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Newsletter Number 2 - August/September 1999 

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New E-mail Update Service 

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You can now receive a regular bi-monthly update of information from Intermediate Technology Publications, with details of new books, the latest issues of our journals, and selections and recommendations from the Intermediate Technology Bookshop. We will also be offering special discounts and other promotions to subscribers to our E-mail list, so join up now - it's free.

You can subscribe to it by sending an e-mail to, with SUBSCRIBE ITPUBS-INFO-L [Your Name] in the body of the message.

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New Book: Development in Disaster-prone places 

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James Lewis

This book addresses the long-overdue imbalance in disaster management: an over-emphasis on post-disaster assistance and a lack of attention to vulnerability reduction. It answers the fundamental question in this debate: how can we mould pre-disaster development initiatives to become the most appropriate means for vulnerability reduction?

The book reasserts and reapplies some of the basic concepts and issues which emerged in the 1960s and 1970s, with the message that development is a prime medium both of vulnerability and its reduction.

The author examines requirements for long-term change so that conditions which have become the context for catastrophe can be modified. By focusing on longer term policies and activities now, emergency relief efforts will have a positive context within which to contribute to development and the likelihood of recurrence will be reduced.

The book contains case studies from Sri Lanka, the Caribbean and the South Pacific and focuses on hazards of all kinds, setting out to redress the balance between large-scale disasters of global significance and small-scale disasters that are a matter of everyday existence.

James Lewis is a visiting fellow in Development Studies at the University of Bath and a consultant in environmental hazards and human settlements.

ISBN 1 85339 472 6. 224pp. Paperback. 234 x 156 mm. September 1999. £15.95. $29.95.

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New Book: Biological and Cultural Diversity: The role of indigenous agricultural experimentation in development 

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Edited by Gordon D. Prain, Sam Fujisaka and Michael D. Warren

The developed world has much to learn from the developing countries about the preservation of biological diversity. This book demonstrates the intimate relationship between cultural and biological diversity, and how the practices of farmers in developing countries have promoted cultivation with conservation.

This book presents fifteen examples of practices from countries as diverse as Nepal and Nigeria, from home gardens in South India to water harvesting in Sudan.

In a reversal from scientific Western prescriptions, the contributors look at farmers' practices in developing countries. What becomes clear is the intimate local environmental knowledge of indigenous farmers, the site-specific nature of their experiments, and the degree of concern for the preservation of diversity and the protection of wild plants.

This is an important contribution to the debate about biological diversity.

Published in the IT Studies in Indigenous Knowledge and Development series.

Sam Fujisaka is an agricultural anthropologist at the Centro Internacional de Agricultura Tropical (Cali, Colombia).

Gordon Prain currently works with UPWARD (Users' Perspectives With Agricultural Research and Development) in Manila, The Philippines.

The late Dr. Michael D. Warren was Director of the Centre for Indigenous Knowledge for Agriculture and Rural Development (CIKARD) and University Professor at the Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa, USA, until his untimely death in 1997.

ISBN 1 85339 443 2. £16.95 $29.95. 192pp. Paperback. August 1999.

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Waterlines July 1999, Volume 18 No. 1 

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Special Issue on Financial Sustainability
From the Editorial Page... Exactly what factors influence the long-term sustainability of rural water supply and sanitation projects? Following the failure of a number of large investments in this area, a new approach has emerged which focuses on community decision-making and participation. Case studies from a variety of diverse social settings and geographical locations demonstrate two essential principles - not only do communities need to be active in choosing the technology and service levels provided, they should also feel a sense of ownership and responsibility for the RWSS system. Hence the need for local involvement in building the system, providing materials, cost sharing and investment support. Even so, the path still does not always run smooth with, for example, the segregation of women and poor literacy levels proving obstacles to community participation, while societies in the former Soviet and Eastern bloc countries have little tradition of taking responsibility for their own welfare.

Making rural water supply and sanitation projects sustainable
Robert A. Boydell

Implementing a participatory, gender-based approach in Baluchistan
Inge Lagerweij and Cees Vulto

Small-scale private involvement in water supply provision in Tanzania
Victoria J. Boydell

Measuring sustainability: Recent lessons from Indonesia
Nilanjana Mukherjee

Mechanisms for sustainability in a supply-driven environment
Parameswaran Iyer

Depend or survive - sanitation and hygiene promotion in the Aral Sea disaster zone
Frank Haupt

Readers' articles

Domestic water use in Morocco's Tessaout Amont irrigation system
Eline Boelee, Hammou Laamrani, Khalid Khallaayoune, and Susan Watts

Regular features



Agency news

Technical brief: On-plot sanitation


Resources guide


A beginner's guide to irrigation for smallholders

To request a sample copy of Waterlines e-mail

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Sports News 

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In the first issue of our newsletter we told you about our planned softball match against Book Aid International, and promised to give you news of the result.

We are pleased to report a triumphant victory against our opponents, after a long, close-fought, but friendly battle in Regent's Park, with a final score of 24-22. About twelve people from each organization turned out, and we even persuaded a customer from our bookshop to come along and join in the fun.

Flushed with success, we have now issued a challenge to the International Institute for Environment and Development.

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Jubilee 2000 

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Sunday June 13 was the London climax of many months of campaigning about Jubilee 2000, before the G8 Meeting in Cologne, Germany. The day featured speakers, music drama, the chain and tremendous noise. Three staff members of IT Publications were also there, Andrea Haase, Rob Gayton and Mike Ahern.

Andy writes about what they got up to...

Petitions and banners were loaded onto a boat, which arrived in Cologne the following weekend. Events and meetings were held in the morning and later afternoon, including a rally in Trafalgar Square at 12 noon. From 2pm people were invited to take their places along and across the Thames and at 3pm a human chain was formed, giving a huge send off to the boat as it set sail for Cologne.

I was a member of the Jubilee 2000 Debt Circus (see picture above). We provided an action-packed 15 minute extravaganza of conciousness raising street theatre. The piece we performed four time during the course of the day stars the infamous G8, World Bank and IMF and the impoverished nations chained by debt. The object of the performance, which was held at St James's Church, in Trafalgar Square and on the South Bank, was to attract people to the campaign and encourage them to sign the petition.

We had perfomed at various events, but this one was particularly special because of the warm response we received from the people there, including my colleagues Rob Gayton and Mike Ahern, who lent their support and help. I play one of the poor countries and do a juggling act with a hospital, a school and a baby, representing the financial situation of the poorest countries 'juggling' with debt.

Andrea Haase

You can see a list of recommended books on debt issues available from the Intermediate Technology Bookshop: Go to List.

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We hope you have enjoyed reading this newsletter. The next issue will be posted on our website at the beginning of October.

Guy Bentham

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1974-2000 © The First 26 Years

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