Private sector participation may hold the key, but serious financing challenges lie ahead, as secondary town tend to be home to poor immigrants. Rapid urbanisation presents a further challenge, it is currently out pacing the development of water supply and sanitation and at the current rates of investment, and percentage coverage rates are expected to fall substantially before 2015, unless there is a paradigm shift in the levels of investment and in the commitment of the governments to implement reform.
Based on rapid technical and institutional appraisals, three towns in in Yunnan have been identified for participation in the Mekong Water and Sanitation Initiative. The two most fundamental criteria for selection were need (level of service coverage) and the incidence of poverty. The town appraisals included stakeholder consultations and workshops, as well as key informant interviews.