Jamaica Habitat for Humanity (Jam-Habitat) Makes Impactful Contribution to Inaugural Jamaica Toilet Summit, 2017.
Jamaica hosted a Toilet Summit on Friday, November 17, 2017, at the University of Technology (UTech) as part of the commemoration of World Toilet Day, observed on November 19, 2017. The goal of the summit was To begin the conversation about the condition of our wastewater systems – to talk about Toilets: their role in our health, livelihood, tourism (cruises, resorts, ecotourism), and economy. Building awareness around water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) are critical towards achieving UN sustainable development goal (SGD) 6, to ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all. The Summit was organised by the “The Source Farm / The University of Technology” in partnership with PHLUSH Board President Hayley Joyell Smith.
It is now critical for Jamaica to begin to formulate a national strategy for sanitation. The implications for not doing so will impact environmental sustainability and human health and disaster risk reduction. Among the topics discussed at the summit were: Disaster Sanitation Preparedness; What to do when nature calls and there isn’t a flush toilet; A discussion on areas where there are no sewage systems or no septic systems; Industry specific standards and Dignity Through Sanitation.
Field Operations Manager at Jam-Habitat, Mr. Damien Marcus Williams, who has responsibility for WASH, presented on Dignity Through Sanitation. He highlighted the work being carried out by Jam-Habitat in sanitation and the impact on beneficiaries in Gregory Park, Newland and Naggo Head in Portmore; particularly on women and girls, and implications for environmental sustainability.
Coming off the summit, Mr. Williams will be on the steering committee, responsible for the planning of Jamaica Toilet Summit 2018. He will also participate in the Caribbean Think Tank on Water and Sanitation and will be traveling to the World Toilet Summit in 2018 as a presenter on Sanitation
The presentation by Mr. Williams at the Jamaica Toilet Summit is in keeping with the WASH component of its Urban Disaster Risk Reduction project, which has the objective “to reduce collective risk and exposure to poor urban water, sanitation and hygiene issues, improve infrastructure, and resources through planning, upgrades, and technical assistance”. Jam-Habitat is currently implementing the USAID/OFDA funded building resilience and capacities against emerging disasters (BRACED) in three vulnerable communities within the municipality of Portmore, Jamaica, West Indies.
Water, Sanitation & Hygiene (WASH)
BRACED Finding solutions for Water and Sanitation (WASH) Issues in our communities
- Using solid waste in school projects:
The project engaged the students and teachers of the Gregory Park Primary school. The BRACED/WASH team assisted the school in recycling old car tires which were used to make seats for student reading area.
VIDP (Ventilated Improved Double Pit) Latrine
As part of building resilience in communities against emerging disasters, Habitat for Humanity Jamaica (Jam-Habitat) embarked on a sanitation and hygiene campaign, “Dignity through Sanitation.”
For more information on the VIDP click on the link below.
Labour Day activity
On the 23rd May 2017, the Newland and Naggo Head Citizen Associations and citizens from Newlands joined forces to clean the drain in front of the Naggo Head Primary School. Based on the Social Development Commission and the Portmore Municipal geographical lines the Naggo Head Primary School is situated in the Newland Community division. However, the majority of the children in Naggo Head attend the school.
This was a much-needed project as the recent heavy rain which affected the Island caused an overflow of rubbish in the school yard. This was exasperated by vendors who sell at the fence of the school and the children disposing of garbage inside of the drain even though there is a garbage receptacle in close proximity.
The day started at 6 am, with members of both communities. The team of twenty (20) persons, was divided into four groups each taking a section of the drain. The garbage was separated plastic bottles, tin, paper and plastic bags. The sludge was removed from a section of the drain as well as stones. The day ended at 1:00 pm with members having lunch and having a timing session in the gazebo at the front of the school. This was a successful Labour Day project