GEOG Lecture 3 January 22,
water and sanitation
public, private, or community based provision models
health and environmental implications
politicization of access
1) Water and sanitation
Infrastructure in general is so important because its one of the foundational forms of
cities. Has lot to do with poverty as well.
MDG: by 2015 have the proportion of people who don’t have access halved. Overall over
18 years we have increased access in the different categories about 2%.
Carribean, latin America, asia and south east asia have met this goal already.
we see a bigger increase in terms of urban people who gained access ▯ most of the
improvements have been in the cities
persistent greater need amongst the rural
important point of inequality, rural people face a much harder issue. Urban dweller is
1.8x more likely to have access to improved water than rural.
Political stability matters ▯low income stable countries out performed resource
rich unstable countries
Financing is important with regards to seeing a huge shift in the pattern of aid
delivery ▯used to be majorly provided by outside sources, but we are now seeing
country led programmatic services so the local government gets the money and
then decides where it should go ▯led to strengthened service delivery pathways
that translate inputs into outcomes.
Social limitations: we have more people relying on unimproved sources in rural areas, the
individuals that get the improved service are generally the affluent residents. Because of
copaying, more political power in those communities
Sanitation: from 1990 2008 there were very little improvements. Certain places are not
on track to meet their goals, but places like asia and Africa and south America are all very
Not only do we not have people that have adequate sewage, and people that are
participating in open sewage ▯ over 1 billion people were still practicing open sewage in
Helicopter toilet: bathroom in a baggy and throw it somewhere. Where progress has occurred it has largely bypassed the poor (higher end communities
are the ones reaping the benefits)
How much water is available? How much is necessary for basic needs? Do we want to
give people limitless amounts of water?
If you buy a local product its made with local water, if you import it (like food) the other
country used their water to grow it so the local country is saving water.
Zawahri Case Study:
water sanitation in MENA (middle east and north Africa)
politics of measuring and assessment
when is water considered improved?
water bottles were considered not improved because of environmental
you run a pipe to the persons door from the exact same water source as before and
its considered improved
access, water quality, affordability, environmental sustainability
pricing ▯private or public provision?
Incentives for the government to overstate improvements and mask local service
inequalities and project internationally that they’re meeting their targets ▯may end
up getting them additional funding ▯may take very selective data
Data collection: how its done ▯household surveys : Egypt with high rates of
informal housing so these people are missed and those are the communities more
likely to have less access. You ask them if their water is safe ▯ they don’t know
what to say they don’t understand what makes it safe. You must make them
meaningful. Assessment questionnaires, physical testing ▯when actually done the
highest they got was 70% so they were all still very far from being considered
Improved may not mean sufficient ▯but it still means improved.
Joshi Case Study
dignity as a basic sanitation need (due to gender, poverty, culture)
why are these inequities in sanitation provision? (cost ▯ expensive to put in septic
tanks and sewage systems, technology ▯ongoing need for updating, lack of
demand ▯ poor people don’t think its important i ▯ gnorance ▯usually measured
through economics therefore its people not being able tp pay for it, not NOT
ACTUALLY there is a lot of awareness.
Residents of informal structure need housing tenure and property rights because
why would they invest their money when they could get kicked out?
Found that actually people are very willing to do it ▯reasons so they can’t get
kicked out because of legitimacy.
Many externally imposed sanitation programs are not sufficiently sanitary (hand
washing campaigns ▯people are aware of this, people cant afford water or soap
which is why they maybe cant do it) Governments budgets get smaller, messages get more simplistic. Assume its an
easy fix, and don’t take into consideration all the complexity.
Difference between an ability to pay and a willingness to pay. ▯they are willing
and not ignorant of their sanitation needs, they are just too poor to pay what’s
urban India faces limitations from colonial city layouts, poorly financed
municipalities that are unable to manage further growth ▯many people don’t have
legal title t land so you cant keep track of people or charge property tax, and a
middle class who monopolizes the state funding for sanitation ▯people who are
able to lobby to make their case are often people who are not the poorest, but they
then speak on behalf of everyone.
Community ▯▯NGO partnerships that have been successful to building local
community toilets, NGOs can work closely with the poor communities and
identify local priorities.
Poor people need to improve their advocacy skills, they could have more political
leverage than they do
free water to south African municipalities
make sure every community has access to free water ▯human right
1996 “right to sufficient water” constitutionally established
policy was to provide all south Africans with free basic water ▯critiqued as
populist and going to the lowest of the low trying to win them over, others said
water is an economic good and come people may value it over others and we need
to keep it that way.
When water is free people use more of it, when its economic they’re conscious
about its use and conserve.
However, the end results were seen as a success ▯ there was financial stability in
water supply institutions because the government was going to pay them and it
was reliable so they could plan to help more people. Ability to promote water
conservation because it is a right makes it precious, and generally more equitable
access to water ▯people who were excluded from other systems were now
included although there were still some issues.
strong connection to health, the ability to be hygienic, drink clean and safe water
and have enough of it (contamination) ▯more people die from poor water quality
than armed weapons. Inexpensive with HUGE returns.
Waterborne diseases are the cause of 3.5 million deaths per year ▯60% of infant
mortality because of it
Infant mortality is a good indicator of these issues because it is very closely linked
Cultural issues: religious value of water
Gender: women collecting water Water pollution ▯ agriculture (pressure to grow more food), sewage, urban sprawl
and inefficient water main designs (systems that make it harder to put things in to
prepare for other factors).
Diversion schemes ▯dams and irrigation can have huge implications for rural
communities by displacing them for the largescale development. Biggest issue
with exporting crops.
Threat of privatization ▯service models for increased efficiency ▯there are a lot of
case studies that have shown it has been detrimental to rural communities, usually
increased water fees and decreased coverage.
International conflicts ▯water can exacerbate an already existing conflict; people
will begin to fight over water as it becomes scarce.
people are using other means and burning solid fuels and causes a lot of
chemically filled smoke, and the smoke causes health issues and death
a lot of the unmet need