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Youth-led Mwanza City Informal Settlements Baseline Survey: State of Living Conditions and Access to Urban Basic Services

This report provides a baseline inventory of the standard of living, housing and infrastructure services as well as access to urban basic services in Mwanza, Tanzania, focusing on informal settlements. It provides evidence-based guidance on how to improve access to urban basic services in informal settlements as an essential element to achieve healthy, livable and sustainable cities.

The challenges faced by informal settlers in terms of access to urban basic services do not necessarily differ from those faced by many cities in the developing world: lack of access to water, sanitation, unreliable transportation modes, unclean energy, lack of schools, lack of health facilities, unemployment, lack of public lighting, lack of green and public spaces, unhygienic living standards and water-borne diseases are the most common. About 924 million people in the world live in slums and certain patterns related to access to urban basic services emerge as a common element that creates context-based opportunities to meet these challenges.

The report investigates these common elements and analyses the linkage between housing and basic social infrastructure services as a factor largely determined by spatial location, level of development of a place and the associated impact on the living conditions of these variables on informal settlers. Formalising land tenure, clarification of rights to access to basic services, coordinated infrastructure and land use planning, innovative service provision technologies, research, advocacy and citizen engagement and intensified urban basic service infrastructure investment are presented as important conditions for change. Particular emphasis is put on the access to urban basic services as a determining factor to the state of living conditions.