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Multi-sectoral decentralized water and sanitation provision in Zambia: rhetoric and reality

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conference contribution
posted on 2018-02-12, 15:08 authored by Christopher Lungu, Peter Harvey
Decentralization is the cornerstone of local delivery of basic services such as water, sanitation and hygiene education in Zambia. Given the range of skills required to deliver these services in an integrated way, there is a strong need for multisectoralism at national and local levels. Currently, interministerial competition and conflicting priorities hinder the realization of this multisectoralism and threaten the effectiveness of decentralized service delivery. In particular, the deconcentrated nature of line ministries conflicts with the need for intersectoral cooperation within decentralized local authorities. Unless there is strong political will and direction from presidential level then decentralization will never be truly realized and may actually hinder the effective delivery of water and sanitation services. If this is the case then decentralization is simply rhetoric and a return to centralization may be necessary in order to ensure that the rural poor attain their basic human rights.



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LUNGU, C. and HARVEY, P., 2009. Multi-sectoral decentralized water and sanitation provision in Zambia: rhetoric and reality. IN: Shaw, R.J. (ed). Water, sanitation and hygiene - Sustainable development and multisectoral approaches: Proceedings of the 34th WEDC International Conference, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 18-22 May 2009, 5p.p.


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