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Urban water supply: small-scale providers in sub-Saharan Africa often costly

Published on: 21/04/2011

Small-scale private providers increase water supply coverage and reduce time spent on fetching water, often providing a vital service, particularly for low-income households in sub-Saharan Africa. However, in the absence of a coherent policy framework with effective tariff enforcement and water quality monitoring, small-scale providers often deliver services that are very costly and of varying quality.

Small-scale private providers increase water supply coverage and reduce time spent on fetching water, often providing a vital service, particularly for low-income households in sub-Saharan Africa. However, in the absence of a coherent policy framework with effective tariff enforcement and water quality monitoring, small-scale providers often deliver services that are very costly and of varying quality.

These are initial findings emerging from the in-depth case studies of three countries: Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda by UNDP’s Poverty Group and Environment and Energy Group. The studies examine to what extent the domestic private sector in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) contributes to achieving the target for access to safe water under MDG7. They are based on household and provider surveys as well as interviews with government officials and other stakeholders. Additional studies are planned for 2011, covering Angola, Burkina Faso, Mozambique and Senegal.

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Contact: Sara Rendtorff-Smith, UNDP, sara.rendtorff-smith@undp.org

Source: UNDP (2011). Urban water provision in sub-Saharan Africa: the role of the domestic private sector in accelerating MDG progress. (Issue brief, 15 Mar 2011). 2 p. Download full brief