waste accumulation and uncontrolledd waste disposal, and urban air pollution. Especially inthe large cities off developing countries such problems are a major threat to human health(McGranahann et al., 2001b). It can be argued that at the household and neighbourhood level,environmental health issues (the brown agenda) predominate, whereas issuess of ecologicalsustainability (the green agenda) are more important at the city and higher levels. Many studies of water and sanitation, solid waste services and urban environmental issuesidentify institutional failure as the principal source of environmental problems. The speedwith which the urban populations have grown in Thirdd World nations has far outpaced thePage | 15
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institutional capacity to manage. Arrossi et aL, 1994, indicate that the central characteristic ofthe problems experienced in urbann areas is not the scale of population but the scale ofmismatch between demographic change and institutional responses. This mismatch is betweenthe speed with which population has concentrated in particular urban centres and the veryyslow pace with which societies have developed institutional capacity to cope withh this. Theprovisions of infrastructure services (water supply and sanitation) along with solid waste andwastewater disposal are among the areas of great concern inn human settlements, especially inthe developing countries. Failure to provide thesee services adequately results in many of thewell-known costs of rapid urbanisation: threats to human health, urban productivity andenvironmental quality (WRI,, 1996). Deficient services manifest themselves most obviouslyin the form off pollution, disease and economic stagnation. The most common benefits arisingfromm improvements in service provision are better health, improved quality of life and timesavings, which can be allocated to other activities (ibid., 1996).In informal and illegal settlements, the provision of sanitation is inadequate and the majorityof the households rely on pit latrines or bucket toilets.The number off urban residents whohad no access to adequate sanitation increased by almost 25%% to 400 million between 1980and 1990 (Drakakis-Smith, 1996). Limited water supplies to urban areas also affect thedisposal of household waste. In these often overcrowdedd and under-resourced areas thehealth consequences resulting from inadequate sanitation can be significantly worse than inother urban areas or rural areas. All over the world, different countries are exploring differentmethods of providing adequate sanitation at a cost significantly lower than that of investinginn conventional water-borne sewerage systems.An estimated 30-50% of the solid waste generated within urban centres of developinggcountries is left uncollected or dumped on any available waste ground. Piles of garbage serveas breeding grounds for disease vectors and rubbish blocks open drains (Arrossi, et al., 1994).
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