Communal WASH facilities in Kalshi slum, Dhaka

How can we define high-quality shared sanitation in cities?

What does your ideal toilet look like? Gold-plated, maybe musical? Or a loo with a view? Whatever your personal idiosyncrasies, it’s unlikely that you’re imagining a toilet that you are forced to share with hundreds of other people throughout the day. But for that’s the reality for millions of people living in densely-populated urban areas […]


The Urban Sanitation Research Initiative’s ‘elephant baby shower’

About 18 months into the Urban Sanitation Research Initiative, and we’re starting to see emerging findings and the beginnings of policy impact. 18 months is about the gestation period of an elephant: so we’re in baby elephant phase, but planning to make a pretty big stomp in the not-too-distant future! If you explore the Urban […]


Between carrot and stick

A government minister’s signature at the bottom of a newly passed bill can be the result of years of concerted effort from numerous stakeholders. But that signature doesn’t automatically translate into sustained change on the ground, which is where it matters. This is the situation in urban Ghana, where public toilets continue to be a […]


Low connection rates in sewerage projects

In this blog post, I wanted to draw people’s attention to some fascinating recent commentary by Ian Ross around sanitation costings. Ian’s an ex-OPM consultant, now taking time out with LSHTM to do a PhD looking at costs of sanitation: so he’s able to put a lot of his considerable brainpower into thinking about this, […]


Could a new ‘Sanitation Development Fee’ improve sanitation for low-income urban Kenyans?

Kenya’s National Water Master Plan envisions 80% national sewerage coverage by 2030 – ambitious, as only 35% of urban Kenyans currently have access to basic sanitation. Motivated and influential stakeholders like the Water Services Regulatory Board (WASREB), the body in charge of overseeing national water and sewerage policies and strategies, have a financial mountain to […]


Mind the gap: Investigating the funding shortfall in urban sanitation

Who should pay for sanitation? The consumers who use the service, the utilities in charge of providing it, or governments who are responsible for ensuring citizens can access safe facilities? Consumers pay to connect their homes to a sewer network, utilities use that cash to cover the costs of staffing, upkeep, operations and maintenance and […]


Workshop held to share and discuss findings of research in Rangpur, Chittagong and Dhaka

On the 27th January, high-level stakeholders from three cities (Dhaka, Chittagong and Rangpur) in Bangladesh came together to discuss the findings of a research project commissioned by WSUP’s Urban Sanitation Research Initiative and delivered by ITN-BUET. This project assessed how Bangladeshi City Corporations deliver sanitation services to their citizens and explains how the external environment, […]


Pathogen pathways and urban planning

Improving public health is one of the primary reasons for investing in sanitation infrastructure like sewer networks or sludge treatment plants. This makes sense: minimising contact with faeces almost certainly means that fewer people will get sick from diseases like diarrhoea or cholera. Tools such as Shit Flow Diagrams provide an overview of a city’s […]


Dhaka survey results now online

In many cities, there is a lack of good-quality data on WASH coverage levels in low-income communities. And that’s a problem if you’re trying to improve slum WASH in that city! So over the period 2017-2018, WSUP is carrying out citywide WASH surveys in at least one city in each country in which we have […]