Problems of sanitation in high density self help residential areas: The case of Malota-Livingstone

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Samwinga, Ntwala
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Sanitation in Malota Compound just like in any other high density self-help residential area is one of the most important and persistent problems of urban life. Malota is one of the squatter settlements that were upgraded. It is also one of the upgraded areas which have benefited from the PUSH programme. The study aimed at investigating the problems of Sanitation which prevail in Malota Compound. This was achieved by among other things, identifying the methods of sewage and solid wastes disposal in the Compound, finding out the problems that are associated with sewage and solid waste disposal and investigating the extent to which the local community is involved in solving the problems of sewage and solid wastes disposal. The stratified random sampling method was used to get a sample of 52 respondents from Malota. It was found out that most of the people use pits and sacks to dispose off the refuse. The pits and sacks are in most cases close to dwelling units and pose a risk to the health of the people. This is because they act as breading places for disease vectors such as houseflies which easily find their way to human beings. The high occurrence of diarrhoea diseases in the compound is evidence for the above fact. Residents of Malota are currently doing something to help, alleviate the problems of sanitation which they are facing, this of course is done through the assistance of the Peri-Urban Self Help (PUSH) programme. The people dig drains, collect refuse from the streets in the compound, unblock sewers and so on, and are given food in return. The fact that most of them are only willing to do the work because of what they get in return shows that the approach used for community participation is not sustainable. This means that once the food is not provided, nothing or little will be done to alleviate the problems of sanitation in the Compound. The upgraded areas have the right to be provided with normal urban services and utilities such as piped water, sewage disposal and surface water drainage. Though this is supposed to be the case, the Municipal Council is too constrained to help in solving the problems of sanitation in the compound. The low investment in sanitation has led to this situation. There is an urgent need for the councils to come up with solutions to the problems of sanitation in high density self-help residential areas. These solutions must address the adverse effects that poor sanitation has on the people in these areas. They must also consider sustainable community participation approaches.
Sanitation-Zambia , Malota-Livingstone