Managing watsan services in small towns

2006-06-05T10:17:52Z (GMT) by Cyrus Njiru Kevin Sansom
A SIGNIFICANT PROPORTION of people in developing countries live in small towns. Small towns often require more elaborate forms of water supply systems than villages, such as pipe networks. In addition, as villages are growing into rural growth centres and small towns, the transition of appropriate management of watsan and the institutional set up proves difficult, consequently many of the small towns have relatively low levels of water and sanitation services. Until recently, small towns have been largely ignored in terms of new investments in water supply and sanitation. Where investment has been made, deterioration of services occurs soon after commissioning, possibly because proper arrangements were not made for operations and maintenance of the systems, or because inappropriate management options were adopted. Low levels of water and sanitation services contribute to the poor economic growth in many small towns, thus hindering poverty reduction efforts in developing countries.