Posts Tagged ‘water supply’

The state of urban health in India

April 20, 2011 Leave a comment

Environment and Urbanization, April 2011

The state of urban health in India; comparing the poorest quartile to the rest of the urban population in selected states and cities

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Siddharth Agarwal, Urban Health Resource Centre (UHRC),;

India has the world’s second largest urban population (after China). This paper shows the large disparities within this urban population in health-related indicators. It shows the disparities for child and maternal health, provision for health care and housing conditions between the poorest quartile and the rest of the urban population for India and for several of its most populous states. In the poorest quartile of India’s urban population, only 40 per cent of 12 to 23 month-old children were completely immunized in 2004—2005, 54 per cent of under-five year-olds were stunted, 82 per cent did not have access to piped water at home and 53 per cent were not using a sanitary flush or pit toilet.

The paper also shows the large disparities in eight cities between the poorest population (the population in the city that is within the poorest quartile for India’s urban areas), the population living in settlements classified as “slums” and the non-slum population. It also highlights the poor performance in some health-related indicators for the population that is not part of the poorest quartile in several states — for instance in under-five mortality rates, in the proportion of stunted children and in the proportion of households with no piped water supply to their home.


Stanford University – Child Health Implications of Reorganizing the Urban Water Sector

March 31, 2011 Leave a comment

The Child Health Implications of Reorganizing the Urban Water Sector, January 2011.

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Katrina Kosec, Stanford University.

Each year, diarrheal diseases claim the lives of nearly 2 million people{ninety per-cent of them children under the age of fi ve. The problem is especially critical in Africa, which has ten percent of the world’s population but accounts for forty per-cent of child deaths. Can private sector participation (PSP) in the urban pipedwater industry improve child health? Allowing the private sector to provide basic infrastructure such as piped water is politically controversial, with some arguing that the private sector is more ecient and will lead to improvements in accessand quality, and others arguing that privatization will cause access and quality tosu er.

This paper uses a novel panel dataset on the sub-national regions of 25 African countries over 1985-2006 to shed light on this question. This is the period during which nearly all African countries that today have PSP in water introduced those arrangements. analysis suggests that the introduction of PSPdecreases diarrhea among under- ve children by about four percentage points, or23%. An instrumental variables analysis that uses variation in the share of theworld water market controlled by former colonizing countries suggests that the effects may be twice as large. The di fference between the OLS and the IV results can be explained by the fact that privatization is more likely when the water sector is already distressed and causing health problems.

Importantly, the diarrheal disease reduction bene fits of PSP appear to be greatest among the least-educated households, and smallest among the most-educated households. PSP in water also appears to be associated with signi cantly higher rates of reliance on piped wateras the primary water source, suggesting that increased access may be driving child health improvements.

IIED – Importance of wells to urban poor stressed

November 16, 2010 1 comment

International Institute for Environment and Development

Study reveals immense importance of ‘invisible’ water to urban poor

A key water resource that will grow in importance as climate change takes hold is currently going largely unmeasured — with big implications for poor communities in developing nations, says research published today (15 November 2010).

The International Institute for Environment and Development’s study shows that hundreds of millions of urban people in such countries already depend on this hidden resource.

Water taken directly from wells rather than being piped to users from surface-water supplies such as rivers and reservoirs is rarely taken into account, and it is therefore being used invisibly.

This might mean that it is being used unsustainably but it might also mean that groundwater has even greater potential to supply poor communities than is currently thought.

The study estimates that almost a third of urban households in sub-Saharan Africa and South and Southeast Asia rely on groundwater from local wells, and the share is considerably higher among poorer households.

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Categories: Global Tags: ,

IIED – Channels for change: private water and the urban poor

May 14, 2010 Leave a comment

Channels for change: private water and the urban poor

Matthew Lynch, Peter Matthews and Lily Ryan-Collins

Published: May 2010 – IIED

Full-text: (pdf, 413KB)

For the rapidly urbanising developing world, safe and affordable water is key to health and livelihoods, as well as meeting the Millennium Development Goals. But providing it demands innovative models. Where the context allows and the approach is appropriate, private sector involvement can generate win-win outcomes. Poor people can gain access to high-quality, affordable services, and companies can gain access to new and profitable business opportunities.

Two examples of innovative ‘private’ water suppliers are the Manila Water Company’s Water for the Poor Communities (TPSB) programme, and the Water & Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP) partnership. Both have a multisector approach to service expansion and provision, including partnerships with local authorities; strong community involvement in selecting, designing and operating options; appropriate service levels to reduce costs;~and a flexible range of services. Many elements of these models are also replicable.

Uganda: Quality of Kampala Water Deteriorating

December 7, 2009 Leave a comment

6 December 2009

 SCIENTISTS have revealed that the quality of water supplied to Kampala is deteriorating.  A team of professors and scientists from Makerere University and the University of Bergen in Norway, reveals in a report after a four year study, that consumption of Lake Victoria water is disastrous.  The authors say the National Water and Sewerage Corporation, the body responsible for water distribution in the city, needs to do more.

In the report:  Sharing water, Problems, conflicts and possible solutions-the case of Kampala, the scientists suggest that developments in science and technology will solve future challenges concerning the environment. “A lot of heavy metals remitted by the industries end up in Lake Victoria.  The swamps, wetland soil and plants accumulate the metals,” said Prof. Petter Larsson from University of Bern.  The study, released at Makerere University last week, shows that Nakivubo swamp (channel) has high concentrations of zinc, lead and nickel. “The soil and plants had concentration above accepted international standards,” said Dr. Anne Miyingo, a senior lecturer at the department of zoology in Makerere University. She said food and vegetables should have a metal concentration below 1mg/kg.

Prof. Edward Kirumira dean faculty of Social Science Makerere University said although the Government wants factories to strengthen national economy, it must not ignore the pollution caused. “In Kampala, the water environment is socially determined.  Inhabitants of Nakasero and Kololo have indoor water and are also connected to sewer systems that lead to the treatment plant in Bugolobi,” said Kirumira. “However, the sewer has not been maintained. In many places, manhole covers have been stolen and the sewer filled with rubbish.” The sewarage works were designed to treat 32,000 cubic metres per day but are receiving less due to blockages in the system. 

People who live on hills are better off because they have septic tank systems where the liquids are disposed in the ground, while the solid parts are collected and taken to the sewage plant. The study points out that most people without toilets use pit latrines or plastic bags. “Most of the poor in Kampala live in wetlands, where spring water is contaminated, malaria cases are high and the risk of flooding is great,” said Dr. Ssengendo. He said industries in Kampala, close to wetlands, discharge effluents into water sources from which some residents collect domestic water. “Of the sewerage produced, only 27% is treated in Bugolobi. About 10% of the population produces sewerage from toilets, what happens to the 90%? Pit latrines have to be emptied by flushing during floods,” Ssengendo said.

Kampala City Council collects 25% of the solid waste generated every month while households in slums make  arrangements to dispose waste at mini-open-dump sites near their backyards. “As the dumped waste decomposes, the runoff seeps into water sources and contaminates them during the rainy season,” read the report.  Wetlands are effective natural filters that purify polluted water.  However, Nakivubo swamp has reduced its cleaning capacity due to increased agriculture and buildings, which allows waste to seep into Lake Victoria.

The scientists point out an inherent conflict between water meant for human use and the waste water produced.  “Domestic water should not contain any living organisms, particles or polluting chemicals,” says Kirumira. Bacteria, algae cells, aquatic animals, dead organic particles and ions of heavy metals are not acceptable in water used for drinking, food production, cleaning and swimming. The study also states that: “In contrast to drinking water, waste water contains compounds and particles we want to get rid of.  Some might be poisonous, but most of them are breakdown products from organic compounds like faeces and cleaning agents.”

From the water works point of view, using a water body that is a recipient for waste water creates problems. Extra effort has to be used in the cleaning process. If the raw water for the waterworks is mixed with waste water, special treatment is necessary,” said Kirumira. Chlorine added to drinking water removes most harmful micro-organisms but some parasites are resistant to the treatment.  Particles like mercury may accumulate in living organisms through the food chain and end up in high concentrations in fish due to the bio-accumulation,” reads the report.


  • 27% of sewage produced is treated in Bugolobi.
  • 10% of the population produce sewage from toilets.
  • KCC collects 25% of the solid waste produced every month.
Categories: Uganda Tags: ,

Growing slums ‘face water crisis’

November 4, 2008 Leave a comment

Rapid urbanisation in developing nations threatens to trigger a water and sanitation crisis in quickly expanding slums, a report has warned.

Charity WaterAid said chronic water shortages in many of the world’s slums were being exacerbated by the arrival of millions of people each week.

Populations in developing nations are set to triple over the next 30 years.

The authors called on the international community to take urgent action to tackle the problem.

“Sanitation and water are integral to urban development and yet there is no coherent commitment by governments and donors to address this crisis,” said Timeyin Uwejamomere, the report’s author.

“It needs to be given the highest priority and recognition that water and sanitation brings massive health, education and economic benefits.”

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Categories: Global Tags: ,