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Water, Sanitation and Health at University of Leeds

University of Leeds conducts research into water, sanitation and health across the globe, and across many disciplines. Our researchers are often affiliated with transdisciplinary groups, such as the Centre for Global Development and Water@Leeds.

This blog is a place to hear from our students, staff and alumni about their experiences as researchers, learners and practitioners.

Check out the latest blogs from our students, staff and alumni

WASH situation in the Gaza Strip Emergency - Lived Experience

Mariam Fayad, a WASH MSc alumni, gives personal testimony about working on WASH during the Gaza Strip emergency

Our Bizarre Obsession with Shitting into Drinking Water

This blog is from Katie Allen a WaterWISER PhD researcher working at the University of Leeds on ecological sanitation and the recycling of human feces to land for food production.

Different perspectives: stories of water and sanitation research in India

Four stories of field research in India by Carolina Montoya Pachongo (postdoctoral researcher), Hannah Jayne Robinson (WaterWISER PhD researcher), Bushra Hasan (WaterWISER PhD researcher), and Zhe Zhan (WaterWISER PhD researcher)

Improving urban sanitation around the world – public lecture

Dr Paul Hutchings gives a public lecutre on urban sanitation and University of Leeds WASH research in this area

Women’s rights and the “loo leash”: the fight for public toilets in the UK

In this essay Grace Phiri, PhD researcher, discusses the intersection between women's rights and the fight for public toilets in the UK

Water Poverty and Insecurity in England & Wales

Ruth Sylvester, PhD researcher, discusses how water insecurity and poverty manifest in the UK.

Stretching my professional boundaries beyond the WaSH Engineering MSc

Charles Shachinda student from the 2020/21 cohort discusses what the WASH MSc did his development and career

What do we really know about the impacts of climate change on sanitation?

Leonie Hyde-Smith discusses the results from her systematic review on the impacts of climate change on urban sanitation

Expanding my horizons on the Water, Sanitation and Health MSc

Chanda Singoyi discusses his experience on the Water, Sanitation and Health Engineering MSc, including learning about the public health and social dimensions of WASH as well as the technical components

Can games help improve infection prevention and control?

Dr Paul Hutchings introduces a new pilot project examining whether games can help improve infection prevention and control...

“What the F?”: How we failed to publish a journal special issue on failures

The WASH Failures Team explain why they will not be publishing a special issue on failures in IJERPH

My experience of the MSc Water, Sanitation and Health Engineering

Alicia Eduardo talks about her experiences studying the MSc WASH Engineering, both the challenges and the triumphs.

Asset management in WASH

Matsautso Mumba, student on the Master of Science (WASH Engineering) programme, highlights results from his research project into asset management in WASH in Zambia.

Exposing your menstrual status

Hannah Robinson, PhD student and graduate of the Bachelor of Engineering programme discusses her research that looks at the links between taboos and how people dispose of menstrual waste.

World Water Week Survival Guide for Young Water Professionals

Theresa Schütz, student on the Master of Science (WASH Engineering) programme, gives her helpful (and sometimes hilarious) tips on how to survive WASH's biggest annual conference.

Reinventing universities towards entrepreneurship

Desire Sengoga, student on the Master of Science (WASH Engineering) programme, highlights results from his research project into how universities can better support young WASH entrepreneurs.

The political nature of collecting urban sanitation cost data

Erick Corimanya and Elon Sooknanan, students on the Master of Science (WASH Engineering) programme, talk about the difficulties of collecting cost data from utilities in Latin America and the Caribbean.

My PhD Journey Part 2: approaching a PhD like a job

Claire Rosato-Scott, PhD Candidate, talks about how she is using her corporate experience to manage her PhD workload.

FSM5 and AfricaSan5 2019: Highlights and Key Takeaways

Dr Sally Cawood, Research Fellow in Urban Sanitation, sums up her experiences from the latest Faecal Sludge Management and African Sanitation conferences.

My PhD Journey Part 1: Why a Phd … at Leeds … researching incontinence?

Claire Rosato-Scott, PhD Candidate, talks about how she came to be studying for a PhD on incontinence in an engineering school...

Breaking the silence on women’s experiences of incontinence

Dr Dani Barrington, Lecturer in Water, Sanitation and Health, Dr Lena Jaspersen, University Academic Fellow and Isobel Sale, student of Bachelor of Arts (French and Linguistics) talk about a series of workshops they facilitated to understand women's experiences of incontinence.

My empowering experience researching menstrual taboos

Elizabeth Goolden, Master of Arts (Global Development) Graduate, talks about what it was like conducting research into the taboos associated with menstruation, comparing between the experiences of girls in UK and Uganda.

Sanitation coverage in waterfront communities of Port Harcourt, Nigeria

Dr Chindo Nwankwao, Commonwealth Rutherford Fellow, discusses the findings of her recent fieldwork in Nigeria.

Local ownership of WASH responses are required in Pacific schools

Dr Dani Barrington, Lecturer in Water, Sanitation and Health, as well as colleagues Dr Michelle Redman-MacLaren and Humpress Harrington of James Cook University, on the importance of local students and community members leading initiatives to improve WASH systems in schools.

My experience of conducting research in Bangladesh

Mariam Zaqout, Master of Science (WASH Engineering) Graduate, talks about what it was like conducting research into the emptying of pit latrines in Bangladesh.

WASH and Disability: A Poem

A poem written by Elon as part of a student seminar in the Master of Science in Water, Sanitation and Health Engineering

Conquering the world of incontinence – Oui, oui!

Isobel Sale, Bachelor of Arts (French and Linguistics) student, talks about her research looking into the experiences of urinary incontinence that are shared on Mumsnet.

‘Sponge City: a sponge or a soap bubble?’

Zhe Zhan, Master of Science (WASH Engineering) Graduate, talks about what he discovered when conducting his final research project on Sponge City implementation in Jinan, China.

Boys and menstruation in Indian schools

Georgia Hales, Master of Engineering Graduate, talks about what she discovered during her final research project investigating the menstrual education of boys in Mumbai schools.

My experiences of conducting a research project in India

Georgia Hales, Master of Engineering Graduate, talks about what it was like conducting research into menstruation in India.

The lived experience of a flood: What does climate change feel like?

Dr Celia Way, Research Fellow, on what it's like to experience a flood whilst living in an informal settlement.

Pieces by University of Leeds WASHies published elsewhere

Achieving SDG 6.2: Adequate and Equitable Sanitation and

Georgia Hales and Ruth Sylvester explain why a lack of diversity could be hampering efforts to achieve SDG 6.2...

Ending Period Poverty: stopping shame is essential

Dr Dani Barrington explains that whilst product provision is important, we can't truly eradicate "period poverty" until we end the stigmatization of menstruation.

It will take a lot more than free menstrual pads to end period poverty

Dr Dani Barrington, Dr Emily Wilson and Professor Hazel Barrett outline the reasons why "period poverty" can only be solved by taking a systemic approach.

Numbers (and Alessandro Volta) don’t lie

PhD candidates Christian Borja-Vega and Christian Israel Aragon-Briteno on anaerobic digestion as a potential solution towards sustainable wastewater re-use and renewable energy for Mexico

Menstrual Taboos Across The Globe

Elizabeth Goolden, graduate of University of Leeds MA (Global Development) present the results of her dissertation research, where she investigated the differences and similarities between menstrual taboos in the UK and Uganda

Reflections on Tweeting the UNC Water and Health Conference

Komal Saini, alumnus of University of Leeds MSc WASH Engineering, on her experiences of building professional networks through Tweeting a conference.

Toilets of the future must be designed with people in mind, not technology

Dr Dani Barrington and Dr Rebecca Sindall discuss the cool new technologies being designed by sanitation engineers, highlighting how important it is that users are engaged in designing and testing them.

‘We Are Still Here’: Returning to Dhaka, Bangladesh

Dr Sally Cawood, Research Fellow, recently returned to Bangladesh to feedback her PhD findings on Community Based Organisations (CBOs), water and sanitation in Dhaka’s low-income settlements. This blog shares some reflections on reconnecting with the NGOs, urban poor groups and communities involved in the research.

Technology for incontinence hasn’t developed that much

Dr Pete Culmer and Sarah King on new technologies to address incontinence.

Water and sanitation in Dhaka's low income settlements, Bangladesh.

Dr Sally Cawood draws on data collected in three low-income settlements to outline how much residents – a mixture of tenants, house owners and landlords – pay for water and sanitation (WatSan) services in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Despite significant improvements, fieldwork reveals that overlapping financial and political insecurities at the household and settlement level greatly affect the costs and terms of access.

Toilet marketing campaigns in developing countries erode people’s dignity

Dr Dani Barrington and Professor Jamie Bartram on why we need to think twice when designing sanitation marketing campaigns that attack people's dignity.

Why we need to talk about incontinence

Dr Dani Barrington and Dr Pete Culmer on why incontinence is a global issue that needs more attention.

What do we mean by "WASH marketing exchanges"?

Video produced by International Water Centre detailing the research findings of a previous project led by Dr Dani Barrington.

Something we should add?

This blog is managed by Dr Paul Hutchings, but is informal - it is not supposed to represent a specific research project, group or programme at the University, and it is not restricted to WASH research in lower and middle income countries (after all, the Sustainable Development Goals apply to all of us!). It is a place to share our research findings and experiences. If you would like to contribute a blog, suggest an event, add a course to the list or something else, please feel free to shoot Paul an email.