How Durban set the global standard for providing water and sanitation for the poor

How Durban set the global standard for providing water and sanitation for the poor | Source: Keith Schneider, Citiscope.org, Feb 18, 2016 |

DURBAN, South Africa — Arguably the most elegant aspect of an inelegant subject is how this city of 3.2 million residents, South Africa’s second largest, is solving monumental water and waste challenges in its jammed informal settlements.

The eThekwini Municipality Water and Sanitation department, Durban’s water and waste management provider, avoided paying for huge and expensive equipment, big pipelines, and complicated sewage disposal practices of centralized water and sanitation systems. Instead it deployed a decentralized strategy and less expensive tools that worked.

durban

At a cost of about US$65,000 each, Durban has funding to build about 80 more ablution blocks per year. (Keith Schneider)

The centerpiece of Durban’s program is the “community ablution block” public washroom. It’s an ordinary marine cargo container refitted inside with running water in sinks and wash basins, toilets and showers. Durban has 2,500 ablution blocks installed in many of its nearly 500 informal settlements, where homes made of scrap wood and corrugated metal don’t have running water or toilets. There’s sufficient public funding to fabricate and install perhaps 80 more ablution blocks annually.

Read the complete article.

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