Keywords: sanitation, unbundling, private sector involvement, PSI, technological developments, small-scale providers, independent providers, developing countries, water supply, drinking water, water services, alternative technology
Role of small-scale independent providers in water and sanitation
Small-scale independent providers (SSIPs) and households are good for 10?69% of the household water supply and sometimes up to 95% of the sanitation solutions in cities in developing countries. Different types of SSIP can be distinguished. They could be allowed to make a more important contribution to drinking water and sanitation in a situation where many governments cannot be the only one to supply drinking water and sanitary services. Theoretical and practical arguments are used to explain why private sector involvement is even more frequent in sanitation than in drinking water. The issue of how to improve the efficiency in the water and sanitation sector will be raised by looking at ways to unbundle sanitation, to use technological innovations and to bring in more competition. The need for alternative technologies is stressed, since a fully fledged sewerage system in every Third World city would contribute to increased foreign debt in many countries, given that the steel and cement often need to be imported.