kalshislum_waterjugUrban migration is leading to a crisis in cities in developing countries, where millions of people lack access to the most basic of services.

Already, nearly 900 million urban residents have no choice but to live in low-income communities – poorly built, often illegal settlements which usually lack even the most basic services like water and sanitation.

Since cities will be the future habitat for many in developing countries, it is critical to invest in basic services and infrastructure. This is the reason why Water & Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP) was set up in 2005.


In Kenya, we have worked with city utilities to extend water access to hundreds of thousands of people, such as Alice Wambui from Nairobi.

We improve services by working side-by-side with local providers

In cities, strengthening the organisations that have been tasked to deliver city-wide services is crucial.

We are a trusted partner to utilities, municipalities and the private sector, supporting them to develop services, build infrastructure and attract funding that will help them reach low-income communities.

SWEEP business in Bangladesh
In Bangladesh, we have been instrumental in the creation of a financially viable sanitation business, SWEEP.

Our focus on financial viability creates more resilient communities

Creating services which are financially viable is extremely difficult, but vital if the benefits are to exist over the long term.

We work with utilities and businesses to develop services which generate revenue whilst reaching the most vulnerable urban residents, and we advise regulators and governments on how to create an environment which enables businesses to succeed.

Water kiosk in Tana
In Madagascar, our work with the utility JIRAMA has shown how reduction of non-revenue water can lead to increased water supply for low-income customers.

Our innovations are enabling global change

We’re the only urban specialist in our sector and our experience shapes the work of others.

We have an impact far beyond the countries where we have a permanent presence, and are committed to sharing evidence and approaches, towards the achievement of the SDGs.

Direct impacts so far


people with improved water services


people with improved sanitation services


people with improved hygiene practices


We are based in the UK with offices in seven countries in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia: Bangladesh, Ghana, India, Kenya, Madagascar, Mozambique and Zambia.

From 2016-2020, we plan to bring improved water & sanitation to 17 million people living in urban areas in Africa and Asia. Find out how to partner with us.