The Johannesburg Earth Summit focused the world's attention on the importance of good sanitation. This guide to strategic planning for urban sanitation suggests options for approaching the challenging task of improving sanitation for the inhabitants of the rapidly growing towns and cities of the South. The specific focus of the book is upon theneeds of the poor and marginalized communities who are the most likely to suffer from inadequate sanitation services. The authors suggest the need for a step-wise approach to sanitation planning, in which planning objectives and the processes through which they are achieved are refined and developed in the light of experience, taking into account available information and a realistic assessment of available resources. The main focus of the guide is on engaging with a wide range of stakeholder groups to plan at the municipal level. It emphasizes the need to spend time to "develop solutions" to sanitation problems before attempting to plan city-wide. However, there is no one right place to start a strategic process, and planners and activists must look for the opportunities that are open to them in their existing situation.
The guide therefore explores the action that can be taken to create an improved context for planning and for initiating improved planning processes at the local level, which may eventually lead to more widespread change and development. The guide includes a number of chapters devoted to key aspects of the planning process, including creating and informing demand, gathering and analysing information, choosing an appropriate technology, holding a participatory workshop and, last but not least, following up on the plan.
Kevin Tayler is a civil engineer who has been involved with the service needs of low-income urban settlements in Southern cities for over 20 years. He is the author of a number of books and articles on various aspects of service provision for low-income communities. Jonathan Parkinson is a civil and environmental engineer, specializing in the provision of infrastructure and services related to urban sanitation and wastewater management for low-income communities. Jonathan is also an experienced researcher and is actively involved with networking and dissemination activities in the sector. Jeremy Colin worked as an environmental health officer in the UK before managing an NGO programme dealing with sanitation, health education and water supply in Pakistan. He is now working as an independent consultant in water and environmental health for low-income communities.