Monday, May 04, 2009

The 3rd International Dry Toilet Conference

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The 3rd International Dry Toilet Conference- 2009- 2nd announcement:
The conference will be held from12th to 15th of August 2009 in Tampere University of Technology, Finland . The Conference is organised by The Global Dry Toilet Association of Finland, in cooperation with Tampere University of Technology, TAMK University of Applied Sciences and University of Tampere.

The main theme of the DT 2009 conference will be the evaluation of the achievements in sanitation after the International Year of Sanitation in light of the Millennium Development Goals.

Main topics of the Conference:

1. Health and safety
2. Technical development of dry toilets
3. Prospects and challenges in the reuse of excreta
4. Social, cultural, economic and gender aspects related to dry sanitation

All experts are invited to submit their abstracts on any of the above mentioned topics or closely related ones.

The abstract format:

In Microsoft Word, A4 Page with Font 11pt Times New Roman, Margins 2.6 cm (1 inch) (left,right, top, bottom), Fully justified, Single spacing, 300-500 words fitted on one A4 format page.

Author designation: Place an (*) after the presenting author

Please include the following information with your submission:
Title, Author's name and affiliations, 3 keywords, Contact name, Postal Address, E-mail, Telephone.

The abstracts can be submitted via post to:
Global Dry Toilet Association of Finland,
Kauppakatu 11 C, 2nd floor,
FIN-33200 Tampere,
or by E-mail to:

Notification of abstract acceptance together with instructions concerning presentations will be sent in February, 2009. Participants who make an oral or poster presentation must pay the registration fee by 31st May 2009.

Accommodation will be provided by TAVI Congress Bureau on request by the participants at the time of registration.

conference fees:

Delegates: 380 EUR Early fee until 31 May 2009 480 EUR Late fee AFTER 31 May 2009.
Full-time students:190 EUR Early fee until 31 May 2009 240 EUR Late fee AFTER 31 May 2009.

For more information click here

For registration click here

The Global Dry Toilet Association of Finland is a registered Finnish association founded in 2002 to promote the use of dry toilets.

Their vision is to make dry toilets an essential part of sustainable development, thus securing clean waters and a healthy environment for future generations. Our mission is to introduce functioning dry toilets together with controlled management of toilet waste and to make people aware of the benefits of dry sanitation.

A working toilet is one of the basic needs for humans. Poor toilets and inadequate waste water treatment can lead to pollution of surface and groundwater reservoirs. However, it is not necessary to use water to have modern and hygienic toilet facilities. Dry toilet technology offers variety of choices from summer cottages to stylish bathrooms.

Dry Toilet

Benefits of dry toilet:

• saves pure drinking water
• makes waste water management easier
• can be installed and maintained by your self
• works regardless of weather conditions through electricity block outs, droughts and frozen water pipes
• collects the nutrients protects water systems
• doesn't pollute ground water reservoirs.
A Dry toilet saves clean water. A normal water closet uses from 5 to 15 litres of water per flush. Dry toilet doesn't need water to function.

Know all about Dry Toilet

Westerlies blow off the heat in Northwest India

Original from:

Cooler winds from a passing western disturbance helped rein in the runaway mercury in Northwest India but no such relief was there for the asking in Central East-Central India during the past 24 hours ending Sunday morning.

But dry and hot westerlies blowing into the peninsula continued to curve around the peninsular tip to head north and even cross the east coast to sustain the wind discontinuity/trough along the coastal interior.


Moisture carried by these winds is being dumped as isolated showers along this formation, especially over soastal Andhra Pradesh and south interior Karnataka.

Some of the activity spread to the immediate north and northeast, with parts of West Bengal, Sikkim, Orissa and the north eastern States too witnessing some weather.

thunder squall forecast

Isolated thunder squall has been forecast to continue over these very areas for two days more. Similarly, the Regional Met Centre, Chennai, expected thundershowers to continue over interior Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Rayalaseema and south interior Karnataka.


But the pre-monsoon sun continued to scorch the earth in central and east-central India.

The highest maximum temperature of 46.6 deg Celsius was recorded at Nagpur, but Darsi in Andhra Pradesh clocked 47 deg Celsius as per hourly automatic weather station data.

India Meteorological Department (IMD) said in its update that heat wave conditions had abated from Rajasthan, Haryana, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and west Madhya Pradesh.

But they continued to hold strong over parts of Vidarbha, interior Orissa and isolated pockets of east Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and Chandigarh.


The eastward movement of the western disturbance is expected to help in the abatement of the heat wave conditions over these areas as well from Monday, the IMD said in its outlook.

The prevailing western disturbance would trigger scattered rain or thundershowers over the western Himalayan region during the next three days.

Isolated dust storm or thundershowers accompanied with squall have been forecast over the plains of north west India across Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. This is expected to bring down the maximum temperature by a further 1 to 2 deg Celsius.

Rain or thundershower has been forecast over Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarkhand. Thunderstorms with squalls are likely at isolated places over Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan, Haryana, Chandigarh and Delhi.


Meanwhile, the US National Centres for Environmental Predictions (NCEP) continued to signal initially hesitant coverage of the Bay of Bengal by what appears to be the seasonal (southwest monsoon) rains during the week ending May 10.

But forecasts for the week that follows (May 11 to 19) show rains unravelling over Kerala spearheaded by a low-pressure area over the south-east Arabian Sea.

This is also the time when an eastward bound and pan-global Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO) wave is predicted to sit over the Southwest Arabian Sea and the adjoining equatorial Indian Ocean.

Periodical MJO waves with alternating wet and dry phases have been known to sit over monsoon onsets and intra-seasonal excess rain spells in the wet phase and the `break-monsoon' in the dry phase.

Meteorological experts swear by an early monsoon onset for India this time around - their only matter of interest being how early the onset could actually turn out to be.

storm sweeps across Nepal

We were following this FREAK storm crossing much of Nepal till morning of 3-May-09, and later in afternoon the remnants of it erupted as HUGE electric storms over Bihar, west bengal and Bangladesh.

At least seven people were killed and dozens injured by a storm which struck many places in Nepal, officials said Sunday.

In Rautahat district, about 120 km southeast of the capital Kathmandu, at least five people, including four children, were killed when they were crushed by a roof which collapsed after the storm hit the area, the police said.

'The five were crushed by a falling roof after their homes were damaged by the strong winds,' said Ghananand Bhatta, Superintendent of Police of Rautahat district. 'More than 70 people were injured either by flying debris or were caught in collapsed houses.'

Police said nearly 400 houses in four villages were damaged by the storm which hit the district early Sunday morning.

Two more people died in Gorkha district, about 120 km west of Kathmandu, when they were struck by lightning. In the eastern district of Mohattari, seven students were injured in a wall collapse.

The country's meterological department said the storm system had now moved away into northeastern India.

'The storm was produced by a major system which affected much of the country Saturday night and Sunday morning,' meteorologist K.B. Malla said. 'It was accompanied by strong winds and heavy rains in some areas.'

Malla estimated that wind gusts of up to 60 km per hour accompanied the storm, but said a full report was only expected later Sunday.

Natural disasters killed 220,000 in 2008

Original from:

Natural disasters killed over 220,000 people in 2008, making it one of the most devastating years on record and underlining the need for a global climate deal, the world's number two reinsurer said Monday.

Although the number of natural disasters was lower than in 2007, the catastrophes that occurred proved to be more destructive in terms of the number of victims and the financial cost of the damage caused, Germany-based Munich Re said in its annual assessment.

"This continues the long-term trend we have been observing. Climate change has already started and is very probably contributing to increasingly frequent weather extremes and ensuing natural catastrophes," Munich Re board member Torsten Jeworrek said.

Most devastating in terms of human fatalities was Cyclone Nargis, which lashed Myanmar on May 2-3 to kill more than 135,000 people and leave more than one million homeless.

Just days later an earthquake shook China's Sichuan province, leaving 70,000 dead, 18,000 missing and almost five million homeless, according to official figures, Munich Re said.

Around 1,000 people died in a severe cold snap in January in Afghanistan, Kyrgystan and Tajikistan, while 635 perished in August and September in floods in India, Nepal and Bangladesh.

Typhoon Fengshen killed 557 people in China and the Philippines in June, while earthquakes in Pakistan in October left 300 dead.

Six tropical cyclones also slammed into the southern United States, including Ike which, with insured losses of 10 billion dollars, was the industry's costliest catastrophe of the year.

In Europe, an intense low-pressure system called Emma caused two billion dollars worth of damage in March, while a storm dubbed Hilal in late May and early June left 1.1 billion dollars' worth.

The earthquake in Sichuan province was the most expensive overall single catastrophe of 2008, causing around 85 billion dollars worth of damage, helping to make the year the third most expensive on record, Munich Re said.

With 200 billion dollars' worth of damage, only 2005, when a large number of hurricanes slammed into the southern United States, and 1995, year of the Kobe earthquake in Japan, wreaked more destruction since records began in 1900.

According to provisional estimates from the World Meteorological Organization, 2008 was the tenth warmest year since the beginning of routine temperature recording and the eighth warmest in the northern hemisphere.

This means that the ten warmest years ever recorded have all occurred in the last 12 years, Munich Re said.

"It is now very probable that the progressive warming of the atmosphere is due to the greenhouse gases emitted by human activity. The weather machine is running in top gear, bringing more intense severe weather events," it said.

The number of tropical cyclones in the North Atlantic in 2008 was much higher than the long-term average, and in terms of both the total number of storms and the number of major hurricanes, 2008 was the fourth most severe hurricane season since reliable data have been available, it said.

The world needed "effective and binding rules on CO2 emissions, so that climate change is curbed and future generations do not have to live with weather scenarios that are difficult to control," board member Jeworrek said.

Last December, the international community agreed in Bali on a two-year roadmap culminating in a new global climate deal to be signed in Copenhagen in December 2009.

Unprecedented in scale and complexity, this accord, due to take effect from 2012, is meant to rein in the greenhouse gases that stoke global warming and throw a lifeline to poor countries exposed to mutated weather patterns.

Heavy rainfall, gale affect life in Manipur

Imphal, Heavy rainfall and gale since the past 24 hours has disrupted life as trees were uprooted and electric wires snapped in several parts of the state.

Power supply remained cut off in some parts of the state today.

Meanwhile, the weather remained gloomy with the maximum temperature recorded at 24 degrees Celsius while the minimum was 18 degrees Celsius.

The humidity was about 90 per cent along with poor visibility at around four km.

However, the weather was calmer this noon though more rain is forecast during the next few days, Met officials said