A survey of sanitation in 27 Asian cities, published by the Asian Development Bank, includes statistics on capital investment, O&M expenditures, and revenues and fees for services. The “Asian sanitation data book 2008” features raw data and analyses on the sanitation situation in cities in East and South Asia.
Of the 27 cities, 1 is in Bangladesh, 3 are in the People’s Republic of China, 4 are in India, 1 in Indonesia, 3 in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR), 5 in Nepal, 3 are in the Philippines, 2 in Sri Lanka, and 5 in Viet Nam.
Although the information collected was not complete for all cities, the book draws a number of conclusions from the data.
Based on the survey, the key findings related to finance are:
- Although almost all cities are aware of their sanitation problems, only 40% of responding cities have sanitation plans, and few were able to provide information on capital expenditure and operations and maintenance costs.
- Most cities that provide sanitation services rely on government funding to pay for capital and operating costs, with only 10% indicating that sanitation fees and charges can cover their costs.
- Multiple agencies have responsibilities for some aspects of sanitation. However, local government seems to be the primary organization. These organizations were operating under at least several national laws and one local law. These institutional arrangements may frustrate action and reduce accountability.
The findings, despite qualifications about data quality, point to several priority actions that government and other stakeholders need to undertake, including:
- Simplify institutional arrangements to strengthen accountability and avoid multiple-agency involvement that can cause delays in taking action; set in place a coordinating mechanism.
- Review operation and maintenance expenditures and cost recovery policies to ensure sanitation providers can sustain operations and extend services.
- Improve sanitation benchmark indicators and set in place a sanitation information management system that will be regularly updated to help planners and decision makers make investment and operations decisions.
- As significant investment is needed, consider sourcing funds from beyond government sources—such as the private sector and user fees, and other revenue-generating mechanisms.
ADB (2009). Asian sanitation data book 2008 : achieving sanitation for all. Manila, Philippines, Asian Development Bank. x, 134 p. : 2 fig., 27 tab. ISBN 978-971-561-808-3
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