African Context : Urban WASH Services during COVID19


  • abisheknarayan
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  • Doctoral Researcher at Eawag-Sandec. Interests in Sanitation Planning, Urban WASH, CWIS. Co-Lead for WG-6 on Cities. Follow me on Twitter @abishek_water
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African Context : Urban WASH Services during COVID19

While the African countries have acted early and contained the spread by quickly and effectively putting up lock-downs and severely restricting movement and business as usual, it has only bought a short while before the pandemic imposes itself on the  African continent. Unlike the  high-income countries across Europe, Asia and North America, many of the African countries will fair much worse due to the lack of capacities to handle the scale of the problem and the pandemic can quickly turn disastrous. The main areas of concern are especially the medium to large cities which have high density-low-income areas and tightly packed slums. In such contexts, the same measures widely  prescribed will not be applicable – Handwashing, Isolation, Social Distancing, Safe disposal of Waste are all challenges that are more amplified in these contexts. This discussion aims to collect ideas on possible measures that could innovatively  be introduced or adopted in such a dire situation if the outbreak happens in African cities, and how the local governments /utilities/cities/local entities could react in face of a complete lockdown situation or when services are restricted to only essentials.

Discussion Points
1.     What are the critical WASH related services that need to be functional during a lockdown situation?
  • a.     Hygiene awareness
  • b.     Supply of hygiene materials
  • c.     Water supply (piped water supply and water tanker-based supply)
  • d.     Public/communal sanitation facilities
  • e.     FS collection,especially for Container Based Sanitation 
  • f.      Treatment, especially wastewater and faecal sludge treatment 
2.     What are few of challenges to expect to keep the above services functional?

3.     What are the innovative measures that could be adopted in cases where there are pre-existing WASH infrastructures and services that are already in place ?

On behalf of WG-6 Leads, 

Abishek S Narayan
Co-lead for SuSanA WG-6: Cities
Doctoral Researcher, Eawag-Sandec
Abishek S Narayan
Co-lead for SuSanA WG-6: Cities
Doctoral Researcher, Eawag-Sandec
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