Assessing the capacity of small independent providers to deliver improved sanitation at scale in low income urban settlements
thesisposted on 04.04.2013, 13:05 authored by Amaka O. Godfrey
More than half of the human population will be living in urban areas in 2008, of which 81 percent will be in poor areas of towns and cities of the developing world. Governments of most African cities are unable to provide the urgently needed sanitation facilities amongst other services. The informal sector (small independent providers) rather than externally supported efforts provide the majority of household sanitation facilities. The commonly held assumption amongst sector professionals is that partnership with the informal private sector to develop the sanitation market is a sustainable way of increasing access to improved sanitation in low-income urban areas. This research assesses the capacity of small independent providers of sanitation services (SIPS) to up scale and accelerate the delivery of improved sanitation. The thesis adds to an · improved understanding of the capacity of small independent sanitation providers to upscale the delivery of improved sanitation and answers the following questions: what is their level of knowledge, skills and experiences of various sanitation options?; what are house owners' preferences?; and what are their experiences of obtaining sanitation services from small independent providers?. The research adopted a mix of qualitative and quantitative research methodologies in order to ensure the validity and reliability of the findings. The field work was conducted in the three municipalities in the city of Oar es Salaam, Tanzania. The thesis concludes that small independent providers have the potential to upscale the delivery of improved sanitation facilities but not without capacity building, particularly in the areas of developing appropriate sanitation technologies; appropriate enabling environment (infrastructure to support hygienic emptying and sludge disposal, and effective policy and regulatory framework) and support with demand generation. The implications of the research highlight the need to integrate any SIPS capacity enhancement and 'official' involvement in sanitation provision as part of an urban improvement programme. The recommendations from the thesis outline key support areas for the respective SIPS typologies, and the responsibilities of the various stakeholders (government, NGOs, donors) and SIPS. Potential areas of further research include development of appropriate sanitation technology for low-income urban settlements and creating an effective enabling environment.
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