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Sara Gabrielsson

Sara Gabrielsson

Senior Lecturer

Sara Gabrielsson

Drivers of unhygienic desludging practices in unplanned settlements of dar es Salaam, Tanzania


  • Amour Seleman
  • Sara Gabrielsson
  • Tolly S.A. Mbwette
  • Richard Kimwaga

Summary, in English

Desludging is considered a key step in urban sanitation improvement. Nevertheless, in most urban unplanned settlements, desludging is performed in an unhygienic manner, risking public health. This study used a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods to analyse the underlying factors for unhygienic desludging in three urban unplanned settlements of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Factors for unhygienic desludging were analysed using logistic regression analysis and the Integrated Behavioural Model for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (IBM-WASH), respectively. It was found that 23.7% of the surveyed houses practised unhygienic desludging. Plot physical inaccessibility, outdated laws that stipulate low penalties and the lack of routine data were found to be key contextual factors. Furthermore, perceived inability to control unhygienic desludging among community members and the lack of feeling of shame among those performing unhygienic desludging are the key psychosocial factors. Technological factors contributing to continued practice of unhygienic desludging can be linked to the weakness in existing desludging technologies and general skepticism about the performance of manual desludging hand pumps. This paper concludes that unhygienic desludging in Dar es Salaam is likely to continue unless such factors are considered and integrated into the city’s sanitation improvement plans.


  • LUCSUS (Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies)

Publishing year







Journal of Water Sanitation and Hygiene for Development





Document type

Journal article


IWA Publishing


  • Building Technologies
  • Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology


  • Dar es Salaam
  • Non-sewered sanitation
  • Safely managed sanitation
  • Unhygienic desludging
  • Unplanned urban settlements




  • ISSN: 2043-9083