The purpose of this conference is to critically analyze the accomplishments and shortcomings of African governance, from a comparative perspective, as it relates to the critical issues of water supply and sanitation in the context of rapidly expanding urban populations.
In recent years, most Third World nations have experienced a very rapid growth in their urban populations without the corresponding capacity and resources to expand public provision of basic services such as water supply and sanitation. The result is that in virtually every urban center, many people live in neighborhoods with little or no provision of basic infrastructure facilities that are essential for health. Improved access to water supply and sanitation brings with it considerable economic benefits at the household level. Beyond reducing the water-borne and water-washed diseases, providing better access to water and sanitation confers many other diverse benefits ranging from the easily identifiable costs avoided due to less illness to the time saved associated with closer location of the facilities.
Some of the questions to be addressed include: What is the value added in expanding WSS access to the poor? How has globalization affected the tens and thousands of smaller urban centers in developing countries with a high proportion of the world’s urban poor live in comparison with the capital city or port cities which are the hub of economic activity? What effects does the commodification of water supply and sanitation have on the urban poor in developing countries? What is the appropriate division of labor between the public and private section in meeting the water and sanitation needs of urban residents in such countries?
Published: Tuesday, May 03, 2005
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