This paper provides an overview of urban sanitation while highlighting the need to address this challenge with emphasis on including slum dwellers and poor communities that have typically been neglected.
- Sanitary conditions for poor people in urban areas are aggravated by high-density living, inadequate septic and solid waste management, and poor drainage.
- Massive investments in infrastructure to address urban sanitation in developing countries have often resulted in patchy and unreliable coverage, mostly for richer users, and frequently leaving poorer communities to fend for themselves.
- Urban sanitation must be poor-inclusive and implemented within a citywide framework to be effective.
- Poor communities often lack political influence to affect municipal decisions, so sanitary conditions in these communities may not be political priorities for decision-makers.
- Sanitation services fail primarily because of an inadequate service delivery chain rather than a lack of infrastructure.
- Effective sanitation services require a national enabling environment, local governance, and community consultation.