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respiratory infection

Joaqlin Estus / KNBA

April 29, 2015

Even rural communities that have raised the money to build modern sanitation systems face the threat of their ultimate failure due to the lack of funding for operations and maintenance, wiping away whatever health gains were achieved.

The Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation Environmental Health and Engineering Department provides technical assistance to water treatment plant operators in the region. Here’s a bit of the conversation during a recent teleconference.

April 27

How many times a day do you wash your hands? 

If you have running water, you probably wash your hands many times a day, each time in clean, warm water. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, hand washing consumes one gallon of water per wash.

Joaqlin Estus / KNBA

April 27, 2015

How the lack of running water and flush toilets affects public health in Alaska

Joaqlin Estus

April 15, 2015

News Director Joaqlin Estus is producing a series of stories about rural sanitation in Alaska. Check back to see photos and interviews in coming days. 

Tune in at 7:30 and 8:30 a.m. the week of April 27, 2015 for the 5-part series on rural sanitation in Alaska. 

State contributes 25% required match for federal funds

Members of the Legislative Bush Caucus last week in a “Lunch and Learn” session on rural sanitation were told about 900 million dollars is needed to build, replace and maintain rural sanitation systems. Last year the state put about $9 million, and federal agencies put $51 million, toward rural sanitation in Alaska. The combined 60 million dollars is less than half the amount allocated ten years ago.

Use of “honey buckets” is on the rise as funding falls and costly systems fail

By Johanna Eurich

Water and sewer sanitation are still a challenge in many rural Alaska villages. Experts in water and sewer sanitation attending a meeting last week say a recent trend is taking honey buckets out of the museum and putting them back into villages. 

Despite progress and billions spent building water and sewage systems, many villagers in remote places like the Yukon Kuskokwim region still haul water and use a bucket instead of a toilet -- every day.