Unbundling tenure issues for urban sanitation development
thesisposted on 21.06.2011, 15:11 authored by Pippa Scott
Urbanisation in sub-Saharan Africa is characterised by a proliferation of informal settlements which all too often embody poverty; low access to basic services and lack secure tenure. The reality of sanitation infrastructure in low and middle income cities is a spectrum of sanitation systems ranging from conventional utility managed systems to basic household facilities. Population growth has outpaced urban planning and provision and, given projected urbanisation trends, a prevalence of non-piped self-build sanitation systems is the most likely scenario for urban sanitation in the developing world, at least for the immediate to mid-term. This presents different governance challenges especially as informal occupations are often on unsuitable land which exacerbates the difficulties in service provision. Sanitation, tenure and development are inextricably linked, not only with respect to these challenges of urbanisation, but also under the strategic objectives of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG). Together sanitation and tenure security are primary indicators of the MDG7, targets ten (access to improved sanitation) and eleven (improving the lives of slum dwellers). The link between sanitation and tenure is the focus of this research. Both tenure and sanitation are fragmented into their component parts to understand exactly how and where they interact. Tenure is defined in terms of formal land tenure; tenure status (to differentiate between landlord and tenant) and tenure security. Sanitation issues are investigated with respect to access, household investment and emptying behaviours. The research framework combines the concept of decision making domains to describe the urban context with a city-wide systems view of sanitation, where both formal and informal institutional arrangements are considered. This research concludes on five main points: firstly, tenure security is a necessary precondition for household investment but, given that urban sanitation development and provision happen largely under the radar of formal city planning and urban management, it is de facto rather than de jure tenure rights that provide the security for household investment in sanitation. The second finding is that few urban sanitation strategies cater for those who are unwilling or unable to invest. This is a fundamental oversight in current urban sanitation strategies of the population segments who cannot invest, thus failing to provide a sanitation strategy for all. This is of growing concern given the type of urbanisation being witnessed in developing countries characterised by increasing concentrations low income populations and tenants. The third finding is that those who are unwilling to invest may be willing to pay (and do) for sanitation services. This places a greater emphasis on downstream and operational sanitation activities (i.e. tenure neutral options). The fourth finding is that there are multiple service providers and majority of urban sanitation transactions take place outside the formal service provision. Giving meaning to these informal transactions is likely to offer insight into improved governance for urban sanitation. The final point is that there is a need to widen the scope of formal sanitation service provision to include tenure neutral sanitation options to reach the needs of tenants and those living with poor tenure security. xiii Practically, this means that by taking a city-wide approach supported by the sanitation cityscape tool which is presented in the thesis one can identify which element(s) of the sanitation system are most appropriate to target given the tenure situation. Without this consideration, urban sanitation interventions are likely to be targeted inappropriately. These conclusions are based upon primary data collected from a household survey (n=363) and a series of key informant interviews collected during 2008 in Greater Dakar, Senegal.
- Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering