Towards ecological sustainable sanitation : Oshiwana Penduka informal settlement

Herero, Jan Johannes (2008-03)

Thesis (MPhil)--Stellenbosch University, 2008.


ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This study undertakes a scientific investigation into the social and environmental problems encountered by the Oshiwana Penduka informal settlement as a result of the lack of a proper sanitation system. This informal settlement is located on the periphery of the municipal boundaries of the town of Mariental in Southern Namibia, about 270 kilometres south of the capital, Windhoek. The unique problem faced by the settlement is the absence of sanitation facilities or sewage system as a method of solid waste management. Needless to say, the informal settlement is characterized by overcrowding, poor sanitation, lack of housing, unemployment and poverty. From the literature review, it became clear that inadequate water supply and sanitation posed serious implications to the physical environment and human health. The literature also reveals that these core challenges are propagated by the continual influx of people to urban areas and the re-birth of irregular settlements. In light of the above, the problem statements to be addressed are the following, namely: what is the impact of the absence of a proper and sustainable sanitation system on the inhabitants of the Oshiwana Penduka informal settlement and what can be done by the Mariental Municipality to address the concerns raised? The key research methods applied for this study entails individual semi-structured questionnaires and key informant groups. The answers to the interviewed questions are highlighted in chapter four and the interpretation of the research findings are constituted in the latter chapter. The hypothesis was proven false and the new model of thinking generated is suggesting that the prevailing social and environmental problems are caused by the absence of toilet facilities. It is evident to note from the study results that the negative social impact, which is being attributed by inadequate sanitation in the informal settlement, is severe and lethal to human health. In order to prove the hypothesis, data has been collected at household levels from the informal settlers. Despite the survey results which support the conventional water borne sanitation as the most preferred sanitation system, vacuum system as an ecological sanitation technology is recommended for this informal settlement. This particular sanitation system works on the principle of enhancing water conservation, recycling, reduction of health, and promotes environmental integrity.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie studie onderneem ʼn wetenskaplike ondersoek na die sosiale en omgewingsprobleme, wat ondervind word deur die Oshiwana Penduka informele nedersetting en die gebrek aan ʼn behoorlike sanitasie stelsel. Hierdie betrokke informele nedersetting is geleë aan die buitewyke van die munisipale grense van die dorp Mariental. Die dorp Mariental is geleë in die suidelike deel van Namibië, ongeveer 270 km suid van die hoofstad Windhoek. Die unieke problem wat hierdie nedersetting ondervind is die afwesigheid van sanitasie fasiliteite of ʼn rioolstelsel wat ʼn soliede metode van goeie rioolbeheer is. Hierdie nedersetting word gekenmerk deur oorbevolking, swak sanitasie, gebrek aan behuising, werkloosheid en armoede. Vanuit die literatuurstudie, het dit aan die lig gekom dat onvoldoende water toevoer en sanitasie ernstige implikasies vir die fisiese omgewing en die menslike gesondheid inhou. Die literatuur het ook aan die lig gebring dat hierdie basiese probleme vererger word deur die aanhoudende invloei van mense na die stedelike gebiede. In die lig van bogenoemde, is die probleemstelling wat aangespreek moet word, soos volg: wat is die gevolge van ʼn gebrek aan ʼn behoorlike en volhoubare sanitasiestelsel vir die inwoners van die informele nedersetting en wat kan die Mariental Munisipaliteit doen om hierdie problem aan te spreek? Die navorsingsmetode wat aangewend word bevat individuele semi- gestruktureerde vraelyste en sleutel fokusgroepe. Die antwoorde op die onderhoudsvraelyste word vervat in hoofstuk vier en die vertolking van die navorsingsbevinding word in die daaropvolgende hoofstuk aangebied. Die hipoteses was verkeerd bewys en die alternatief wat gegenereer is, stel voor dat die bestaande sosiale en omgewingsprobleme veroorsaak word deur die afwesigheid van toilet fasiliteite. Ten spyte van die navorsingsresultate, wat ʼn watersanitasiestelsel as die meeste verkose stelsel ondersteun, word ʼn suigstelsel as ekologiese volhoubare tegnologie vir hierdie informele nedersetting aanbeveel. Hierdie betrokke sanitasiestelsel toon verskeie voordele, onder andere bewaring van water, vermindering van gesondheidsprobleme en die bevordering van omgewingsvolhoubaarheid.

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