Sanitation levy to improve onsite sanitation in informal settlements?

  • blevira
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Sanitation levy to improve onsite sanitation in informal settlements

The community is in the informal settlement, they practice onsite sanitation, they have been paying for emptying and transport services of the generated wastewater/faecal sludge. In order to improve the sanitation chain in this community, we thought of convincing the government to introduce the sanitation levy to this community. Let's say a certain % of the water bill to cover sanitation services. Is it that easy to mobilise this community to pay for sanitation levy?. Any thoughts?, Any publications related to this?

Beda Modest Levira
Environmental engineer and researcher
Ifakara Health Institute (IHI)
Tanzania, East Africa
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  • JKMakowka
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Re: Sanitation levy to improve onsite sanitation in informal settlements

Yes there have been examples of similar local by-laws but if it is an informal settlement it might be hard to enforce.

Maybe if there are pre-paid water distribution stations that could be implemented (e.g. first 15 liters/person are without this levy, for additional consumption it is added?).

In some cases it might also make sense to put a levy on the land itself. Quite often there are landlords extracing rent from the inhabitants, and those are probably able to pay for such a levy more easily.

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  • blevira
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Re: Sanitation levy to improve onsite sanitation in informal settlements

Dear JK,
Thank you very much for your prompt response. I, however, see a bit challenging using the landlords as in some cases the tenant is to take care of any issues related to sanitation. This is mostly implemented in the city where I live and has been contributing to challenges when it comes to sanitation management.
Regards,

Beda Modest Levira
Environmental engineer and researcher
Ifakara Health Institute (IHI)
Tanzania, East Africa
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  • JKMakowka
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Re: Sanitation levy to improve onsite sanitation in informal settlements

Maybe I missunderstood your intention of the levy, but isn't it about collecting funds for the government to implement general sanitation activities? To me that sounds like the perfect example of a responsbility of a landlord to pay for that.

But in the end it is also a question about where you can realistically collect the levy. Landlords might be better connected politically and thus you might see some opposition on that level to such a levy, but in the end it will still be much easier to collect funds from them then from a poor and highly transitional population typically found in such informal settlements.

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  • blevira
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Re: Sanitation levy to improve onsite sanitation in informal settlements

You are right, I see your point that it might be challenging using the landlords at the beginning which is currently a true case in my city. But with time it will work out and probably be the best approach.
Thanks!

Beda Modest Levira
Environmental engineer and researcher
Ifakara Health Institute (IHI)
Tanzania, East Africa
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  • muench
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Re: Sanitation levy to improve onsite sanitation in informal settlements

Hi Beda,

Since you asked for publications on this topic, I recommend to you that you also use the keyword "surcharge" when you seach in the Discussion Forum (or the SuSanA library) for publications on this topic.

By using that method I found for example this earlier thread from WSP:
Research Call - Analysis of learning from the sanitation surcharge experience in Quelimane and Beira (Mozambique)
forum.susana.org/164-financing-taxes-tar...and-beira-mozambique

Make sure you also browse through all the threads in our sub-category on financing:
forum.susana.org/164-financing-taxes-tariffs-transfers

Or search for "financing" in the SuSanA library:
www.susana.org/en/knowledge-hub/resource...title=&author=&year=

There are so many publications and so many options.... If it's for informal settlements though then the hardest part is probably enforcement. Does the local government have any real influence or power in those settlements? Perhaps those settlements are deemd illegal anyhow? Who are the households currently paying for emptying and transport services of the generated wastewater/faecal sludge? The fees are probably collected by small scale private companies and not the government?

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  • minamalima
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Re: Sanitation levy to improve onsite sanitation in informal settlements

Hello,
I am Wilhelmina.
It might work if well managed, having proper design and ensure the collections are really going back for the purpose
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  • blevira
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Re: Sanitation levy to improve onsite sanitation in informal settlements

Dear Elisabeth

Thank you for the recommendation. It has been so helpful.
Yes, the local government has power in these settlements for other issues but when it comes to sanitation, they kind of being reluctant. Law enforcement regarding sanitation is not that much implemented especially to these areas.
Currently, the households receive sanitation services from the small scale private companies. The business is just between the client and the truck driver mostly for emptying and transportation. The track driver will then pay for discharging fees when reaching the treatment site (owned by the government)mostly waste stabilization ponds.
The challenge is that there is no proper tariff prepared by the government for the service. The driver will do the calculations mostly depending on the distance between the emptying and treatment sites which mostly not realistic, resulting in high service costs.

Beda Modest Levira
Environmental engineer and researcher
Ifakara Health Institute (IHI)
Tanzania, East Africa
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Working as the project leader for 2 projects 1) HDIF (DFID) and 2) LIRA 2030 here in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
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  • paresh
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Re: Sanitation levy to improve onsite sanitation in informal settlements

Hi
My understanding of Africa and how things work in communities is limited and kindly ignore if you find this irrelevant.
Compared to tenants, landlords have a long term stake in keeping the community clean and sanitary and therefore makes more sense to encourage them to pay for it. They can offcourse get back part of it through a little addition to rents. I am assuming tenants may be willing to pay a little more for a better sanitized place.
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