This issue builds on people’s resourcefulness. Most of the articles look at major changes in the lives of slum dwellers. But this change has not always come from outside and has rarely involved outside funding. It has resulted largely from the impact of mobilised groups and communities. It has come as a result of people putting pressure on local authorities in order to receive their basic human rights in terms of access to water, shelter, sanitation and education. As some groups achieve results, so they can have a considerable impact on other new groups. The quote from a mayor in Jimma (page 5) captures the power of mobilised groups by describing them as ‘a fire’.

According to the UN, there are one billion urban slum dwellers today. By 2020 there are likely to be two billion people living in urban slums (two out of every seven people in the world). This rapid growth of urban slums means that most governments and NGOs are unable to respond adequately. This challenge is one that the church in particular must respond to with all the transforming power of our Christian faith.

Please find below articles from Footsteps issue 67 in html.

To download a pdf version of Footsteps issue 67 click here (488K).

  • Biosand filters

    Biosand filters purify dirty water so that it becomes safe to drink. They are very useful, both in rural and urban areas which lack safe piped water. Calgary University, Canada, developed an innovative low-cost design using concrete.

    Read More
  • Community involvement in urban water supply

    by Richard Franceys Millennium Development Goal 7, target 10, seeks to halve the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation by 2015. Community-driven initiatives could make an important contribution towards achieving this goal in urban areas.

    Read More
  • Defending children's rights

    Ruth Alvarado, Director of AGAPE, describes how the focus of its work has changed. Tearfund partner AGAPE originally worked with children who were abused, providing a safe house in Lima. Over several years, staff realised that many of the children came from the same part of Lima – the slum area known as Huaycán – which has a high rate of sexual abuse and mistreatment. This area is the main route for migrants coming in from the east of Lima and is a place where the former guerrilla movement, ...

    Read More
  • Letters

    The role of theatre in protecting the environment We all have a duty to protect the natural environment, for our benefit and for that of future generations. Theatre is a powerful tool for sharing messages, and young people often love to take part in plays. We recommend putting on short plays in schools. I have written a short play about protecting animals in danger of extinction, called A plot against the environment, which I would be happy for others to use. It can be adapted to local needs. ...

    Read More
  • Resources

    HESPERIAN PUBLICATIONS Water for Life – Community water security This booklet helps communities to draw on their own knowledge and resources to protect and improve existing water sources, and to develop new sources when needed. It includes information about safe water transport and storage, and practical methods to make water safe for drinking and cooking.

    Read More
  • Sustainable urban health services: Transferring responsibilities to local government

    by Martin Allaby and Christine Preston The Yala Urban Health Programme (YUHP) was originally set up by the United Mission to Nepal to respond to urban health problems in the city of Patan, Nepal. However, in 1998 the key priority became the gradual transfer of responsibility for this successful healthcare programme to full government control. This article looks at the process of transferring responsibility and highlights the success factors.

    Read More
  • The work of Sulabh International

    The work of removing human waste (sometimes called night soil) from homes that lack adequate sanitation systems, is regarded as the lowest of all work in India. It is carried out by people called Harijans, belonging to the caste known as the Untouchables.

    Read More
  • Transforming lives

    Mesfin Shuge leads a team of ten staff within the Kale Heywet Church (KHC) in Ethiopia. Their department is known as the Integrated Urban Development Department. Their work targets urban poor people and they work in four cities at present – Nazareth, Awassa, Addis Ababa and Jimma.

    Read More
  • Working towards urban renewal

    by Dr Ambika Rajvanshi Asha is a health and community development programme in New Delhi, India, that believes it is not enough simply to provide medical care in the slum communities. It believes the only way to bring about real and lasting improvements to these communities is through a holistic approach to community health.

    Read More