Urbanisation, water resources and public health - your thoughts & experience

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  • mcomparet
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Urbanisation, water resources and public health - your thoughts & experience

I'm glad to have been invited to contribute to a panel on meeting the challenge of urbanisation, water supply and public health at The Economist's World Water Summit on Nov 6th in London - I would like to echo some of the thoughts from the SuSanA community so please do not hesitate to forward your thoughts or any good examples of explosive urbanisation with difficult public health implications/good public health interventions. Many thanks!
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  • JKMakowka
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Re: Urbanisation, water resources and public health - your thoughts & experience

Could you be more specific what you have in mind?

The theme you are mentioning is certainly a topic in Kampala (where I lived the last two years) for example, with some interesting studies going on. But so far it seems to be more at the "yes we have realized that it is a problem" stage.
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  • mcomparet
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Re: Urbanisation, water resources and public health - your thoughts & experience

Hello from London and many thanks for this quick response. Delighted to hear more about Kampala, with Uganda being one of Africa's most rapidly urbanising countries. It would be interesting to know in which ways the pressure from urbanisation (informal settlements as well as established urban development) is affecting health in specific examples - are there specific diseases /conditions which are increasing in Kampala as a result of urbanisation? Perhaps effective interventions are helping to alleviate certain of the problems, while others continue to grow?
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  • JKMakowka
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Re: Urbanisation, water resources and public health - your thoughts & experience

Can't point you to any detailed studies right off my head, but basically the problem can be summarized as follows:
Drainage is pretty bad in many parts of the city, and especially the informal settlements low income housing areas get regularly flooded after heavy rainfalls (not in the sense that water stagnates for days, but everything turns into a big muddy mess). That combined with non-suitable pit-latrines that overflow and are often "emptied" by flooding them, ongoing destruction of wetland areas that had been acting as filters to some extend, and road construction works that further impede drainage and you get a pretty unhealthy situation for many people. In addition some of the former wetland areas (where all the untreated waste ends up) are used for urban agriculture with pretty negative effects on the worker's health and possibly also the consumers.
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