Sanitation partnerships - Dar es Salaam

Case study - Dar es Salaam, Tanzania


This case study on Dar es Salaam in Tanzania looked at the challenges of pit-emptying (both manual emptiers and privatised vacuum truck services), the success of solid waste franchises and new approaches in social marketing and ecological sanitation.  In the early '90s, WASTE, a Dutch NGO, was responsible for introducing a new form of pit emptying into Dar es Salaam. This system, known as MAPET (MAnual Pit Emptying Technology), was an attempt to improve upon the traditional role of vyura, or frogmen (manual emptiers) in emptying pit latrines, by introducing appropriate technology and organising these small-scale entrepreneurs to make the task more hygienic.  The emptying teams liaised closely with the then Dar es Salaam Sewerage and Sanitation Department (DSSD).


MAPET no longer operates, for a number of reasons. Settlement in low-lying areas prone to flooding has created enormous problems around pit construction, emptying and disposal of waste (which could no longer be buried on-site).  Decentralisation and the privatisation of water and sewerage has also seen responsibility for on-site sanitation fragment, and sanitation largely reduced to a side-issue of drinking water interventions. 


However, disposal of solid waste in the city has made better progress, partly due to a franchise system of co-operation between private contractors and CBOs in poorer areas. The approach is interesting for on-site sanitation, especially in light of the problems MAPET faced with pit emptying.


International NGOs have become key actors in water and sanitation in low-income areas and are piloting new approaches such as social marketing and ecological sanitation. In the context of fragmentation, partnerships with such bodies are even more necessary. At the time of this case study, dialogue between the various counterparts was preliminary at best.


Related publications

BPD report on the Dar es Salaam case study (summary). The full case study is also available, analysing the policy context, service delivery arrangements and prospects for partnership in Dar es Salaam. For a copy, please contact BPD

IDRC chapter on solid waste management in Dar es Salaam 

Study by NGO WASTE on small-scale sanitation entrepreneurs - this paper looks at small-scale entrepreneurs working in pit emptying and sludge management, including the MAPET experience.