LUPP has established and tested approaches and methodologies to water and latrine supply as well as solid waste disposal with a focus on the hard to access peri-urban areas.
Luanda’s water supply system was built during the colonial era for a population of 400 thousand inhabitants. The population of Luanda is now estimated in 4.5 million, of whom only approximately 30% receives water through household connections to the piped water supply system. The peri-urban area, where 70% of the population lives, is served largely by private sellers who offer an irregular service providing sometimes non-treated and expensive water drawn directly from the river and distributed by tanker trucks. As a result, water consumption per capita is as low as 5 to 7 litres per day for many of the urban poor.
People living in Luanda’s peri-urban areas say that poor access to water is their most important problem. This problem has many different aspects. The high cost of water sold through the informal market represents a considerable economic burden on households with low incomes. The poor quality of water sold through the informal market, and the small amounts of water available, are important causes of poor health. Quality of life, particularly for women, is adversely affected by the burden of transporting water long-distances and the time wasted searching for and carrying water.
LUPP has managed to shift thinking within Provincial Government, Municipal Authorities and the Water Authority towards community managed systems with significant involvement of citizen’s organisations (water committees federated into Associations and Area Development Organisations). This model allows for citizens to make demands on the authority for the installation of systems and ongoing water supply, as well as for citizens themselves to undertake the basic standpost maintenance.
Some 4,250m of water pipes have been rehabilitated between the Municipalities of Ngola Kiluange and Kilamba Kiaxi and the comuna of Hoji Ya Henda and 65 standposts have been built, providing water to some 74,000 residents. These have increased the water supply per capita by more than double in those areas to 15 litres per day and illnesses associated with the quality of water have fallen. Importantly, the cost of water is much lower than that supplied by private vendors.
Households have demonstrated a preference for pour flush rather than dry latrines. In the project areas, residents have been provided with technical models and encouraged to build their own latrines. Some 3,500 household latrines have been built during the life of the programme, plus 39 school latrines and 2 sets of latrines in market places (serving 1,200 vendors and clients). The combination of these efforts has reduced open-air defecation in the project areas and improved environmental hygiene. Again, citizens in the project areas report reductions in illnesses associated with poor hygiene and sanitation.
LUPP has been able to demonstrate a willingness of citizens to pay for services that function effectively. This has influenced the Ministry of Energy and Water’s new cross-subsidy policy. There remain many issues to resolve in this area, especially in relation to the need for decentralised waste processing stations and transfer stations. However, the LUPP experience of establishing the waste management model for the market as a private sustainable company servicing four market areas and 1,600 residents in Kilamba Kiaxi has been important and the Provincial Government continues to learn from LUPP’s experiences and technical advice. The new Luanda waste removal strategy has been informed by LUPP models. Citizen’s groups established through LUPP have also been able to influence how the local operators function in relation to waste removal brigades and transfer stations.
Models for Early Childhood Development (ECD) for the poor are especially important for three reasons:
- they provide poor children a ‘head start’ that has been shown to have a sustainable impact on school success
- they improve children’s overall protection and health as they are no longer spending all day in market areas or left on their own in their neighbourhoods or in the care of older siblings who are now able to go to school
- they allow women to work more hours and to concentrate on their businesses.
Although the Government of Angola had promoted community-based crèches in the early 1990s, they had only functioned through a top down model with MINARS (Ministry of Social Reintegration) personnel running the crèches. LUPP has developed a sustainable community-managed crèche model that is not dependent on MINARS personnel, although MINARS is creating the regulatory framework and will provide technical support. In September 2005, MINARS transferred USD$110,000 to 11 provinces to build 110 crèches which will reach around 9,000 children in 12 months. In addition, MINARS is providing more intensive support to pilot the model in three provinces. This is considered to be a considerable success in increasing childrens´ access to early childhood development. A national NGO, Kandengues Unidos, specialising in work with children, has been supported to expand its remit to training childcare workers and develop a training programme with MINARS for ECD workers.
In order to demonstrate and test the model, LUPP established 25 community- based crèches, serving over 1,117 children. 146 caregivers have been trained and parents committees established in 95% of crèches. In Cazenga, the Provincial Government has appointed an Early Childhood Focal Point; this is a new post, demonstrating the importance now given to early childhood development. Families report improved child health and development, which will improve their childrens´ transition and retention into primary school. They also report an impact on increasing household income as women can invest more time in productive work.