Sanitation is a major problem in informal settlements in sub-Sahara Africa due to rapid urbanization and ever-growing populations.

Cities in Africa are growing at a fast rate. The urban population in Nairobi, a city in East Africa, is 12 million.

According to the World Bank, this figure is expected to hit 40 million by 2050. The rapid rate of urbanization has great effects on the cities’ critical resources.

With increasing growth of urban population, more of less advantaged urban dwellers have been pushed to live in low-income, informal settlements. The urban areas lack proper sanitation and water.

Bad living conditions and poor infrastructure are typical of the informal settlements. What’s more, overcrowding has made the hazardous health conditions to worsen.

Water usage and wastewater management has become a serious issue in the urban informal settlements. This adds to the already existing problems and demands surrounding water and sanitation. The problems include over exploitation of available resources and pollution.

Today, less than half of the urban population in Kenya has access to water. Only 40% of Nairobi’s population has connection to a sewerage system. And, less than half of the population has access to improved sanitation.

According to Kenya’s Vision 2030 development plan, the government intends to solve problems in urban informal settlements to ensure that every citizen has access to proper sanitation and clean water. The development plan’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGS) are expected to be met by 2030.

However, it’ll take a multi-pronged monitoring and financial approach to achieve the vision.

Therefore, it’s important to improve sanitation in the informal settlements. Some ways to boost sanitation, according to WSP, include:

  • Upgrading existing infrastructure
  • Engaging consumers in effective communication
  • Development of water kiosks
  • Creating social connections and supplying water in bulk
  • Constructing simple waste discharge systems
  • Supporting improved services for emptying pit latrines

Top 3 Tools for Improving Sanitation in Informal Settlements

Here’re three handy tools that can be used to improve sanitation:

  • Chain saws

Designed for heavy-duty cutting, chain saws can support sanitation improvement projects. They feature an electric chain-brake to improve your productivity when you want to cut your yard clean-up for installing a better sanitation system.

The saws also feature ergonomic rubber-grip handles, a current limiter, a large trigger switch, and an automatic chain oiler. The tools are convenient, comfortable, and powerful. Other benefits of using the tool include:

  • Zero emissions in air
  • Protection from burnout
  • Works optimally for prolonged durations
  • Based on a soft-start mechanism
  • Lightweight and require slow maintenance
  • Quiet operation
  • Spear blades

The blade punctures holes and breaks hard deposits in sewer lines. The tool penetrates stoppages in sewer lines responsible for blocking free flow of waste.

The blade can also be used to open water drainage lines prior to using a cutting blade. The blades are powerful enough to rip through cans, bottles, paper, roots and any other obstruction clogging sewage systems. Some of its benefits include:

  • Lightweight for portability
  • Handy for ease of use
  • Versatile for use in varied application areas
  • Saw blades

Designed in a circular shape, the saw blades feature serrated edges on both ends. They’re suitable for ripping out roots growing in the way of sewer lines and water system piping.

The pros of saw blades include:

  • Powerful to rip out roots
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Easy to use

There’re multiple tools that find use when developing, troubleshooting or improving sanitation in informal settlements. You’ll find lots more handy tools on the market to help build viable water and sewer lines aimed at improving sanitation in urban informal settlements.

Last modified: April 22, 2020

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