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<International Source Book On Environmentally Sound Technologies
for Wastewater and Stormwater Management>

1.11.5 KWAHO in Kibera, Nairobi

Kibera, Nairobi’s largest peri-urban settlement has a population 470,000. Kibera slums represent 25% of Nairobi’s population, and are located on a land area of 110 ha. Population density at Kibera is 2300/ha

The water supply situation is not too bad as there are 800 water points with public and private access. Population per water point varies from 291 in Laini Saba to 743-790 in Kianda, Silanga and Makina. Sanitation is however pathetic: there are only 2800 toilets for the whole of the 200 ha slum area. i.e. 170 persons per toilet; it is 257 and 330 per toilet in Kianda and Soweto respectively. Moreover, most of these toilets are not always in good condition. Drainage is virtually non-existent. During the rains April/May and December, the areas can hardly be traversed on foot and storm water and sullage is of particular nuisance.

The Kenya Water for Health Organization (KWAHO) helped poor residents of Nairobi in formal settlement to establish a latrine emptying service for which they were willing to pay in advance (KWAHO, 1992).

With KWAHO’s help, the residents built VIP latrines and needed a way to dispose of the resulting waste. The Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NIRDA) provided support for a special suction truck able to maneuver its way through the narrow streets and empty the pit latrines regularly. A 13-member community management team oversees the operation. More than 6,000 households paid the US $9 advance fee to have their home latrines emptied.

1.11.6 The strategic approach in Ouagadougou

Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso) wastewater plan used the strategic approach.
The choice of technologies depends on:

  • Settlement type
  • Preference of users
  • Existing installations
  • Water service/use level
  • Natural conditions, e.g. geology & soil, hydrology
  • Construction and maintenance costs & affordability

Pilot project was launched to evaluate technology options: VIP/ Manual flushing latrines, septic tanks with soakaway trenches, block of public latrines, wash tubs and sumps for household wastewater; rehabilitation of existing installations.

The Private sector carries out the construction and maintenance. The National Water and Sanitation Office (ONEA) of Burkina Faso is normally in charge of planning for Ouagadougou.

Lessons learnt from the project indicate that sustainability can only be assured if responsibilities are truly shared among that three tiers or foci: the community, private sector and the public sector

1.11.7 Kumasi: The strategic approach to waste and wastewater management

Since 1991, the Kumasi sanitation project in Ghana has applied the strategic approach to develop strategy for urban sanitation in Kumasi of 770,000 people in which 75% lack adequate sanitation services. With the assistance from UNDP-World Bank Water and Sanitation Program in Abidjan; the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly adopted a demand ’Edriven approach based on user preferences and willingness to pay, short planning horizon (10-15 years) and breaking of the overall plan into projects that can be implemented separately but incrementally providing total coverage.

A survey of willingness to pay for improved sanitation services was very positive.

  • The poorest people who used public latrines were paying more for sanitation than those with household systems and so were willing to pay more to have improved home sanitation.
  • The $28 million sanitation plan (1991-2000) includes $15 million for home latrines (10% financed by users), $9 million for sewers in tenement areas (no user finance), $3 million for schools and public facilities and & $1 million for support to the Waste Management Department Unit. Unit costs are $31 per capita in the lower density housing area (population of 470,000) and $53 per capita in the tenement housing area (population of 170,000). Public latrines are to be under private sector management franchises.

In contrast to the strategic approach, past approaches to urban sanitation have usually been based on city wide, donor financed high projects that attempt to address all the problems at once with little recognition of true priorities or user demands.

The status of wastewater and stormwater management in the region is certainly far from satisfactory. A few countries have caught the vision of the need for strategic approach to water and sanitation services by providing services that are demand driven, participatory and affordable, while the goal of cost recovery is kept in sharp focus. This trend is emerging because the government could not live to its promise of providing adequate subvention to enable the sector agencies provide adequate coverage and level of service. Nevertheless a large number of governments of these poor developing economies still fail to demonstrate political will to play the role of facilitator and minimizing disrupting intervention in tariff and other decisions that are vital for sustainability of the services.

The acute shortage of funding for clearing the backlog and expanding the services as urban population continues to explode, has also led some countries to develop strategies for tapping the private sector‘s resources. In countries where a form of privatization in either form of service or management contracts have been adopted, much more efficient and adequate services are being provided. It has been shown in many studies that the people in this region, including the low-income class are willing to pay higher tariff for improved services in the water sector. But while people of Botswana may be paying less than 7% of their income on water and sanitation services, full waterborne sanitation services in particular are not affordable in many African countries. Such services may exceed 60% of the income of many prospective users. There is therefore a need to carry out proper rapid assessment to determine appropriate wastewater disposal technology.

In sub-Saharan Africa, where availability of water in adequate quantity cannot be taken for granted, and where settlement pattern and accessibility and internal services (pedestal with flush mechanism, toilet structure, on-site sewer connection and internal reticulation) are often not suited to the desired waste disposal and management technology, much flexibility must be applied. These internal services may raise housing value by up to 20% or more (as in Gaborone) and be unaffordable for a number of low-income people. There is no doubt that a comprehensive approach to wastewater and stormwater management is indispensable for sustainable management. It should include considerations of aspects of water supply, housing type and infrastuctures, solid waste disposal, and the proportion of users' income going to the various service.


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