Social and Health Issues of Water Access in an Urban Area: Rethinking the MDG Indicator: A Case Study in Ouagadougou’s Informal Settlements (Burkina Faso)

Stéphanie Dos Santos, Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD) and Institut Superieur des Sciences de la Population (ISSP)
Abdramane Soura, Université de Ouagadougou
François Ouédraogo, Université de Ouagadougou

In terms of water access, sub-Saharan African cities are some of the worst off in the world, with 20 % of their populations supplied by an unimproved water source. This situation is even worst in informal settlements. In light of the expected growth of urban populations, there is concern that the gap between the supply and demand for clean water will widen. At first glance, Ouagadougou, the capital city of Burkina Faso, portrays a counter example since 99 % of the residents having access to an improved water source. Yet, by going beyond the single statistical measure of supply and more precisely providing for the means of water accessibility (i.e. the distance, the time taken to collect water, the quantity and the quality of the water consumed, etc.), we can argue that the indicator using in the MDG target hugely underestimates the need for water accessibility and the persistent social and health issues relate thereto.

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Presented in Poster Session 4: Migration and Urbanization; Population, Development and the Environment