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The Politics of Wastewater in Maputo City, Mozambique

  • 27 August, 2015
  • IHE Delft, Water Governance
  • Prof. dr. M.Z. Zwarteveen

Maputo, the capital city of Mozambique is an unequal city concerning the provision and use of city’s sanitations services. These inequalities are rooted in the colonial logic of socio-spatial divisions, which favoured colonial residents and the native elite at the detriment of the majority of natives. This legacy has been sustained by postcolonial policies that continue to de-prioritize sanitation in the poorer areas of the city with greater impacts in producing health and environmental risks. The research uses wastewater as a lens to map and understand inequities and as an entry point to politicize the distribution of sanitation services and infrastructures. It uses an urban political ecology approach which place concerns of distributions of resources and services at the heart of water and development questions. This analysis contributes to conceptual and empirical questions regarding (in) equity of distribution – how services distribution happens, through which techniques, how they are (re)produced and what are the resident urban struggles to access, use and maintain sanitary infrastructures across the city. The research uses multi-method approach: an archival analysis to foreground the historical roots of inequalities in Maputo and ethnography of used to explore the everyday practices of sanitation under conditions of uneven urban development.

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Adriano Biza

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