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cities & citizens series - bridging the urban divide

calculate vulnerability). The data used for this analysis does not disaggregate between favelas and cortiços. Of course, their situation is different with regard to sewage: cortiços are often located in areas covered by the central sewage system, whereas favelas without exception were established without sewage collection, requiring expensive retrofitting after development to implement the system. The failure of organised sewage systems to include favelas and cortiços results in considerable unequal sanitation outcomes in São Paulo, with serious repercussions for the environment, public health and water pollution.

Access to solid waste collection Collection of solid waste (rubbish) outside of the house by dumper trucks or other means in the MSP is almost universal. Only 0.1 per cent of people living in favelas or cortiços admitted to burning their rubbish; 0.9 per cent bury their household waste; and 0.5 per cent dispose of their waste by dumping it themselves. By contrast, almost 97 per cent of people living outside of favelas and cortiços

within favelas and cortiços are officially connected to the network. The data indicates how quickly the formal electrification of favelas has happened in the last 15 years; in the past, electricity theft was widespread, and the most common way of getting power to favelas. In favelas and cortiços, 25 per cent of households received some form of state subsidy for electricity, while only 6.8 per cent of those living in other urban dwellings received subsidies. Even though they are connected to the state’s electricity networks, a significant number of poor households and businesses still do not pay for power. Illegal tapping and refusal to pay bills is commonplace and a long-term, widespread problem in many cities where the establishment of irregular settlements and rapid urbanization have taken place.

Other utilities: Gas and electricity

Hydropower generation provides 81 per cent of Brazil’s electricity. After decades of government ownership and operation of the electricity sector, privatization of electric companies in Brazil began in 1996. The Brazilian Electric Power Agency (Agência Nacional de Energia Elétrica or ANEEL), the regulatory agency with direct oversight of electricity distribution, was up and running by the end of 1998. Its responsibilities include establishing and providing oversight of regulated tariffs, overseeing and managing the private contracts for electricity distribution, and controlling return on investment. ANEEL instituted a cap on losses (i.e., a limit on recovery of losses through ratepayers) of 90.7 per cent of actual distribution losses, which has spurred the electric utilities to intensify their efforts to reduce technical and non-technical or commercial (theft) losses. Electricity theft is not only a safety hazard, but it also leads to excessive power consumption and hampers development.

Throughout São Paulo, the use of electricity and clean fuels for home cooking is widespread. The SEADE/UN-HABITAT Living Conditions Survey of 2006 shows that an average of 92.7 per cent of households in the MSP receive electricity bills for their use of network distribution power. Of that population, 97.3 per cent of those outside favelas and cortiços are connected, while 70 per cent

In addition, and more importantly for the poor, the new electricity policy of April 2002 clearly signalled the government’s intent to meet the electricity service needs of the poor. The law formally mandates that companies must achieve 100 per cent electricity coverage in their respective service areas by specific dates, agreed by contract.100 As a result, the companies faced increased service obligations

The failure of organised sewage systems to include favelas and cortiços results in considerable unequal sanitation outcomes... had their rubbish collected from outside their house, while just 81 per cent of others enjoyed the same services. It may be surprising that coverage of municipal rubbish collection and dumper truck access is so widespread despite the fact that many favela houses do not have direct access to roads.

Profile for UN-Habitat

Sao Paulo; A tale of two cities  

UN-HABITAT’s new Cities and Citizens series examines urban inequality in the developing world through in-depth analysis of intracity data de...

Sao Paulo; A tale of two cities  

UN-HABITAT’s new Cities and Citizens series examines urban inequality in the developing world through in-depth analysis of intracity data de...

Profile for unhabitat
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