Socio-economic factors in developing countries make it more difficult to solve problems of urban drainage than in countries that are more advanced. Factors inhibiting the adoption of modern solutions include: (1) in matters of urban drainage, 19th-century sanitary philosophy still dominates; (2) both legal and clandestine land settlement limits the space that modern solutions require; (3) contamination of storm runoff by foul sewage, sediment and garbage prevents adoption of developed-country practices; (4) climatic and socio-economic factors favour the growth of epidemics where runoff is retained for flood-avoidance and to increase infiltration; (5) lack of a technological basis for adequate drainage management and design; (6) lack of the interaction between community and city administration that is needed to obtain modern solutions to urban drainage problems. Awareness of these difficulties is fundamental to the search for modern and viable solutions appropriate for developing countries.

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