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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Cities beyond networks: the status of water services for the urban poor in African cities
Author:Chitonge, Horman
Year:2014
Periodical:African Studies (ISSN 1469-2872)
Volume:73
Issue:1
Pages:58-83
Language:English
Geographic term:Africa
Subjects:water supply
sanitation
urban population
Link:http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/00020184.2014.887743
Abstract:The growing urban population in most African cities is creating pressure on basic services infrastructure. Expansion of basic services infrastructure in most of the major cities and small towns in Africa has not matched the growth in urban population. This has resulted in most basic service providers, such as water service providers, being overwhelmed by the rapidly growing demand for services, especially in low-income and informal settlement areas where more than 90 per cent of the urban population reside. Using data from various sources, this article illustrates the growing challenge posed by inadequate water services infrastructure in the midst of the rapidly growing urban population. The article argues that this mismatch between the growing demand for water services and the capacity on the part of the service providers does not only create a crisis of access to water, but has serious political costs if not addressed in the medium term. In order to avoid both the service crisis and the political backlash this may entail, mobilising massive resources to maintain and expand the existing networks to unserved or poorly served areas should be one of the top priorities in many African cities and towns. Mobilising the resources required to meet the growing demand for services will remain a challenge that many African countries and cities have to face. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]
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