This paper discusses the common constraints to the provision of improved sanitation services to people living in low-income urban communities in Africa and makes suggestions on improved practice. The paper also highlights the current research gaps that SHARE could potentially examine over the next five years. Over the years, both African and Asian countries have faced enormous backlogs in the provision of sanitation services, especially in urban poor communities, resulting partly from the use of inappropriate service approaches. This is coupled with limited financial resources and rapid urbanisation and population growth. This paper also shows that for the Millennium Development Goal target on sanitation to be achieved, there is need to develop effective links between communities and sanitation agencies and to use cheaper alternative sanitation technologies. Areas where sanitation improvements have been made there is normally a good relationship between the communities and the authorities. This paper is based on literature, work experience, interviews and SHARE country visits. The paper also draws on a paper presented by the author at the 2nd International Congress on `Wastewater Treatment in Small Communities‘ in Seville in 2007.
The paper is the first in the Pathfinder series; each paper relates to one of SHARE's four research themes.
Mulenga, M. Pathfinder Paper: Urban sanitation. (2011) 44 pp.