Publikationen - Details

Kampala: Rebuilding Public Sector Legitimacy with a New Approach to Sanitation Services

2018 - Towards a More Equal City


Shuaib Lwasa, Kate Owens


World Resources Institute


Kampala: Rebuilding Public Sector Legitimacy with a New Approach to Sanitation Services

For decades, Kampala has raced to keep up with its own rapid growth. Set alongside Lake Victoria, the Ugandan capital more than quadrupled in physical footprint between 1991 and 2012 as population doubled to 1.5 million people.

In the late 1990s, declining sanitation services and limited capacity to manage Kampala’s rapid population growth caused the city’s water and sanitation utility and its local government to suffer a crisis of legitimacy.

In response, both institutions embarked on a reform process that involved adopting pro-poor intermediate solutions, transforming the city’s approach to sanitation.

Over the last 20 years, the local government and city utility have established partnerships with each other, nonprofits, community groups, and small businesses to improve access to sanitation services. For local institutions, this involved taking a more flexible approach that embraced innovative technology for fecal sludge collection.

Between 2003 and 2015, the national utility increased the amount of human waste treated by more than 30 times, despite barely increasing sewer connections.

Kampala’s expanded approach to sanitation is being reflected in other sectors and services as the city becomes increasingly open to alternative ideas, technologies, and partnerships that target underserved communities.

The case study follows the political process that created favorable conditions for more decentralized, "pro-poor" sanitation solutions. The paper also reviews the evidence on whether sanitation reform triggered a transformative change for the city overall, including identifying conditions that may make lasting change vulnerable to reversion.






World Resources Institute

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