Cleaning the Mental Garbage !

Image result for be change you want see in the world

“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.” – says Leo Tolstoy. We believe that we, as citizen and government, need to clean our mental garbage first to bring the change around us!

Sanitation – On Top of the Political Agenda


On the evening of May 16, 2014, it was for the first time in the history, the Prime Minister of India focused on building toilets in his first victory speech. He mentioned that “Pehle shauchalaya, phir devalaya (First toilet, then temple)”. It was quite a shock for many but it was all about the change in the mindset of development politics. Sanitation space gained a momentum and brought in the topmost political agenda narrated by Honourable Prime Minister of India.

A Curious Case of Indore

A journey of transformation towards a clean India started on October 2, 2014. Amongst the various cities, Indore became a curious case of transforming cities into cleanest cities under its Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.


The 500-year-old city, named after an old temple of Lord Indreshwar, served as the capital of the Holkar dynasty from the early 19th century until 1948. Indore is located in the heart of Malwa plateau, which is the Commercial Capital of Madhya Pradesh State. It’s legendary, Devi Ahilyabai Holkar is worshipped as the Mother Goddess of Indore.


Indore is currently the most populated city of Madhya Pradesh with a population of 1.9 million as per the 2011 census. Indore is a rapidly growing city with a higher rate of in-migration with decadal population growth rate of 32.93% during 2001-2011. Indore City has been attracting a high number of migrants since the 1960’s, due to industrialization and growing employment opportunities. The migrated population in the city constitutes 52% of its total population as per the Census 1991. Many poor from the rural and tribal areas, who are not able to secure livelihoods, come to Indore every year and for periods of 8 months to work on construction sites. The Gross Density of the Indore Municipal Area as per Census 2011 is 151 PPHA which high as compared to other cities in Madhya Pradesh.

As per the recent Poverty Mapping Report, there are 1.76 Lakhs Household reside in the 599 Slums and Poor Localities. About one-third of total city population residing in slums and slum-like localities. It is notable fact that during the period of 1971 to 2001 the population has grown 2.95 times while the slum population has grown 4.32 times.

The literacy rate in Indore Municipal area in 1991 was higher than the average all India literacy levels. It is reduced from 82.10% in 2001 to 77.34% in 2011 although female literacy is lower compared to male literacy

Water Supply

The Existing Primary Source of Water supply in Indore is Narmada River in addition to Yeshwant Sagar dam. About 54% of the population residing in the 69 municipal wards presently has access to the piped water supply system while another 26% depend on Public Stand posts. The Frequency of Water supply in Indore is 1 hour a day and at low pressure. The Total Distribution Network of Indore is about 1400 Kms with a Network Gap of 660 Kms.


About 96% of households have access to individual or community toilet facilities, while in slums the toilet coverage is only 85%. Indore city does not have a proper sewage collection and disposal system. About, 245 MLD wastewater generated in the city and only 40 MLD gets treated. The door to door solid waste collection done by Indore MC. About 550 MT of solid waste generated per day in the city.

Institutional Arrangement for various service provisions in Indore


Having Tag Of An Unhealthy City!

“Before 2015, Indore was like any other Indian city with poorly managed water and sanitation infrastructure. The city had decayed over the decades, neglected urban pressure and was pleading for a transformation. There was a lack of ownership by citizens and was believed that it is a duty of Indore Municipal Corporation (IMC) for managing the waste of the city”

– Gaurav Vaidya, Urban Planner – Resident of Indore

Indore was in the grip of a plague in the early 20th century. Sir Patrick Geddes proposed that Indore become a garden city and cleaned up, that its rivers be dredged, and its sanitation facilities improved as per the Master plan of 1914-1921. Indore was known for its water bodies. After 1960, Indore becoming one of the worst water-starved cities in India until the Narmada River came to its rescue.

indore 3

In 2015, the city of Indore was famous for its public garbage dump. Citizens were annoyed with their government and agitated with full of protests, litigation against the corporation to take waste management seriously. Under these circumstances, Mrs. Malini Laxman Singh Gaur was elected Mayor of Indore, in February 2015. Safe sanitation was the promise on which she went to the polls.

Change of Tag: Dirty City to Cleanest City

Effective Leadership


Under the leadership of the mayor of the city, the commissioner of Indore, NGOs and citizens, all came together and took a pledge to make their city clean and beautiful. However, the situation was challenging and demanding. The situation of transforming the city into a clean and beautiful city demanded its four piers (Mayor- political leader, Bureaucracy- the commissioner, NGO and its Citizens) to work continuously until the tag of the cleanest city of India is achieved.

The most challenging part of this transformation was to make citizens aware of good sanitation practices. The visionary lady mayor Mrs. Gaur decided to do this by relentlessly educating the citizens and involving them in the process of change. The four piers did not leave any stone unturned to make this possible.

dire 4

[A snap of Mayor Mrs. Gaur distributing car-dustbin to the driver]

IMC conducted public rallies, meetings with self-help groups, resident welfare associations, religious leaders, automobile companies, transgender, public and private offices, elderly people, slum dwellers, and students.

IMC took the medium of art to narrate their goals to all their citizens. Street plays, drawings in public area, drawing competitions in schools and colleges did the work of spreading knowledge and change for them. They tried to bring this change by involving each sector of the citizens (gender, race, class, and caste).

IMC provided all the necessary infrastructure (physical and social) for the change to happen. This was important to gain the trust of people and their satisfaction level.

It’s All About the Mindset!

“We are now called as ‘Swaccha Mitra’: friend of people and not sweepers/cleaners.

We came from the most deprived section of the society. Now things have changed. This is the big mind set change. It’s a proud moment for us that we are the forces behind the city transformation. Our voices are being heard now by people. People do segregate the dry and wet waste. The public is so satisfied that they regularly pay a door-to-door collection fee.”

– Swachh Mitra, IMC (Interview was taken by Gaurav Vaidya, a resident of Indore)


The high-impact effort was against Open Defecation (OD). IMC came up with the concept of ‘Dabba gang’ which roamed the city from 5 am to 9 am, in search of those who were defecating in the open.

Instead of punishing the residents, The IMC team did a survey of households who were defecating openly in 128 locations. The IMC team tried to understand the needs of the community. In responding to the demand from the community, over 10,000+ individual toilets were constructed in various slum locations as per the demand.

“One happy side-effect is that the incidence of malaria and dengue has fallen drastically. Doctors keh rahe hain ki bhaiyya patient hi aane band ho gaye hain (Doctors are reporting reduction in number of patients)”

–  Jagtap, Head of consulting firm with visible pride

Behavior change was definitely the key to Indore’s success, and the song “Ho halla”, encouraged locals to join the movement for a cleaner town. The song is constantly played by sanitation trucks throughout their trash collection rounds, is said to have been the Secret Ingredient to uniting residents as equal partners in the city’s cleanliness mission. This feeling of togetherness is what the locals call “APAN.”​

A Journey of an Unhealthy City to the Cleanest City of India!

“I am a food lover from Delhi. Indore is known as Mini Mumbai and famous for its food. I visited Sarafa Bazaar to enjoy its delicious food in January 2018. To my surprise, there was no leftover food, no dirty plates, no garbage to be seen – anywhere. I have witnessed with my eyes the cleanliness drive undertook jointly by commercial vendors, residents and IMC. I was impressed!”

– Jyoti Dash, Research Fellow, Sanitation Capacity Building Programme, NIUA, Delhi

Cleanliness Index of India: 149th in 2014 to 1st in 2017

From being placed 149th in a cleanliness ranking of India’s cities in 2014, Indore Municipal Corporation climbed to the 25th position in 2016, and to the top of the heap consecutively for two years in 2017 and 2018. In three years, this commerce-driven city has seen a complete transformation. 

The journey does not end here: Is Indore really the cleanest city?

 Voice to be heard from poor neighborhood

blog 1

About one third city population resides in a poor neighborhood. Despite the fact that, Indore has become the cleanest city, there is some dark side attached to it which is not visible through a regular lens. The lens to see these indifferences, inequalities have to be very critical and analytical. In spite of being an example of good governance in the past and in current times, the distribution of power has always been present there. To explain this distribution, a slum Buri Tekri is an excellent example. The residents of this slum are being evicted forcefully without even having adequate transit dwellings. The residents have to live without a roof and other basic facilities of water, sanitation, and electricity.

blog 2

Another example of the distribution of power also depicts that to show a beautiful picture of the city and to retain its number 1 position, the residents have been given temporary toilet facilities which are even being removed once the city got its glorious number 1 position in the country. The city government has not only violated human rights but has also hurt the sentiments of the slum dwellers which becomes very important during the elections.

blog 4

Women hailing from low income/poor community have to be perseverant to be heard by the authorities (the powerful people). Distribution of voice from such areas and high income/ influential areas are unlike and inaudible. In one of the slums situated in the peri-urban area of Indore, the residents had to be consistent with their plea to be noticed by the ward councilor of that area. The residents were asking for basic facilities of roads, water yet they were kept deprived unless they learned the way of being consistent with their powerful people to be heard. Eventually they won and the ward councilor had to listen to their plea, however, their journey to have listened was not easy and simple. They got help from their neighboring communities and an organization to be trained and mentored to learn the process of writing petitions in order to be heard. They learned that perseverant negotiation is the key in the world where the distribution of voices is with the people who have power.

Focus on improving health conditions of Sanitation workers

blog 5

Indore city is ranked as No. 1 in the past Swachhta Survekshan (Cleanliness Survey) under the Clean India Mission, it becomes all the more necessary to look into the health problems and safety practices of the sanitation workers who keep this city clean. The study was conducted in 2017 on Health Problems among Sanitation Workers in Indore City. The sanitation workers make up the most underappreciated workforce in society even after doing their job. The result shows that 71% of sanitation workers were in the age group of 31-49 years, and the majority(63%) were females. 96% suffered from one or a combination of health problems; most common being respiratory problems (87%). Awareness about personal protective equipment (PPE) was present among 85% study population; none (0%) used them. 98% stated that they would use PPE if provided by IMC. Only 57% consulted a doctor in case of sickness. There is a high prevalence of health problems among sanitation workers. There is a presence of a wide gap between the knowledge/attitude and practices of sanitation workers regarding protective gear. Strategies to improve the monitoring and treatment of illness and injuries at the workplace must be done. This study clearly sends the message that IMC needs to focus on improving the health and safety measures for their staff.

In a nutshell, for a city to be tagged and retained as number 1, it has to be inclusive and should provide facilities to each section/class of the city equitably. It is not only for the common man to clean their mental garbage but also for the government/ authority to clean their mental garbage for the unprivileged section of the city.   Indore cannot claim to be the cleanest city unless the basic water and sanitation services are reached without any discrimination based on class, caste, religion, gender etc.

“Cleanliness is a Habit; Cleanliness is a Festival; Cleanliness is Nothing but Clearing the Mental Garbage and Building the Sanitised Country.” 


Tariqul Islam (Bangladesh), Dhruv Bhavsar (India), Ankita Gupta (India), Sagar Gupta (India), Suman Dhun Shrestha (Nepal) – currently studying MSc Sanitation in IHE Delft Institute for Water Education in partnership with UNESCO.



















Shitty Inequality: Faecal sludge in Costa Rica´s paradise

The history of an undeveloped sanitation system

Costa Rica, a nature paradise with 2% of the world’s biodiversity, is a place where 70% of wastewater and faecal sludge goes to the rivers. With its 5 million inhabitants, it has the most contaminated river in Central America, Río Tárcoles, which receives the contaminated water of the Great Metropolitan Area (GMA) and which constitute about 50% of the country’s total population.

Pre-colonization water supply sources were the springs and the rivers.  In the beginning of the 17th until 18th century the use of ditches became the form of water supply, also pumping stations were built to channel the water to the capital. The boost of agricultural activities and population growth brought an exponential demand for water and with the resulting poor sanitation practices (including open defecation). Public health concerns led to the development of sanitation facilities such as pit latrines, septic tanks and later on the sewage system during the first decades of the 20th century. Currently theses sewers discharged wastewater directly into the rivers.

Inadequate maintenance and investments into sanitation has led to the dilapidation of the existing facilities over the years. Although the country have more onsite sanitation facilities, government tends to put in more investment in centralised sewerage without considering the need to also invest in faecal sludge management. Different aspects of Governance that influence the realities of FSM in Costa Rica are presented below. [1]

The issues of a delayed and unenforced framework

Costa Rica has progressively developed laws, policies and regulations to tackle WASH challenges including faecal sludge management (FSM) starting from the Water Law No 276 of 1942 to the most recent, the National policy for sanitation in 2017.

Even though, there is a regulatory framework for Faecal Sludge Management there is a lack of reinforcement, for example, there is illegal dumping of faecal sludge in the environment and according to Madrigal, 2015, only 7 out of 40 desludging companies were registered. This view was expressed by a desludging truck operator thus;

“There is no benefit of being authorised by the Ministry of Health, they don’t monitor us, and our clients don’t really care, they just want us to take the sludge out and they don’t even ask where do we take it”. 

Another compounding issue in regulation is the overlapping roles of the different operators and regulators in the sector, for example the Municipalities, the Costa Rican Institute of Water and Sewerage Systems (AyA) and other utilities are all service providers and regulators of water and sewer systems. Also, Ministry of Environment and Energy (MINAE) and the Ministry of Health (MINSA) both regulate and approve water and wastewater treatment. Lastly, the Regulatory Authority of Public Services (ARESEP) and the General Comptroller of the Republic are both tariff regulator for the water supply and sewerage services.

Great access, poor management and distribution  

Although the access to water and sanitation is almost 100%, the management and distribution of sanitation is very irregular. 70-80% of the population uses on-site sanitation (Septic Tank (ST) and latrines) systems and 20-30% have access to sewerage systems. There are some wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) in the GMA, one of which is newly built and will serve 45% of the population in GMA. However, it would not improve faecal sludge management significantly because greater population of the city as shown in fig. 1 below uses onsite facilities that require faecal sludge treatment plants (FSTP) to treat the faecal sludge before disposal.

Sanitation access before and after the GMA’s new WWTP. Source:  (Madrigal, 2015)

Unequal distributions of water and sanitation

Informal settlements  are an example of water and sanitation inequalities in Costa Rican society, water supply is intermittent and even if access to toilets is generally good, there is an inefficient management of on-site sanitation, especially the treatment and disposal of the wastewater (WW) effluents and faecal sludge (FS) from septic tanks.

In most of the slums wastewater is going to sewers that transport it directly into rivers and where effluents of septic tanks are dumped into the ground or open drains. When septic tanks are not emptied, faecal sludge tends to overflow, or when collected, is prone to be dumped into the environment. Additionally, due to high water tables, groundwater is also at risk of contamination. [2]


There are complex dynamics influencing the inefficiency of sanitation in informal settlements, which were first founded by rural citizens and immigrants due to war and social conflicts and that have grown from 11 slums in 1970, to 138 in 1980, and 418 in 2011.[3]

Costa Rica’s GINI index in 2017 was 48.7[4] showing an unequal society.   Economic issues, legal tenancy, high density and insecurity are other causes that contribute to the problem. According to national statistics, dwellers have low educational level, only few family members are employed and more than half of the households are female-headed with average income of 150-200 US dollars per month.

Some dwellers cannot afford adequate on site technologies and even if they do, they do not know when to clean them and cannot meet the expenses of regular maintenance. Furthermore, without legal tenure, allocation of wastewater treatment services has become impossible because without legal documents residents are not allow to construct the connections to the new sewer lines, even if they are close to the settlements and families are able to receive economic support from the government to connect to the sewerage system.

“I am not proud to say this but we dump everything to the river, even our garbage, because there is no other solution, we don’t have space to build a ST and we don’t receive public services”. -Informal Settlement Resident. 2015

In addition, difficult access and insecurity translates into limited or more expensive provision of collection and transport of FS because companies charge more when households are located in insecure areas.

Moreover, there are several socio nature aspects that worsen the situation. Informal settlements are regularly surrounded by polluted  rivers but also, they are prone to flood and to mudslides, increasing the risk of exposure to pollution but also, to natural disasters. Lastly, informal settlements have regularly, the highest rates of dengue and chikungunya cases and due to the lack of wastewater and faecal sludge treatment, rivers get even more polluted affecting fauna downstream. [5]


Effects of voice and authority

The inefficiency  of sanitation services are caused by lack of reinforcement, control of laws, allocation of budget towards FSM, bureaucratic systems, duplication of functions and gaps between the regulation and the reality.  This inefficiency also creates disadvantages for the poor in increasing inequities and access to sufficient services.

There have been cases where marginalization is translated into contestation disputes, leaders from informal settlements have actively participated in demands and asking for agreements for the provision of sanitation  services, and also requested information about the new WWTP (since they did not have a clear understanding of the repercussions to the community) but these conditions were not completely accepted by the AyA. [6]

Technical gaps

The GMA project exhibits what may be an important lack of awareness when it has planned an investment in WWTP that would only improve the only 3% FS related problems, instead of directing such resources into the FSTP considering that 70% of the population uses ST. Although the feel of urbanisation which entails centralised sewers are adopted, it is important to note here that only the higher and middle class would benefit from the project while the low-income earners in the informal settlement are not considered beneficiaries of the project.

Experts have been pointing out this incoherencies, nonetheless, nor the government or the experts have enough knowledge and practice on FSM, there is also not enough investment in research.

The distribution of knowledge and expertise also played out when only 3% of interviewed dwellers could explain some sanitation processes and preferred “flush and forget practice” and the disposal of wastewater into the surrounding rivers as a “free practice”. Social understanding and the fact that there is abundance of water in the country, makes people believe there is no need to manage resources adequately and they neglect sanitation. In addition, for the dwellers that had STs, there is a gap in knowledge on the correct selection, design, maintenance of on-site technologies.[6]

“Even if the government would be able to pay this debt today, we could not catch up because there is not enough technical capacity, machinery, let alone specialists in the area of sanitary engineering”. Government representative point of view regarding the sanitation gap. (Madrigal, 2015).


The governmental decisions related to sanitation have not being addressed inclusively and coherently with the ecological fame and social realities of the country. Furthermore, the gap in FSM knowledge creates unequal and unsustainable solutions, which detriment the vulnerability of the poor in the informal settlements. For this reason, it is of great importance to focus on FSM without forgetting the population that is under marginalised conditions.


Amie Jammeh, Arina Priyanka V., Edidiong Obot, Joel Kabika, Sofía Murillo, are students of MSc. Sanitation program in IHE Institute of Water Education.

[1] More info:

[2]More info on Faecal sludge truck illegal disposal:

[3] D. Madrigal, 2015, Situational Analysis: Faecal Sludge Management in Costa Rican Informal Settlements. Thesis Master Project. University of Queensland, Australia.

[4] GINI index:

[5] More info:

[6] D. Madrigal, 2015, Situational Analysis: Faecal Sludge Management in Costa Rican Informal Settlements. Thesis Master Project. University of Queensland, Australia.

Orphaned by the State – 4000 Deaths

In 2008, Zimbabwe experienced a major cholera outbreak in its history which killed more than 4000 people and infecting more than 90000 (WHO, 2009). Most people affected by the disease were from high density areas like Mbare, the oldest location of Harare, the capital city of Zimbabwe. This outbreak was mainly attributed to lack of adequate water and sanitation services.

Pre-independence orphanage

During the colonial era, land and other social services were distributed inequitably on racial basis. The country was divided into commercial land mostly for the European settlers and marginal land for natives. This was reinforced by the water allocation policy which discriminated access to water on racial grounds which was inherited and continued until 1998. Under this water act, only commercial white farmers with water rights were allowed to vote. Urban areas such as Harare were divided into European and African areas. The colonialists did not believe in provision of descent accommodation and WASH services for the natives working for them hence they provided them with single rooms in high rise buildings in Mbare which had shared communal toilets and showers. In addition, the colonial masters constructed semi-detached houses with shared communal WASH facilities for families. On the contrary, the colonial masters were provided with water and sanitation services fixed inside their houses.


Post-independence orphanage

After the independence in 1980, the new water act and the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA) Act were adopted in an effort to re-address the imbalances created by the colonial rule.


The government made significant efforts towards provision of WASH services concentrating in the rural areas leading to 84% of Zimbabwean population having access to safe drinking water by 1988 (WHO/UNICEF JMP, 1988). The focus on rural areas was due to the fact that the ruling Party ZANU PF support base was mainly in these areas.

WASHILITICS – The politics of WASH

Provision of WASH services in Harare has been politicised since independence, with the government always putting strategies aimed at controlling the distribution of basic services. The situation was exacerbated by the formation of strong opposition (Movement for Democratic Change) winning all parliamentary and council seats in Harare during the 2002 elections. The ZANU PF government intensified interference and refused to fund municipal budgets for cities where it had been defeated including Harare. These retaliatory cuts led to cessation of water purification and redirection of raw human sewage in the main reservoirs.  This was supported by the sentiments made by the then Minister of local government, Mr Saviour Kasukuwere .

Major policies and strategies used by government to gain control over water provision

Year/Period Major events
1980-1995 Harare was run by ruling party-controlled municipality which enjoyed a good relationship with the central government
1999-2002 Harare was run by a government-appointed commission (Chanakira Commission)
2002 Opposition party wins control of municipality but its operations were hindered by the central government
2002-2005 Popularly elected mayor and council are dismissed by government. Harare was run by a government-appointed commission (Makwavarara Commission)
2005-2009 Water supply and sanitation are transferred to the national parastatal, Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA) which was controlled by government
2009 Water supply is returned to the City of Harare after failure to improve service delivery
2009-2013 Harare City was run by elected Council, however the government interfered with the operation as witnessed by securing of USD144 million loan from the Chinese government without the approval of the municipality
2013 Opposition party wins control of the council Government approves the National Water Policy which suggests overhaul of water supply management

In order to salvage the water crisis, Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA) assumed the role of supplying water and sanitation services following a government directive in 2005 against the will of the residents. It received a huge grant from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe to rehabilitate the WASH infrastructure for Harare.  However, the money wasn’t accounted for. Despite the interventions, the water unavailability became worse that even the elite and politicians from the ruling party were affected. They started blaming ZINWA for failing to provide safe water and sanitation services and in 2009, the mandate of providing of water and sanitation services was given back to Harare Municipality.  Government still continued with its interference in Harare municipality operations such that it even borrowed US$144 million from the Chinese without the knowledge of the municipality and there has been a number of corruption cases around the fund. Towards the 2013 harmonised elections, the government instructed all local authorities and municipalities to cancel all water bills owed by residents to them. This was a campaign strategy to win control of urban areas, however   access to safe water and sanitation services among the poor living in the high density areas of Harare such as Mbare deteriorated.

From sun shine city to run down city

After independence the population of Harare was estimated to be 650,000 (CSO, 1982). The population figure ballooned to 2,123,132 (Zimstat, 2012) because of rural to urban migration triggered by poverty in rural areas, drought, politics and the desire for better social services. Despite rapid population increases WASH services were not upgraded to match the growing demand. Burst sewerage lines, uncollected garbage, broken street lights, leaking pipeline became a common feature in Harare which was once regarded as the cleanest City in sub-Saharan Africa (M Musemwa, 2008). “Harare has become one of the dirtiest cities in the world” Oppah Muchinguri Kashiri, Minister of Environment, Water and Climate).  Subsequently, women and children had to rely on unsafe water sources e.g. Mukuvisi River where they were abused as people had to fight for water.

6bfec986-b0d1-488d-8634-13a2aa9fc5dfIn 2005, there was a politically motivated clean-up campaign which was known as Murambatsvina whose objective was to reduce strain on urban infrastructure. This campaign led to demolition of illegal houses in the city leading more people to move into high rise buildings in Mbare overburdening the existing WASH infrastructure.


The hard truth of Cholera and Typhoid


Continued political interference and poor water and sanitation service delivery led to the devastating 2008 cholera outbreak which infected 98,585 people and killed more than 4000 people. Since then, there has been sporadic cases of cholera in the country. National and International NGOs responded by drilling boreholes in the affected areas and provided chemicals for water treatment to the municipality. Despite the good efforts by the NGOs, it was benefiting the rich who had running tap water whilst the poor had to continue relying on unsafe ground water which has been linked to the 2017 Typhoid outbreak which has become endemic. Ministry of Health’s Epi Bulletin Week 52 of 2017 reported 2,352 cases of typhoid . Mbare has been the epicenter of these sporadic outbreaks. Dilapidated WASH infrastructure and overcrowded living conditions have been pointed out as contributing factors towards the outbreaks by the Minister of Health and Child Care, Dr David Parirenyatwa.

Any hope for the state orphans?

Despite all the existing water and sanitation challenges in Mbare, the proposed water and sanitation investment plan for Harare supported by the World Bank, and the Multi Donor Trust Fund does not include plans to improve the situation in the marginalised high density areas such as Mbare. The plans were designed at city level with no involvement of the marginalised people leading to the exclusion of those without the voice. The proposed investment plan is up to 2030 and will benefit the rich leaving out the poor.

Mr. Forward Mupepe, Engineer from Ministry of Water, Environment and Climate, Zimbabwe discussing strategic investment plan for greater Harare until 2030.

About the Author: Farhad Safi , Jayshree Rajbhandary. Pride Kafwembe, Stellah Ngere, Ziggy kugedera- currently studying MSc Sanitation in IHE Delft Institute for Water Education in partnership with UNESCO.


Emmanuel Manzungu MM, Simon Mudiya, Vupenyu Dzingirai, Special Musoni (2016) bulk water supply in zimbabwe privatisation of wash. Water Alternatives

Enock C.Makwara BT (2012) Water Woes in Zimbabwe’s Urban Areas in the

Middist Of Plenty: 2000 -Present. European Journal of Sustainable Development 151 – 180

Hove M, Ngwerume ET, Muchemwa C (2013) The Urban Crisis in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Threat to Human Security and Sustainable Development. Stability: International Journal of Security and Development 2 DOI 10.5334/sta.ap

Ingeniure G (2014) Greater harare WASH strategic plan 1

Musemwa M (2008) Politics of Water in post colonial Zimbabwe, 1980 – 2007


Is it a bucket or a tap that cost more?


To deny a family water, under any bureaucratic pretext whatsoever, is a great injustice, especially when one profits from this need” – Pope Francis (Nairobi, 2015).


The residents in the informal settlements of Nairobi pay 4 times more for the same quantity of water than the residents in the affluent areas of the city. If you think it is injustice, let’s hear more: the water crisis plaguing the city in the recent years has reinforced this inequality, by the informal settlers paying 100 times more than the affluent residents. As the Pope stated, is it just a bureaucratic problem?  One would need to go back a 100 years to understand the crisis we are fighting today!

The dams that brought water:  for whom?

The first piped water system, built in the first years of the 1900s under the British rule, was owned and managed by the Uganda Railways. As the population and demand grew there was water shortages in Nairobi in 1926 and later in 1946. To meet the increasing demand the colonial government resorted to expansion of infrastructure (dams) such as Ruiru Dam in 1938, Nairobi dam in 1946, Sasumua Dam in 1956. It is interesting to note that, in 1907 the consumption was about 40 litres per person per day, but the design demand was increased to allow over 220 litres per person per day in 1934 for the Europeans, while Asian and African consumers were expected to demand only 135 and 90 litres per person per day, respectively (Colony and Protectorate of Kenya, 1934).

Nairobi Old - 3
Nairobi during colonial era.

After independence in 1963, the water supply based on racial segregation by the colonialists was discontinued to be merely replaced by service segregation based on income level. For instance, the higher and middle income , lower income, and slums have a piped water network coverage of 85, 70 and 12 percentage, respectively. The legacy of racial service segregation in Nairobi can still be traced in today’s inequality of access, consumption and price (Ledant et al., 2013).

The water that burns the poor man’s pocket

The unreliability and inaccessibility of water supply exist in the city. However, the disparities arise on one’s ability to invest on alternative means to tackle the inadequacy of water. The wealthier invest in storage tanks to harvest more water at the expense of others whereas the poor have to rely on unregulated service suppliers who supply at an inflated rate. The unregulated service suppliers include the water vendors, tanker trucks, water kiosks, reselling by neighbours, local networks and private boreholes (Collignon and Vezina, 2000; Sharma and Shukla, 2009; Castro, 2009; Chakava et al., 2014).

Water vendor pulls a cart with jerry cans containing water in Nairobi.


“More than 90 percent of vendors steal our water. They bribe plumbers or former employees of the company to get the water free” (NWSC official-2011)


The amount paid to kiosks is 25 times higher than the cost of a unit of water paid by households connected to Nairobi Water and Sewerage Company (NWSC) (Gulyani, et al., 2005). When there is no water shortage in water kiosks, poor households pay USD 1 per unit (USD 0.02 per 20 l jerrycan), this can rise up to USD 25 per unit (USD 0.50 per jerrycan) during scarcity. In comparison to high income residential customers connected to NWSC who have an Increasing Block Tariff (IBT) Plan where they pay USD 0.29 per unit for their first 6,000 litres, USD 0.53 for water use between 7,000 and 60,000 litres and USD 0.64 per unit thereafter. The high price in informal settlements is attributable to capital cost of laying the pipes, bribes paid for illegal connections, and kiosks taking advantage of scarcity which are sometimes artificial to make quick profits, making the slum a ‘lucrative water market’ (Brocklehurst, et al., 2005; Crow and Odaba, 2010; Gemon, 2008; Mudege and Zulu, 2011).

Water kiosk at low-income area.

Despite NWSC having a “pro-poor” IBT in place to allow high income customers to cross subsidize low income customers. The low income customers do not benefit from IBT, because they lack legal metered connections that cost about 6 months’ worth of income for the poor households (Report, 2006).

Water doesn’t always flow down the hill

The general configuration of the network portrayed an apparent inequality of service in Nairobi. The topography of Nairobi favoured channeling water to the lower areas in the informal settlements, the operators rather struggled to pump up enough water to feed the very-high demand of the high income earners living on the hills. In addition, even the upcoming upgrading of the  Nairobi Water Supply IV (WS IV) sought to double the pumping capacity to wealthier areas, which showed the willingness to rebalance the flow of water. Rationing of water that favours wealthier neighbourhoods is experienced in day to day basis.


Land distribution 1
A golf course next to Kibera in Nairobi.


Current consumption patterns is showing even worse forms of inequalities as compared to colonial era; high class people receive in between 200 and 300 litres of water per person per day as compared to the middle class people who receive 130 litres per person per day and slum dwellers who received 15 litres per person per day (Ledant et al., 2013).

Landlords and their water game!

Previously, Nairobi City Council (NCC) was not obligated to provide informal settlements with water and sewerage as they were informal and in fact illegal (Nyanchaga, 2016). However, now NWSC has an Informal Settlement Department with a distinct mandate to provide water supply to the slums. NWSC was constituted under the National Water Act, 2002, which implied that the water and sanitation revenue were no longer available for the municipality for any other purpose than water and sanitation. Despite, these efforts have failed due to political upheaval, influence of traders providing illicit water supply and politics within the company.

Residents queue with jerricans to fetch water at a water kiosk. 

Maji Bora Kibera is an example of a failed scheme that sought to regularise relations with the prevailing structure of illicit water traders. The emergence of de facto landlords (often the illicit water traders)  dates back to the British Colonial era when they housed soldiers from Sudan who had fought in the British Army during World War II in the surrounding area of Nairobi. However, the titles to the land were never given, they became the landlords through the informal right as “structure owners”. The Sudanese soldiers called “kibra”, which means forest, later came to be known as Kibera.   

The precious that inflicts

Many of the water related problems in Nairobi’s informal settlements are related to inadequate infrastructure. The water utility, estimates that 38% of the water supply is lost due to leaks, bursts and unauthorized consumption.  In Kibera slum, settlers assert that access to water is very difficult and it has affected a lot of other circles-of-life like frequency of washing clothes and number of meals (Crow and Odaba, 2010). Netsayi and Eliya, (2010) noted that slum communities in Nairobi, e.g., Korogocho have limited access to water, and even pay for poor-quality water. Informal urban settlements are frequently attacked by sanitation related disease outbreaks of cholera, dysentery and diarrhoea, and thus extremely high infant mortality (Bartram & Cairncross, 2010; Fewtrell et al., 2005).

For example, one of the residents said:

Contaminated water causes at least two cases of cholera every month in her neighbourhood. Residents of other parts of Kenya’s capital face similar problems, battling shortages caused by drought and broken pipes”.

Illegal connection and siphoning of water are highlighted for contamination of water as well. (East African Newspaper, 2018).

The strong arms and the lost voices


All these inequalities affect women the most. Women face additional obstacles to participate in schools, workplaces, and other social spaces, and drudgery and physical impact increases due to the act of fetching water. 

Water policies which often do not integrate women’s opinions or indeed their physical presence at a more fundamental level of management is experienced. Even the existing policies are just “lip service”.

Women’s concerns such as land tenure often restrict women’s involvement in decisions regarding water projects are rarely addressed as societal barriers. Furthermore, women’s views as opposed to those of men are systematically under-represented in decision-making bodies. 

A gender perspective is therefore needed not only on personal roles and relations but also on the wider institutional and policy context.

The relentless journey ahead!

The inequalities of water distribution that persist in the city of Nairobi has been in existence for over a century, evolving and intensifying over time. It is not an issue of mere bureaucratic inefficiency but of the inadequate infrastructure coupled with inequitable distribution, intertwined with the historical, political, social and economic spheres of development. Let’s hope the justice is hidden in this city and the quest for it never ceases!!!

The hour glass of inequality.

About the Authors

Bob (Uganda), Gayathri (India), Musa (Gambia), Patrick (Kenya), Prajakta (India), and  Simone (Brazil) are currently pursuing MSc in Sanitation from IHE Delft Institute for Water Education. 



Brocklehurst C, Mehrotra S, Morel A (2005) Rogues no more? Nairobi: Water kiosk operators achieve credibility in Kibera Water and Sanitation Program


Crow B, Odaba E (2010) Access to water in a Nairobi slum: women’s work and institutional learning. Water International 35: 733-747 DOI 10.1080/02508060.2010.533344


Gemon C (2008) The triangle of mistrust: a utility’s struggle to engage effectively in the informal settlements of Nairobi. Lund University

Gulyani S, Debabrata T, Kariuki M (2005) Water for the Urban Poor: Water Markets, Household Demand, and Service Preferences in KenyaWater Supply and Sanitation Sector Board The World Bank Group, Washington DC.

Mudege NN, Zulu EM (2011) Discourses of illegality and exclusion: when water access matters. Global Public Health 6: 221-233 DOI 10.1080/17441692.2010.487494

Report HD (2006) Beyond scarcity: power, poverty and the global water crisis UNDP, New York.

Nilsson, D., & Nyanchaga, E. N. (2008). Pipes and politics: A century of change and continuity in Kenyan urban water supply. The Journal of Modern African Studies, 46(1), 133–158. doi:10.1017/S0022278X07003102

Ledant, M.; Calas, B.; Flores Fernandez, R. and Nilsson, D. (2013). Access to water in Nairobi: mapping the inequities beyond the statistics. Nairobi, Kenya: Global Water Operators Partnership Alliance and UN-Habitat.

Birongo, J.M. and Quyen Lhe, N. (2005). An analysis of water governance in Kibera, Kenya. Report. Roskilde, Denmark: Department of environment, technology and social studies, University of Roskilde.

Netsayi Noris Mudege & Eliya M. Zulu. (2011). Discourses of illegality and exclusion: When water access matters, Global Public Health: An International Journal for Research, Policy and Practice, 6:3, 221-233, DOI: 10.1080/17441692.2010.487494.

East African Newspaper. (2018). Nairobi looks for new water source to ease its growing thirst. Accessed on:

Ben Crow & Edmond Odaba. (2010). Access to water in a Nairobi slum: women’s work and institutional learning, Water International, 35:6, 733-747, DOI: 10.1080/02508060.2010.533344

Bartram, J., & Cairncross, S. (2010). Hygiene, sanitation, and water: Forgotten foundations of health. PLoS medicine, 7(11), e1000367. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000367

Fewtrell, L., Kaufmann, R. B., Kay, D., Enanoria, W., Haller, L., & Colford, J. M. Jr. (2005). Water, sanitation, and hygiene interventions to reduce diarrhoea in less developed countries: a systematic review and meta-analysis. The Lancet Infectious Diseases, 5, 42–52. doi:10.1016/S1473-3099(04)01253-8

Unpacking the Gouda cheese

When we think about the Netherlands, we think of channels, dikes, coffeeshops, tulips, windmills, cheese…but from the large family of Dutch pride the so called Gouda cheese is one of the most emblematic symbols of Dutch traditions. It reminiscent of small farm, colourful and folkloric performances of ancient trade’s traditions, a good wine and exclusive aged gourmet cheese; finally gezellig moments.

Enjoying a Gouda cheese has become a must to experience the popular culture of Holland, and a mandatory point of the touristic itinerary. This cheese was named after ‘Gouda’ a town in the North of Holland, where merchants met and exchanged goods during the Middle Ages. Currently local merchants still meet and perform the trade’s ancient practices for the amusement of tourist every Wednesday or Saturday in the local markets of the city. The Gouda cheese therefore evokes this explosion of colours, traditional clothes, hundreds of yellow cheese disks in the square that dates back to the city’s heyday.

From cheese farms and local markets, to exclusive gourmet stores in Germany, Peru or Beverly Hills (in the United States), Gouda cheese is everywhere and duly certificated of its origin. The name “Gouda Holland” is protected by EU trade laws that guarantee the cheese is produced in the Netherlands, using traditional methods.


From the middle age to XXI century

Gouda cheese has been produced in the Netherlands since 12th century and is considered one of the oldest types of cheese in the world: currently the cheese industry is an important component of Dutch economy.

In 2009, the Netherlands produced 712 million kilograms of cheese, of which 350 million kilograms corresponded to the protected names of traditional cheese (such as the Gouda-Holland); however two-thirds of the production was exported to other countries, accounting around 50% percent of the world’s cheese consumption. The picturesque and historical Gouda represents millions of kilograms exported each year besides of the Dutch pride. The Gouda is travelling all around the globe having Germany as the biggest buyer.



In 2017 the Netherlands was ranked second worldwide in cheese exports, at least 50% of the production of cheese corresponded to protected names, labelled as traditional.

Looking at this numbers, I wonder, what traditional means when talking about intensive cheese production? According to the Ministry of Agriculture Nature and Food Quality on the granted protected status of the Gouda Holland; traditional refers to the method of production, the natural aging process and using milk from Dutch cows.

 Dairy and cheese Industry

For every kilogram of cheese 10 -13 litres of milk and 2.62 m3 of water is required. We cannot talk about cheese production without looking at the dairy industry. The dairy industry in the Netherlands it’s highly mechanized and is characterised for constantly improving feed quality and genetic selection though breeding programs, this means that are focused in reducing dairy herd and improving efficiency. Dutch cows can produce an average 22 litres of milk per day (some cows may produce over 50 litres a day) which is six times more than what a cow would naturally produce to feed her calf. Doing some numbers, we realize that around half a million cows were required to produce, in 2009, the 350 million kilograms of cheese labelled as traditional.



On the other hand, a significant part of Dutch livestock feed is imported, and agriculture  for animal food is intensive in external nutrients.  However imported ingredients (of cheese) are assumed to be produced from Dutch domestic resources. The Dutch cows are greatly feed by food produced mostly from European countries, but also from Asia, United States, and South America.

An intensive production model is characterised, among other aspects, by being highly mechanized and constantly producing and therefore by requiring higher demands of water, energy and other resources . The cheese as a final product embodies significant amounts of green house emissions, accumulated in every stage of the transformation and commercialization chain.

Gouda cheese propaganda in the Central Market, The Hague. Picture: Karelia Martinez

To conclude I leave a question;

Can we still say that our delicious slice of cheese, labelled as Gouda- Holland and just made in a cheese farm (well technically equipped), that produces 13,000 litres of cheese per day, using milk from highly mechanised dairy farm with genetically selected Dutch cows (with the highest production rate of Europe, more than twice than UK), fed with imported food from intensive agriculture, is traditional?


About the author

Karelia Martinez, Civil Engineer from Nicaragua, currently  studying Water Management and Governance in IHE Delft, Institute of Water Education, in partnership with UNESCO.


Hoekstra, A. Y. (2012). The hidden water resource use behind meat and dairy. Animal frontiers, 2(2), 3-8.

Oulu, M. (2015). The unequal exchange of Dutch cheese and Kenyan roses: Introducing and testing an LCA-based methodology for estimating ecologically unequal exchange. Ecological Economics, 119, 372-383.

Van Oel, P., Mekonnen, M., & Hoekstra, A. Y. (2008). The external water footprint of the Netherlands: Quantification and impact assessment.

















Illegal but tolerated: the hemp business in the Netherlands

How the hemp business works in the Netherlands?

Cannabis and rolling paper. Photo: Cristiano von Steinkirch

Living in Delft for about half a year, I was curious to know more about this intriguing question and track the path of marijuana. To start this trip, there is no better place than the famous coffeeshops – commercial establishment known for selling marijuana products, right? No, I was wrong. Behind a thick glass wall and under surveillance cameras, I got disappointed with the repeated answer between excuses: “we are not allowed to speak about it”. In spite of the high cost of the weed, an average of 12 euros per gram, I could not go further than the regular consumption information: price, type of weed, strong or weak. The procedure of acquisition and origin of the herb remained kept within the high security coffeeshop room, contrasting with the urban safety sensation of the Netherlands. However, one of the attendants, sympathizing with my efforts of collecting data for my research, elaborated a little bit more – “all I can say is that hemp business in the Netherlands is weird. We don`t know where it came from and we are not allowed to speak about it”.  Though this initial encounter was a bit foggy, things became clearer afterwards – marijuana and coffeshops in the Netherlands are actually illegal, but tolerated, justifying why the attendants are so precautious.

Joint lightning. Photo: Cristiano von Steinkirch

Toleration policy in the Netherlands is a historical process, dated from centuries ago. Considered a society of minorities, which means that no social group was large enough to dominated and standardize the whole, the Dutch were forced to deal with their differences to reach common social goals, with the spirit of “live and let it live”. [1] Also, maritime commercials trades, which are the bases of the Dutch history, allowed higher circulation of people and a tolerance attitude that facilitate business relations. In this toleration policy context, the hemp business started at 1976, with the implementation of the new Opium Act, which differentiate hard drugs, such as heroin and cocaine, from soft drugs, such as marijuana. The law fostered the hazy decriminalization for the personal use of soft drugs, given birth the multi-billion hemp business in the Netherlands, that play an important role in tourism (it is estimated that 30% of tourism goes to coffeeshops), as well as reinforces the already romanticized view of freedom in Dutch society.

Police empty a marijuana plantation in an ordinary Amsterdam street. Photo: Read more at


The coffeshops are symbols of this freedom – they represent the liberty of free choice in the Netherlands. However, this freedom narrative is contradicted, as the marijuana illegal status do not allow the society to track the labour and the raw materials used in the production process, neither the waste and other externalities generated by it.  As we follow the materiality of cannabis, we see a different scenario, which is more related the enclosure and surveillance system of coffeeshops, rather than the liberty of choice discourse. In addition, as the dynamics of society changes, even the decriminalization of personal use is threated, as The Hague has just become the first Dutch city in the Netherlands to prohibit the smoking of cannabis in certain public areas[2].  Now the question remains: is the hemp Dutch business a representation of the freedom and liberty of Dutch society or is it business as usual – a multi-billion market which toleration is bound to its profit generation?

Sorting marijuana in an Amsterdam coffee shop. Photo: Graham Dockery


About the author: Cristiano von Steinkirch is Brazilian and an environmental engineer specialized in urban water and sanitation. Currently he is coursing the MSc programme in Water Management and Governance in IHE Delft Institute for Water Education in partnership with UNESCO.


[1] “The Limits of ‘Live and Let Live.’” Newsweek, May 14, 2009. Accessed in


The socionature of urban informalities in ‘De Haagse Markt’ and ‘The Markthal-Rotterdam’.

In my journey about learning socio political ecology, I choose research about social interactions that coexist in markets and its relationship with nature. The dynamic and energy is possible to feel in a market is contagious. This dynamic and social behaviour and how is developed is not new, or at least is not a hipster trendy activity as it is known now for some. The market social behaviour has been part of history societies since the ‘’xx’’ century and it is known that the big markets of the world have been always located where the water was and close to the nature nearby. For this Liang Young explains how all this intercultural relationships that occurs are related with natural behaviours. For example how the markets are design allows the social interactions. In the markets you can feel the sense of sight, hearing, smell touch and this relates in the behaviour of humans, their need of relationships, their need to be social and their need to shape with nature (Liang Yingu 2016).

For this market research, we will understand some of the relations that exist inside Rotterdam and Den Haag markets in the Netherlands.

De Haagse Markt

The market it is known since the XVI century, as a place where you can find unique and imported goods. Den Haag market, is definitely a multicultural venue. You can find people from all nationalities, making a social interaction and shaping different natures. The diversity of informalities are certainly attractive to everyone. As an international place, it has been transformed and is inviting anyone to try different tastes shapes and flavours.

Source: Alamy

From the main entrance smaller vendors transform nature so it can be attractive and tasty to anyone. I couldn’t resist myself and I bought a delicious corn, for only €1.

With my corn in hand, I proceed to discover what the market had to offer. To be honest, I was kind of intrigued by the dynamics that I found inside. The first impression was the feeling of a multicultural environment. In the process of observing the environment of the market itself, something caught my attention, there were no Dutch shoppers/visitors.

This perception stayed in my mind while I was continuing my journey. I decided to stop in one of this famous Chesses stands (something that would never can be missed in the Netherlands). After a nice conversation with a young lady, I began to understand some social interactions. This young lady was originally from Aruba (Constituent contry of the Netherlands).  I ask her about her clients. She told me her main clients are from Aruba and Curacao. But not many Dutch clients. This triggered me more.

I continued in search of the answer of my question, and I found the fish spot, (another essential food that is sold in any Dutch market). Here I was able to have a talk with a nice Morocco guy. Intrigued by the now notoriously absent of Dutch people, I asked him why?

Source: The author.

He said everything has been changing for the last 15 years that he has been working there. ‘’Dutch people no longer visit the market as much as they used to do”. Now they have moved away from Den Haag. “Is too much noise now, many movement, too much people working, Dutch do not like this, that’s why they moved out” Here I found my answer of how nature is shaping society. All this noisy and crowd nature that now days is in Den Haag centre, is shaping the society that we could found in the so famous and unique Den Haag Market. But also I understood that this society also shape the way nature is presented.


Different nature displace in Den Haag Market.

Markthal Rotterdam

In this adventurous research trying to understand the simplicity and complexity of Political Ecology, I date with myself on a Saturday and travelled to Rotterdam Market. Not wondering why now days, the markets have become a fashion trendy.

 ‘’Rotterdam, in the development process of high density urban state, started to find the original nature of city characteristics from downtown area” In contrast to the control, without any involvement in planning and design, the natural growth space fun is the result of chance, strict control will spaces obliterated the ego and personality, and completely free of growth also has its drawbacks. The display way of Modern community food stores and supermarkets provide a reference for the new style, they through the object shape, color, size, texture, price and biological characteristics are classified and placed” (Liang Yingu, 2016).

Source: The author.

Just to give a little perspective about what Rotterdam Market is like. The market is not behind of what characterize the architecture of the City of Rotterdam. The infrastructure of the market itself is an art. The artists Arno Coenen and Iris Roskam complete the impressive mural you can see inside the market infrastructure. The mural is called ‘’Horn of plenty”. And here we can go back, to what I was explaining in the introduction, the markets try to show a strong spatial richness and flavour of life (Liang Yingu, 2016).

One of my first shopping’s was a tropical and trendy fruit. (I usually don’t buy tropical fruits to lower my carbon emissions). I bought this tasty pineapple, with a trendy label. ‘’Super Sweet” ‘’Sweet Golden’’ For my surprise it really was. (No one knows how many chemicals were there so I was able to taste the gold sweetness of Costa Rica).


All the products in this market where sell like trendy. I found the same characteristics for the spots for Cheese and Fish. (Take a look of the photos).

Different nature displace in Rotterdam Market

Personally I have always liked to visit the markets. I remember that I used to go with my grandma when I was 4 years old to the unpredictably market tour. But not until I began to write this blog that I started to ask myself, why I used to enjoyed the experience that much.  Looking back and being real, the place was kind of chaotic, dirty, noisy, people screaming to each other and not at all any sanitation practices involved. No matter that, I simply love it. But why? Is this nature social interaction in the markets allows different kind of scenes to be felt?

Markets allows many interactions, sometimes without the normal stereotypes that other places of the urban society does not allow. And it allow it because market are exactly this. A space where you are allow to be chaotic, disorganized, artistic. Everyone enjoy the daily interaction. Thinking about the science of the nature that is behind, it is now days known that this interactions creates a relaxation in the social behaviour or to say it other words society is using the nature to create beneficial relationships between each other. (Liang Yingyu, 2016).  What I found? The same products? I can even say the same prices! But the envelope of the products and how they were presented was different. Were completely 2 different ways of informalities. Society shaping the way nature is presenting.

In the other hand, nature also shapes the kind of society. For example In Den Haag market it was difficult to find Dutch people. You can find more people from Aruba, Curacao, Morocco. The way how the urban nature has developed in the big city is changing the society. But what happened In Rotterdam market, this trendy nature that was created, shaped the multicultural society that visit the market. You can find both Dutch and international people, interacting in this space of nature created for this society. It was impossible to not note, how the nature was packed and presented differently in the Market Hall, fancy and trendy, again the nature was transformed to be attractive to the public.  Even if the nature was the same, the way it was presented was more fancy and trendy, and the nature was transformed for the public.

Analyzing Markets through its nature and the urban informalities is then possible to understand the new social interactions.


Yingyu, L. (2016). Research on the Construction of Urban Market space order. (Master), Politecnico di MIlano, Italy.

About the author: Lucia Garcia, is a social biologist, currentrly studing Water Management and Governance with specialization of conflict resolution in IHE-Delft the Netherlands.