sometimes for us to say we live in a third-world state when requesting infrastructure funding. We say this even though Alaska has only one census district that is among the USA’s poorest.

It might be useful sometimes to see what the genuine third-world is doing for sanitation and public health. A lot of these ideas would be feasible to modify for rural Alaska (and many, such as dry sanitation, have been modified for first-world economies in the north, except us.) It isn’t just the technology, but the planning ideas which may be the most valuable to consider. For example, from Sulabh International Social Service Organization,

“The whole idea is to save water,” says Ramachandran. “Today, we’re taking good water from the river and using it to flush toilets, which makes the water dirty. Then we use expensive treatment techniques before dumping it back into the river. [emphasis added] Instead, why not treat it at the source?”

from the February 15, 2007 edition
Pay as you go: clean-toilet program for India’s towns
A local group is sparking a quiet sanitary revolution that the World Bank and UN call a model for other developing countries.
By Anuj Chopra | Correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor

…Through community participation, Bremen Overseas Research and Development Association (BORDA), a German funding agency, built a pay-and-use community toilet for 500 local families here that is now run and managed by locals themselves….

These toilets are affordable for the poor, and the cheapest model can be constructed for as little as $10. And in a country where water shortages are a primary reason for the dearth of toilets, Sulabh’s toilets aren’t water-guzzlers: They require only 2 liters of water compared with 10 liters for a conventional toilet…

Sulabh’s systems often come with an innovative modification: the attachment of a biogas plant. Through these plants, human waste produces biogas that, when mixed with diesel fuel, can power electrical devices such as streetlights. A similar technique of wet-sanitation is being replicated elsewhere in India by groups like BORDA.

…the attempt isn’t simply to dole out toilets to the poor, but to build them through community participation while educating people about the importance of sanitation.

“We do not want the government to give any subsidy to build toilets,” says Mr. Pathak. “We just want them to tell banks not to refuse loans if poor people want to build toilets.”

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Emergency water and sanitation handbooks WCED WHO

These are pdf files of the Emergency publications series, produced by WEDC Publications, Water, Engineering and Development Centre, Loughborough University

Emergency Publications on CD, Bob Reed (ed.)
This pc compact disk comprises the electronic (pdf) files of the entire series of Emergency publications produced by WEDC to date.
This is an invaluable and handy resource for all aid and development workers.

Individual files can be downloaded from

Revised chapters are downloadable or can be purchased here–
Emergency Vector Control Using Chemicals (2nd ed.) 2004
Christophe Lacarin and Bob Reed
Emergency Water Sources (3rd ed.) 2004
Sarah House and Bob Reed
Out in the Cold (3rd ed.) 2004
Mark Buttle and Michael Smith

Running Water 1999 Rod Shaw (ed.)

This is a new collection of 32 short, highly illustrated introductions to appropriate water and sanitation technologies and processes and complements The Worth of Water. It covers a further range of subjects from water source selection and handpump maintenance to sanitary surveying, hygiene understanding and community management. (not available for download)

The Worth of Water 1991John Pickford

The Worth of Water published by Intermediate Technology Publications has 32 sections, each a reprint of a technical brief that has appeared in the international journal of appropriate technologies for water supply and sanitation Waterlines. They provide simple guidance for fieldworkers on a variety of topics. Most were written and prepared by WEDC staff (not available for download)

The role of water and environmental sanitation inventions
Erik Rottier and Margaret Ince
Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: Disease and disease transmission
Chapter 3: Disease in the population
Chapter 4: Water and environmental sanitation projects
Chapter 5: Domestic water supply
Chapter 6: Sanitation
Chapter 7: Drainage
Chapter 8: Solid waste management
Annexe 1: Listing of diseases related to water and environmental sanitation
Annexe 2: Summary tables of infections related to water and environmental sanitation (excluding vector-borne infections)
Annexe 3: Summary tables of vector-borne infections, vectors and their control
Annexe 4: Chlorination of drinking water
Annexe 5: Calculating the size of pits for latrines, and assessing their infiltration capacity
Annexe 6: Designing a simple stormwater drainage system
Annexe 7: Priorities and standards in emergency situations
Alphabetical index of diseases

Improving health is one of the main goals of water and environmental sanitation (WES) interventions. Despite this, many aid and development workers may have only a limited knowledge of the infections they try to prevent. Although the relevant information does exist, it is often scattered in specialised literature and rarely finds its way into the field.

This manual addresses this problem by presenting information on these infections in relation to the interventions that fieldworkers typically control – i.e: water supply, sanitation, drainage, solid waste management, and vector control. It has been produced primarily for non-medical aid and development workers, but anyone working in WES, or in the prevention of infections related to WES, will find this book useful.

Assessment and Programme Design
Peter Harvey, Sohrab Baghri and Bob Reed
Chapter 1. Introduction
Chapter 2. Is intervention necessary?
Chapter 3. Principles of assessment
Chapter 4. Background information
Chapter 5. Recommended minimum objectives
Chapter 6. Excreta disposal
Chapter 7. Solid waste management
Chapter 8. Waste management at medical centres
Chapter 9. Disposal of dead bodies
Chapter 10. Wastewater management
Chapter 11. Hygiene promotion
Chapter 12. Community participation
Chapter 13. Programme design
Chapter 14. Implementation
Chapter 15. Instructions for use
Chapter 16. Rapid assessment and priority setting
Chapter 17. Outline programme design
Chapter 18. Immediate action
Chapter 19. Detailed programme design
Chapter 20. Implementation
Case study: Kala Camp, Luapula, Zambia
Aide Memoire Chart
(Adobe Acrobat (pdf) files)
Rapid Assessment Spreadsheet (Microsoft Excel file)

Emergency Sanitation is designed to assist those involved in planning and implementing emergency sanitation programmes. The main focus is a systematic and structured approach to assessment and programme design. It provides a balance between the hardware (technical) and software (socio-cultural, institutional) aspects of sanitation programmes, and links short-term emergency response to long-term sustainability. Emergency Sanitation is relevant to a wide range of emergency situations, including both natural and conflict-induced disasters, and open and closed settings. It is suitable for field technicians, engineers and hygiene promoters, as well as staff at agency headquarters. Sponsored by the Department for International Development (DFID)

A handbook for relief workers
Christophe Lacarin and Bob Reed
Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: Main Vectors
Chapter 3: Principal Control Measures
Chapter 4: Overall Process for Implementing a Vector Control Programme
Chapter 5: Practical Implementation
Appendix 1: Suitability of Chemical Controls
Appendix 2: Recommended Control Method
Appendix 3: Estimate Vector Population
Appendix 4: Job Description and Responsibilities
Additional Information
References and Bibliography

Complete copy of Emergency Vector Control

The control of vectors that transmit diseases in emergencies is critical to the prevention of epidemics. This handbook describes how such vectors can be identified and controlled using chemicals. Aimed at non-specialists such as logisticians, engineers and health workers, it provides advice on identifying the responsible vector, selecting the appropriate control chemical and the means of application, together with advice on planning an implementation programme.

Assessment and Programme Design
Peter Harvey, Sohrab Baghri and Bob Reed
Section 1. Introduction and instructions for use
Section 2. Survival supply
Section 3. Longer term supply
Section 4. Supporting information
Section 5. Equipment and addresses

These guidelines have been designed to help those involved in the assessment of emergency water sources to collect relevant information in a systematic way, to use this information to select a source or sources and to determine the appropriate level of treatment required to make the water suitable for drinking.

OUT IN THE COLD (first edition)
Emergency water supply and sanitation for cold regions
Mark Buttle and Michael Smith
Mark Buttle and Michael Smith
Chapter 1 : Introduction
Chapter 2 : Emergencies in cold regions
Chapter 3 : Water supply
Chapter 4: Sanitation
Chapter 5: Related technical issues
Chapter 6: Human issues
Chapter 7: Additional information
Complete copy of Out in the Cold

Out in the Cold has been designed for all humanitatian workers, especially managers, engineers and logisticians working in ex-Soviet states, China, Eastern Europe or any other country in cool temperate or cold regions. It provides specific supplementary information that can be used together with information given in more general emergency manuals, details of which are given inside. Techniques are described simply, although engineering design recommendations are also included.

NB– second edition of Out in the Cold includes new material gathered from humanitarian workers returning from the Kosovo crisis and has been revised on the basis of comments made about the first edition.

Any part of this …, including the illustrations (except items taken from other publications where the authors do not hold copyright) may be copied, reproduced or adapted to meet local needs, without permission from the author/s or publisher, provided the parts reproduced are distributed free, or at cost and not for commercial ends, and the source is fully acknowledged.

Please send copies of any materials in which text or illustrations have been used to WEDC Publications at the address given below.

WEDC Publications
Water, Engineering and Development Centre
Loughborough University
Leicestershire LE11 3TU UK
Phone: + 44 (0) 1509 222885
Fax: + 44 (0) 1509 211079

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Toilets and Trash sanitation in the frontier

I’ve put the set of photos up on Flickr. These can be used to illustrate problems and solutions to solid waste management and sanitation. I have not finished the annotations, but Flickr members may go ahead and comment. Unfortunately, I haven’t figured out a good way for non-Flickr members to add to the discussion there. I think what I can possibly do is to post here about sub-groups of photos and diagrams, with thumbnails, so readers may discuss here.

revised 2008-10-13 I set up a group for others to contribute to at Toilets and Trash in the Last Frontier (Alaska) – (I can’t afford to renew the Flickr Pro account yet, but I think the group should be accessible to other Flickr members to add to and for the non-Flickrs to view).

Neither trash nor toilets are insurmountable problems, despite what many believe. However, sanitation takes thought in order for the solutions to age-old problems to be sustainable for eons to come. In particular, whether for the arid and semi-arid regions of Alaska or New Mexico, the low-relief coastal areas of the south Pacific or of the south Bering, we must devise systems which are self-sufficient and appropriate to our communities and ecology. In addition, it is likely to involve some hard choices in how we live, especially as our population grows and our environment changes.

U.S. Congress, Office of Technology Assessment, An Alaskan Challenge: Native Village Sanitation, OTA-ENV–591 (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, May 1994).
NTIS order #PB94-181013
GPO stock #052-003-01372-0
available in pdf format here

or here

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