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Provision of free sustainable basic sanitation: the Durban experience

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conference contribution
posted on 2018-02-12, 15:10 authored by Teddy Gounden, Bill Pfaff, Neil Macleod, Chris Buckley
The cholera outbreak in August 2000 focused the government’s attention on addressing sanitation in South Africa as a matter of urgency. This led to a policy review, the promulgation of the National Sanitation Policy (2001) and finally to the development of a national strategy to eliminated the sanitation backlog over the next ten years. The cholera outbreak, together with the Millennium Development Goals for water supply and sanitation, have highlighted an urgent need for sustainable service delivery in this country.In Durban, the eThekwini Municipality (EM) is attempting to ensure an effective barrier against the spread of disease among the newly incorporated, under-serviced rural communities of the Municipality. These challenges are being addressed through an innovative, sustainable approach in the provision of free basic water supply (200 litres/household/day), and a urine diversion toilet, together with health and hygiene education that promotes hygienic behaviour practices. According to the Strategic Framework for Water Services, Water Service Authorities (WSAs) should not only provide the water services necessary for basic health and hygiene. The municipalities are also required to provide services, which support sustainable livelihoods and economic development. This paper reflects the process followed in meeting the above challenges as well as the lessons learned.



  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering

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  • Water, Engineering and Development Centre (WEDC)

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GOUNDEN, T. ... et al, 2006. Provision of free sustainable basic sanitation: the Durban experience. IN: Fisher, J. (ed). Sustainable development of water resources, water supply and environmental sanitation: Proceedings of the 32nd WEDC International Conference, Colombo, Sri Lanka, 13-17 November 2006, pp. 22-25.


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