|Community Approach to Integrated Basic Services Promoting Health and Livelihood for the Urban Poor - UNCHS Pilot Project: Lucknow, Rajkot, Visakhapatnam (Government of India - HABITAT, 1999, 90 p.)|
Among the most critical problems facing human settlements in developing countries are the environmental and health impacts that result from inadequate water, sanitation and solid waste services. The impacts of these deficiencies are greatest on the urban poor living in informal settlements which often remain outside the reach of municipal services.
Although health problems resulting from infrastructure deficiencies such as the lack of drinking water supply and adequate sanitation are well documented, others such as waste management and drainage are not. Aside from the health and environmental risks, governments are now increasingly realizing the economic cost of inadequate service provision.
Communities in many developing countries have demonstrated that, given the necessary support, they can contribute significantly to the management of their infrastructure at the local level through community-based management. Good examples are: water kiosks, serviced toilets, primary collection of solid wastes, recycling and reuse of domestic wastes, waste derived composts and urban agriculture. Such activities not only reduce the burden of service provision for local authorities but also help to keep the neighborhood clean, reduce water and air pollution, conserve valuable natural resources through waste recovery and provide significant opportunities for additional employment and income generation.
The Government of India's historic commitment to poverty eradication and improved welfare of the urban poor dates as far back as 1958, when the Government piloted the participation of communities in the development and provision of services in urban centres under the auspices of community development programmes. Since then the Government of India has conducted a number of participatory poverty alleviation programmes. The most recent is the Swarna Jayanti Shahri Rozgar Yojana programme (the Umbrella Golden Jubilee Urban Employment Scheme) which was launched in 1997.
Building on the strong commitment of the Government of India to alleviate poverty in a participatory manner, UNCHS (Habitat), entered into a cooperation agreement with Government of India in March 1998 to develop a strategy and pilot test the "Promotion of a Community Approach to Integrated Basic Services, Promoting Health and Livelihood for the Urban Poor". The pilot testing is being conducted in three of India's cities: Lucknow, Rajkot and Visakhapatnam. This publication provides you with an overviews of this collaborative initiative.
I gratefully acknowledge the collaboration of the Government of India especially the Ministry of Urban Development and its subsidiary HUDCO, as well as the participating city administrations of Lucknow, Rajkot and Visakhapatnam.
Acting Executive Director
United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (Habitat)