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TitleMonitoring environmental sanitation by city-dwellers in Vila Machado, a peri-urban bairro of Metro São Paulo
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsBorba, ML, de Souza, DV
Pagination10 p.; 7 refs.; 1 tab.; 1 fig.
Date Published2008-11-19
Place PublishedDelft, The Netherlands
Keywordsaccess to water, brazil, brazil sao paulo, low-income communities, wastewater, water pollution, water resources, water supply, water use

The Paiva Castro reservoir is part of the Cantareira Water System. Coordinated by SABESP, the São Paulo State Basic Sanitation Company, the system generates 33m3 of water per second in order to meet the demand of nine million city dwellers for treated water in the São Paulo Metropolitan Area, Brazil. At the reservoir’s shores, Vila Machado, a low-income neighbourhood, has 95% of its houses connected to SABESP’s water supply network. Residents are happy with the water supply system but frustrated with the lack of a sewer collection network. Most households use septic-tanks only for toilets. All other wastewater is discharged on the streets to avoid paying for a more frequent septic-tank emptying. As a result, wastewater runs freely on the streets, attracting insects and rodents. This and other problems having a negative impact in the reservoir’s water and in the community life urged SABESP to start the implementation of a project for the environmental rehabilitation of Vila Machado. It focuses on the reduction of the sources of pollution, the regulation of land occupation and use and the participation of the residents in the management process. It uses a methodology of shared territorial management, having as its main component the integration between State, Municipality and residents in planning and implementing actions especially aimed at solving the problems caused by the lack of an appropriate sewer system and other difficulties. The project seeks to adopt the principles of Good Governance as it includes also the residents in the decision-making process. It makes the most of SABESP’s willingness to listen and discuss the technical alternatives possible for the area and of the readiness of the local Municipal authorities to participate. Based on Action Monitoring for Effectiveness, the residents, in collaboration with SABESP, are developing a monitoring programme, where they identify topics to be monitored and actions to be taken in order to preserve the improvements that will be implemented. Hopefully the results will confirm the opportunity of considering this programme of monitoring environmental sanitation by city dwellers as a strategy for the inclusion of the urban poor in the shared-management process in Vila Machado as well as in other areas.

(authors abstract)

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