Beyond ‘Improved’ Towards ‘Safe and Sustainable’ Urban Sanitation: Assessing the Design, Management and Functionality of Sanitation in Poor Communities of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

This journal paper by Jenkins et al. (2014) outlines the findings of a SHARE-funded study which assessed sanitation access in rapidly expanding informal settlements in Dar es Salaam against eight proposed indicators of hygienic safety, sustainability and functionality, and in relation to the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) ‘improved’ sanitation definition. While 56% of households were found to use a facility that met the MDG improved technology definition, only 8% had a functional facility that could be considered as hygienically safe and sustainable sanitation. Safe, sustainable, functioning sanitation access was 2.6 times greater among the richest quintile than the two poorest quintiles. Very poor sanitation services among Dar es Salaam's urban poor arise from widespread lack of access to hygienically safe pit emptying services, unhygienic designs and functionality problems. As new goals and targets beyond 2015 are discussed, these findings may have important implications for defining what constitutes ‘improved’ sanitation for poor populations living in unplanned informal settlements. THe paper was published in the Journal of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for Development.

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