Following the FSM4 conference in Chennai, we hosted Chris Buckley from UKZN in South Africa at our CEPT site.
“Prof Buckley is a chemical engineer and has spent his career as a contract researcher in the field of urban and industrial water and effluent management at the University of Natal and currently the University of KwaZulu-Natal. The primary funding sources are the South African Water Research Commission, eThekwini Municipality, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Sasol and Umgeni Water. He has partnerships with many international research groups.” – taken Chris’ bio on UKZN’s Academic Staff page.
Chris leads a center of excellence in sanitation research at UKZN, and is one of our partners for our upcoming prototype deployment to Durban. Chris’s visit provided him the opportunity to see the Duke/RTI RT, its field site operations, and to help facilitate planning for the Durban installation.
Sexual violence is endemic throughout the developed and developing world. Recent research work models data from 1 township in South Africa illustrates how improving access to sanitation facilities in urban informal settlements can simultaneously reduce both the number of sexual assaults and the overall cost to society.
Improving access to public toilets in South African urban settlements may reduce both the incidence of sexual assaults by nearly 30% and the overall cost to society, a study by researchers at the Yale School of Public Health and Yale School of Management found. The research was published April 29 in PLOS ONE.
Rights-based and development organizations have increasingly been calling attention to the fact that inadequate local sanitation facilities are a key factor in a woman’s risk for physical or sexual assault. Many women in South Africa must travel out of their homes to public toilets, where they are more vulnerable to attack from sexual predators. This research from South Africa has global implications, as such links between inadequate sanitation and sexual violence have been noted in incidents in many regions, refugee camps, as well as in urban and rural settings.
During the week of October 27, 2014, RTI was pleased to be invited to participate in the South Africa’s Department of Science and Technology (DST) the South Africa Water Resources Council (WRC) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) new initiative to address South Africa’s sanitation backlog through research, innovation and technology. The DST, WRC and BMGF partnership is named the South African Sanitation Technology Demonstration Programme (SASTEP). SASTEP will see innovative, new-generation sanitation technologies emanating from the Gates Sanitation Challenge demonstrated in South Africa.
Demonstration of cutting-edge, prototype technologies affords opportunities for technology enhancement with regards to performance, O&M, social acceptance, and entrepreneurial opportunities.
Delivery of sanitation in South Africa is the responsibility of the Department of Water and Sanitation, with the DST – according to its mandate – providing and demonstrating research and technology solutions that can assist in meeting its objectives and goals of proper sanitation for all.
Sanitation in South Africa, particularly in the rural and peri-urban environment, remains a huge challenge despite significant strides made to reduce the sanitation backlog since 1994. The situation has been exacerbated by population growth over the same period. The South African National Sanitation Strategy (2005) set out the aim of universal access to sanitation by 2010, in line with the Millennium Development Goals.