Challenges to Achieving Sustainable Sanitation in Informal Settlements of Kigali, Rwanda

Aime Tsinda , Pamela Abbott, Steve Pedley, Katrina Charles, Jane Adongo, Kenan Okurut, Jonathon Chenoweth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Citations (Scopus)
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Like most cities in developing countries, Kigali is experiencing rapid urbanisation leading to an increase in the urban population and rapid growth in the size and number of informal settlements. More than 60% of the city’s population resides in these settlements, where they experience inadequate and poor quality urban services including sanitation. This article discusses the issues and constraints related to the provision of sustainable sanitation in the informal settlements in Kigali. Two informal settlements (Gatsata and Kimisagara) were selected for the study, which used a mixed method approach for data collection. The research found that residents experienced multiple problems because of poor sanitation and that the main barrier to improved sanitation was cost. Findings from this study can be used by the city authorities in the planning of effective sanitation intervention strategies for communities in informal settlements.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6939-6954
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 10 Dec 2013

Bibliographical note

The data was collected by researchers in Kigali with cooperation of the local community leaders. The authors would like to thank the researchers Roger Mugisha and Carine Tuyishime. This research is part of the 3K-SAN project, funded by SPLASH, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), which is investigating how to catalyse self-sustaining sanitation chains in low-income informal settlements in Kigali (Rwanda), Kampala (Uganda) and Kisumu (Kenya). Self-sustaining sanitation chains are defined here as socio-technological systems that provide continued health and environmental improvement, as required to meet the MDGs, without continued external intervention. This definition includes, but is not limited to, construction, maintenance, and management of the waste through pump-out/collection services, transport, treatment and re-use or disposal.


  • challenges
  • issues
  • sustainable sanitation systems
  • informal settlements
  • Kigali


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