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Lessons Learnt from Private Sector Participation for Improved Faecal Sludge Management in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Author / Authors:

  • Tim Fettback
  • Jonathan Young



Rapidly growing cities in lower-income countries require improved sanitation services that practise safe and affordable faecal sludge management (FSM). In many of these cities, such as in Dar es Salaam, the private sector covers a significant fraction of faecal sludge (FS) collection services; however, most of the containment systems are emptied informally and unsafely. For scaling up FSM, formalised and transparent frameworks that enable the private sector to work alongside the public sector are required. In this article, we present and discuss the lessons learnt in Dar es Salaam, where different types of private sector participation (PSP) were tested in the water supply and sanitation (WSS) sector in general and for FSM in particular. Findings show that viable frameworks for privately owned and operated collection services are in place. However, improved access to financing, reduction of capital and operational costs, as well as additional streams of revenue are required to expand the service to customers living in areas where service provision is expensive, where willingness and ability to pay are low, and where adequate treatment is lacking. While faecal sludge treatment plants (FSTPs) are conventionally owned and operated by public water utilities, privately operated and/or owned decentralised FSM, including collection and treatment, shows significant opportunities. Formal agreements for the cooperation between public and private entities involved in treatment of FS require further specification and must include financial support to bridge the gap in treatment costs recovery.

Trialog - A Journal for Planning and Building in a Global Context #142 “Decentralized water management in rapidly growing cities”. Volume editors: Wolfgang Dickhaut, Ajith Edathoot, Tim Fettback, Mahmoud Moursy


  • Journal Article