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Background paper presented at the East Africa practioners workshop on pro-poor urban sanitation and hygiene, Laico Umbano Hotel, Kigali, Rwanda, march 29th - 31st 2011

TitlePro-poor sanitation and hygiene in East Africa : turning challenges to opportunities
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsLubaale, G.N., Musyoki, S.M.
Pagination16 p.; 3 tab.
Date Published2011-03-31
PublisherIRC
Place PublishedThe Hague, The Netherlands
Keywordsaccess to sanitation, east africa, literature reviews, literature searching, poverty, sanitation services, urban communities
Abstract

This paper will contribute to both discussions at the March 2011 East Africa Practitioners Workshop and also provide a basis for further in-depth studies on policy, advocacy, and research on pro-poor sanitation and hygiene in urban East Africa. The information presented is a synthesis of literature. In East Africa, poverty remains one of the greatest challenges facing the people and their governments. From a water and sanitation perspective, commendable achievements for better health, water and sanitation have been realized. The public health situation in East Africa’s urban poor is greatly compromised because of inadequate sanitation and hygiene. The institutional framework for addressing urban sanitation and hygiene does not work for the poor. Sanitary conditions are particularly poor in East Africa’s slums, where a majority of residents resort to open spaces and pit latrines that are over-used and inadequately maintained. Conventional public finance in sanitation generally focuses on subsidies for household and public toilets and grants for urban sewerage and solid waste systems. Despite these challenges numerous opportunities can be discerned. These opportunities include advocacy, research, service delivery, and even programming interventions for civil society, the private sector, and the state(s). With an increasingly supportive political environment, all actors including the urban poor ought to pro-actively support participatory interventions. The other opportunities relate to pro-poor financing through loans or revolving funds managed through micro-finance institutions. Civil society could engage sanitation and hygiene for the urban poor and explore partnerships to support civil society participation in these crucial policy processes. While the discussion in this paper is not exhaustive or even fully representative of the current and complex sanitation and hygiene situation in urban East Africa, it shows glaring gaps for intervention. [authors abstract]

This three-day workshop aims to identify proven good practices in the sanitation and hygiene sector, as well as drawing lessons from failures to enter into the policy dialogue. It focuses on urban sanitation with an emphasis on learning and innovation in the sector. It was organised by : UNICEF, GTZ, WSSCC, WaterAid and IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre, and hosted by the Rwandan Ministry of Health.

NotesWith 25 references
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