How do you get households to connect to existing sewer networks?

  • meleesa
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How do you get households to connect to existing sewer networks?

Hello and thank you for having me on the Forum!

My name is Meleesa and I work as a consultant for the World Bank. I also work part-time for the secretariat of a sister network of SuSanA, the Rural Water Supply Network.

My question is to do with some research I am conducting for the World Bank. One of the many challenges faced in urban settings is getting households to connect to existing sewer networks. I would be interested in hearing the experiences of members/ institutions in getting households to connect to existing conventional sewerage in cities in developing countries, or cases they may be familiar with. In particular, it would be great to hear from those programs that were not successful in getting households to connect, and potential reasons why.

The programs that I have come across so far use: (i) financial incentives and subsidies; (ii) social programs and other communication strategies; (iii) legal mechanisms; and (iv) activities that reduce the transaction costs for households (e.g., simplifying the bureaucratic process). I am interested in all these approaches, plus any other factors that may have contributed to helping people connect (or not).

Thanks and best wishes,
Meleesa
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  • muench
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Re: How do you get households to connect to existing sewer networks?

Dear Meleesa!

Welcome to this Forum!

You have probably already browsed through the existing threads on similar topics and found them not to answer your question.
But just in case you haven't, I wanted to point out two that are somewhat related (perhaps you could explain why they are different to your situation though):
In Indonesia and Vietnam, it is for the government to make house connections with the main sewers - forum.susana.org/component/kunena/165-ce...with-the-main-sewers

Case studies for Settled Sewerage system - forum.susana.org/component/kunena/165-ce...tled-sewerage-system

In Germany we have a legal instrument called "Anschlusszwang" in German which means translated "being forced to connect". So by law - if there is a sewer system - you HAVE TO connect to it, and pay the wastewater fees (which has caused some legal fights by home owners who had constructed wetlands)

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Elisabeth

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  • meleesa
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Re: How do you get households to connect to existing sewer networks?

Dear Elisabeth,

Thank you for your prompt response!
I am familiar with the WSP publication on Vietnam and Indonesia - that is precisely the type of insights we are interested in. However I am interested in hearing from experiences from more countries/ cities, and in a developing context.

In fact, we find that it is legally compulsory to connect to the sewerage network in many cities or countries, but in developing country contexts this is rarely enforced. Costs is one of the reasons, but there are other reasons as the WSP publication shows: lack of knowledge, low demand, the fact that neighbours are not connected...

We realise that the reasons for not connecting to an existing network may vary depending on the context and would like to hear from the experiences of the SuSanA members. We are particularly interested in experiences in cities in South Asia, African cities (where there is not much sewerage, but when it exists, connections are very low) and Eastern European/ CIS cities.

Thanks for the link to the settled sewerage forum question - pardon my ignorance, is this the same as condominial? I am mostly looking at connections to existing conventional sewerage networks.

Thanks and best wishes
Meleesa
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  • MauaCharlotte
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Re: How do you get households to connect to existing sewer networks?

Hello Meleesa,

I am currently working in the Upscaling Basic Sanitation for the Urban Poor (UBSUP)programme in Kenya and we are improving the sanitation for people living in Urban Low Income Areas (LIAs) especially on plot and household level. In Kenya, the sewerage connection is very low in the urban LIAs therefore some of the ways we are directly using are:

1. The programme is being implemented by the Water Service Providers who have the mandate to provide water and sanitation/sewerage services to the people living in their jurisdiction. Therefore, for any plot they provide with incentivised toilets, they encourage to connect to the existing sewer.

2. The programme is based on a sanitation value chain concept. This entails the whole collection, storage, emptying, tansportation and treatment of the feacal sludge. In areas with sewer, this already justifies the value chain. Without the sewer, other residents are forced to construct septic tanks which are costly.

Whereas this two valid points do not encourage rapid connections to the sewer, they stimulate it. The catch in the programme is that for every project toilet constructed, it has to be connected to a sewer(if available) or a septic tank is constructed. The sewer charges are then incorporated as a percentage of the cost in the water bill.

Regards

Charlotte

Charlotte M. M. Nyatichi
GIZ Water Sector Reform Programme, Kenya
Up-scaling Basic Sanitation for the Urban Poor (UBSUP)
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  • meleesa
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Re: How do you get households to connect to existing sewer networks?

Thank you Charlotte for your helpful response!

I have read in the UPSUP case study on SuSanA that around a quarter (24%) of toilets constructed through the program are connected to the network.

You said: "The catch in the programme is that for every project toilet constructed, it has to be connected to a sewer (if available) or a septic tank is constructed. The sewer charges are then incorporated as a percentage of the cost in the water bill."

I wondered if you could tell me how much does it cost (on average) for households to connect to the sewer, and who pays upfront for the costs of connection - the landlord or the utility? And who is responsible for the connection to the sewer?

Thanks a lot and best wishes
Meleesa
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  • MauaCharlotte
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Re: How do you get households to connect to existing sewer networks?

Dear Meleesa,

The cost for connection into the sewer varies depending on the water company. Currently some of the companies in Kenya are charging between Kshs 4,000 and 6,000( this is roughly between $40 and $60). The cost is paid by the owner of the plot to the water company and the company then comes and carries out the connection.

Regards

Charlotte M. M. Nyatichi
GIZ Water Sector Reform Programme, Kenya
Up-scaling Basic Sanitation for the Urban Poor (UBSUP)
Technical Advisor

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  • meleesa
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Re: How do you get households to connect to existing sewer networks?

Thank you Charlotte - this is very helpful!
Best wishes
Meleesa
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  • issantos
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Re: How do you get households to connect to existing sewer networks?

Hi Meleesa,

I work at a Water and Sanitation State Comany in southern Brazil. We have a program called "Floripa se liga na Rede", which means something like "get conected to the sewer network". It's a shared responsability between the Company, households and municipal agencies that inspect environmental factors in the city of Florianópolis, capital of our state. The program exists since 2013.

Agents visit every household in neighbourhoods where sewer systems are active. They inspect individual connections, registering and orienting in case of irregularities. In these cases, a second inspection is made within two weeks in order to check if connections were set right, in case they are still irregular irregular, a formal complaint is adressed to regulatory agencies, which may culminate in other administrative measures. About 50% of inspections identify some irregularity, and regularization after a new ispection is still low - about 13%.

There's no accurate information about the reasons why people don't connect households to sewer systems correctly, only what is knew thorugh common sense, like expensive costs in connections or lack of information. The program focuses on individual orientation. A few debates are in course regarding specific credit lines to afford household connection, since our laws highlight the responsability of water and sanitation system users in proper connection.

I'm recently geting envolved with this program to think and develop actions in order to answer the same question you're asking in this topic. Hoping that the informations above can somehow be useful, I'm open for dialogue in this subject.

Best regards.

Igor Schutz dos Santos
Psychologist
CASAN - Brazil
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  • dannyogwo
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Re: How do you get households to connect to existing sewer networks?

I am Daniel from Nigeria, I happened to see sewage networked during my childhood in the Estate where my Dad worked in a Cement Company. Currently, sewage network is available in Nigeria from the areas I have covered. It is mainly on household to provide there own sewage. Therefore there is no centralized sewage.

Daniel Iroegbu
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Re: How do you get households to connect to existing sewer networks?

Please I meant that sewage network is not available in Nigeria except in some residential blocks where individuals separation of the household sewage will occupy space.

Daniel Iroegbu
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  • meleesa
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Re: How do you get households to connect to existing sewer networks?

Thank you Igor for this details example. The post-construction verification is an interesting aspect in this program. Are the irregularities mostly technical, or of another nature (illegal connections)? And is the user penalized in case of irregularities (and if so, how?)

We have quite a few good examples from Brasil, including in Espiritu Santo and Sao Paulo. We would be happy to share with you and the SuSanA community the results of our review if it can be of use.

Many thanks and best wishes,
Meleesa
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  • meleesa
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Re: How do you get households to connect to existing sewer networks?

Thank you Daniel, this is interesting. Indeed conventional sewerage is not developed in many cities. We also saw that in some cases, when it was developed in some residential districts a few decades ago for instance in Yaounde, the system was not managed sustainably and people actually ended up disconnecting from the sewerage network because it wasn't working or it was causing environmental health issues.

Some of these examples are covered here (in French only): www.pseau.org/epa/gdda/syntheses/autre_a...ette%20synth%C3%A8se
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