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TitleA $0.14 toilet in a month: financing urban eco-sanitation through group savings in Malawi
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsKhataza, R
Pagination6 p.; 4 notes; 3 refs.; 2 photo.
Date Published2008-11-19
Place PublishedDelft, The Netherlands
Keywordscost savings, development cooperation, ecological sanitation, malawi, microcredit

Malawi is one of the countries with the highest rate of urbanisation estimated at 6.4%. The country faces serious challenges associated with the rapid growth of urban slums and informal settlements. Nearly 90% of urban residents in the traditional housing area live in overcrowded slum conditions under excruciating effects of poverty. On average, there is too little plot space left to accommodate further excavation of pit-latrines.The provision of proper sanitation to urban slums is a sine qua non for a healthy and active life of their population. However, similar to the majority of low income groups, slum dwellers ordinarily do not have access to formal capital to finance sanitation because most of them lack the conventional collaterals that most banks demand. In the past, several efforts have been initiated to facilitate the construction of safer toilets, e.g. casting slabs for individual households to buy, but most households still lack proper toilets and refuse disposal system.The scale of the urban sanitation problem requires revolutionary thinking if major progress is to be achieved. In line with this, CCODE is championing a loan-financed urban sanitation programme, with an entrepreneurship approach. Each programme package (comprising ECO-SAN toilets, kiosk-piped water and skills training for improved livelihoods) produces a business product. The loan comes from a revolving fund basket where network members save their monthly contributions. This initiative is self-sustaining and links the poor to support-organisations for top-up funds. This cost-sharing approach is quite significant because it breaks the dependency syndrome and recognizes the untapped potential of the poor as real development partners and not passive recipients. This paper describes how the financing scheme works and gives its current achievements in eco-sanitation.

(Authors abstract)

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