Abstract for: Sanitation technology options in informal settlement: a system dynamics approach

Provision of sanitation services to urban informal settlement is one of the challenges that the urban planners and decision makers are face with in the current era. High population growth and lack of legal status in informal settlements makes it challenging to improve the level of sanitation. The question then is whether there are possible technology options that can be utilized to achieve sanitation crisis in informal settlements. This paper thus delves into the dark and complex world of the sanitation crisis in informal settlements. Using system dynamics approach, it describes the key elements in the sanitation provision in informal settlements, and specifically, in the context of Enkanini, an illegal informal settlement in Stellenbosch. The system dynamics model demonstrates differences between four sanitation technologies, namely: pour flush; ventilated improved pit latrine; compost toilet; and regular toilet. The results show that there is a long-term benefit from waterborne sanitation, as well as rapid improvement in sanitation from cheaper options of a compost toilet and ventilated improved pit latrine. The pour flush toilet and ventilated improved pit latrine occupied the beneficial middle ground of minimal investment for decent output in sanitation improvement as well as improvement of the sanitation experience.