Sanitation in Small Towns: Experience from Mozambique

WASH services in small towns are frequently neglected by all branches of government due to lack of capacity, unclear mandates, low budgets and lack of feasible options to provide services.

Sanitation in Small Towns: Experience from Mozambique
UNICEF Mozambique/2016

Highlights

WASH services in small towns are frequently neglected by all branches of government due to lack of capacity, unclear mandates, low budgets and lack of feasible options to provide services. Typical hightech infrastructure solutions are neither feasible nor affordable for these contexts.

Progress towards MDG- and sanitation-specific targets in sub-Saharan Africa is much higher in urban areas. However such achievements often mask a disparity between the rich and poor in urban contexts and between major urban cities and small towns or rural centres. This is reflected in the relatively higher indicators of deprivations in small towns compared to urban centres.

Mozambique initiated a small towns WASH programme in Nampula Province in 2012 targeting 5 small towns. The baseline figures for sanitation coverage in the target towns were high (average 90% with access to a basic latrine). The level of open defecation in the selected towns was found to be relatively low, traditional (unimproved) latrine coverage high, reflecting a latent demand for improved sanitation facilities in the more densely populated environment typical of small towns.

However on closer investigation it can be seen that the outer edges of the town tend toward higher open defecation rates; the peri-urban areas had improved latrine coverage; and the most densely populated centre had very high coverage of latrines. Regardless, the number of improved latrines overall was very small and evidence of handwashing low.

Author(s)
UNICEF
Publication date
Languages
English

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