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Ann Thomas

Nature Calls – why sanitation is the logical starting point for fighting climate change

  11. June 2024    152

In September 2021, Hurricane Ida dropped more than six inches of rain on New York City in a matter of hours. Roughly half of that rainfall, 3.15 inches, fell within the first hour—nearly twice the rate the city’s infrastructure was designed to handle. 

At 11am that day, I got a call from my daughter’s school in the outskirts of the NYC metropolitan area asking me to collect my daughter ASAP. The school basement was filling with water … fast. By the end of the day, the school was shuttered, and the surrounding community evacuated. Meanwhile, outside my front door in suburban New York, neighbours were piling the contents of their basements onto the sidewalk. ‘The neighbourhood’s shit is in my basement!’ one exclaimed. Social media was filled with discordant images of flooded streets and Teslas floating through them.

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Alice Brandt , Mascha Kaddori

Let’s get wild: Water, sanitation and hygiene at the human-wildlife interface

  26. March 2024    1239

One Health is an integrated, unifying approach that aims to sustainably balance and optimize the health of people, non-human animals and ecosystems. It recognizes that the health of humans, domestic and wild animals, plants, and the wider environment (including ecosystems) are closely linked and inter-dependent. 

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Tabeer Riaz

Empowering Young Women Water Professionals in South Asia: Leading the Wave of Change

  21. March 2024    909

In September 2023, fueled by a shared vision to create a meaningful global impact, five visionary women embarked on a journey that led to the establishment of the "South Asia Young Women in Water" (SAYWiW) platform. This initiative was born out of a casual meeting, which evolved into a powerful force for change in the realm of water management in South Asia. SAYWiW stands as a beacon of empowerment for women water professionals, acknowledging their often-overlooked contributions to driving tangible change in the region. Despite encountering obstacles, these trailblazers persistently pioneer research and innovation, surpassing global counterparts and shaping the future of water management.

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Beauty Mkoba

Unlocking the potential of African Women in STEM through mentorship

  12. March 2024    1275

Civil engineers and infrastructure professionals can make a huge difference – 72% of the SDG targets are linked to networked infrastructure development. This means the profession can play a leading role in economic growth, environmental protection, social progress, and climate resilience. Diversity in the dynamic world of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM)  can realise this impact better.

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Gloria Mariga

Mentorship empowers African women to lead environmental stewardship

  8. March 2024    1817

The pivotal role of women in climate action often remains unrecognized yet women play a vital role in tackling climate change.  

I was born in Kenya’s Uasin Gishu County and home of Mau Forest complex which is one of the water towers of Kenya and raised in Kakamega County - home of the only tropical rain forest in Kenya and UNESCO heritage that has seen destruction affecting water supply in counties around it. Over the years I learnt to appreciate that while climate change affects everyone, it does not affect everyone equally. Vulnerability to climate change is exacerbated by inequity and marginalization linked to gender, ethnicity, low income, and other social and economic factors. When solutions to climate change address these realities, they are more effective. 

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Carla Liera

Menstrual Health and Environmental Intersection: Towards a Holistic Approach

  16. November 2023    1343

Recently, I gave a presentation focusing on the complex connection between menstrual health and environmental issues. Within the presentation, I explored various crucial facets of this relationship, including the challenges surrounding access and use of reusable menstrual products, the environmental consequences of climate change on menstrual health practices, and the pressing issues related to resource scarcity and access to essential water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) services, which are essential for ensuring dignified menstruation. Additionally, I touched upon the significance of menstrual waste and its effects on our water and soil.

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Belinda Abraham

The Business Case for Sanitation

  13. November 2023    848

I am in favour of market-based solutions. Viva con Agua’s aims to expand its work related to social water and sanitation enterprise development.  Sustainably designed business models can help ensure that human rights can be fully realised. However, a recent evening in Berlin led to some thoughts and inspired this blog.

Belinda Abraham, Viva con Agua Institutional Fundraising.

Berlin, Germany

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Kavita Wankhade

Systemic shame surrounding menstruation is alive and thriving, everywhere

  31. October 2023    500

This article was originally published on The News Minute on 28th May 2023, and has been republished/repurposed here with permission. Read the original article here. 

As women, shame enters our being in many ways — when an older man leers at our barely-sprouted breasts, when we are body-shamed or slut-shamed, and sometimes even when our brilliance dazzles. The fault, we’re told, is always ours. For most of us, shame is an all-too-familiar companion, and all that differs are our coping mechanisms. But perhaps nothing shames us as much, as persistently, and for as long as the fact that we menstruate. 

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Amutha Palaniandi

Sanitation champion spotlight: Amutha Palaniandi, a mason from Trichy (India)

  6. October 2023    239

My name is Amutha Palaniandi. I am a mason from Trichy in India, working in the construction of toilets and containment structures. I started my career as a helper in construction in 2006, and after 6 years decided to transition into masonry.

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