World Water Day 2021

The theme of this year’s World Water Day is valuing water.

Water brings value in so many ways, whether it is through education, employment, nutrition, health, or environmental protection. Safeguarding this precious resource for the benefit of everyone is critical.

Learn more about valuing water:

What is water worth?

How communities are managing water services in Madagascar

The value of water in small towns in Ghana

The importance of clean water in the garment industry in Bangladesh

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More blogs

NAWIRI: Piloting a business model for low-cost sanitary products in Kenya

Published: Country: KenyaLanguage: English

Women and girls living in Kenya’s low-income settlements frequently lack access to basic menstrual hygiene materials. This Practice Note details the development of a business model for low-cost sanitary products in Naivasha, the setbacks encountered, and what WSUP has learnt from the pilot intervention.

Theme: Gender, Hygiene, WASH

Quality Check: How can we ensure sanitation achieves health and quality of life outcomes in low-income areas?

Published: Country: Bangladesh, Ghana, Kenya, MozambiqueLanguage: English

This discussion paper explores how high-quality sanitation can be achieved in low-income urban areas in developing contexts. It is based on findings from four research projects conducted under, or in association with, WSUP’s Urban Sanitation Research Initiative 2016–2020 (USRI), funded by DFID. The four research projects considered here are: The Faecal Pathogen Flows study in […]

Theme: Container-based sanitation, Health impact, Public/shared toilets, Research, Sanitation, Urban Sanitation Research Initiative, WASH

Smart Meters: Innovating to improve water supply in a post-Covid context

Published: Country: KenyaLanguage: English

In cities across Africa, rapidly expanding low-income communities (LICs) pose unique technical and social challenges to utilities in expanding services – but they also present an opportunity to expand the customer base and generate revenues. COVID-19 is placing huge additional pressures on the financial viability of utilities, exacerbating the need for innovative service delivery models […]

Theme: Innovation, Utilities, WASH

A meeting of mindsets for SDG success

Published: Language: English

Core to WSUP’s guiding strategy is the belief that market-based solutions will contribute significantly to sustainable progress in tackling the world’s biggest challenge: water and sanitation for all. However, financially viable business models targeting the poorest residents are just not very many. Our work with local service providers, social enterprises, and WASH-driven start-ups, seeks to […]

Theme: Finance, Innovation, Market development, Sanitation, WASH, Water

When pits fill up: Supply and demand for safe pit-emptying services in Kisumu, Kenya

Published: Country: KenyaLanguage: English

Improving sanitation conditions in low-income communities is a major challenge in rapidly growing cities of the developing world. To determine the degree through which market forces can promote safe fecal sludge removal in low-income neighbourhoods of Kisumu, Kenya, this research compared household willingness-to-pay for formal pit emptying services with the prices charged by service providers. […]

Theme: Faecal sludge management, Finance, Planning, Regulation, Sanitation, Sewerage, Utilities, WASH
Building resilience to climate change experiences from Southern Zambia

Building resilience to climate change: experiences from Southern Zambia

Published: Country: ZambiaLanguage: English

As the effects of man-made climate change become more pronounced, water shortages are becoming more common throughout Africa, with Southern Africa identified as a particular climate change hotspot. This report examines the challenges faced by Southern Water & Sanitation Company Limited (SWSC) in Southern Zambia, as climate change has reduced its available water supply in […]

Theme: Climate change, Water

Expanding safe fecal sludge management in Kisumu, Kenya

Published: Country: KenyaLanguage: English

Promoting safe pit-emptying services in urban, low-income areas is required to achieve universal access to safely-managed sanitation. To evaluate strategies for increasing access to safe, regulated pit-emptying services, this study compared the performance of different groups in coordinating incentivized emptying services to low-income areas of Kisumu, Kenya.

Theme: Faecal sludge management, Research, Sanitation, Urban Sanitation Research Initiative, WASH

Expanding safe fecal sludge management in Kisumu, Kenya

Published: Country: KenyaLanguage: English

Improving sanitation conditions in low-income communities is a major challenge for rapidly growing cities of the developing world. Residents of low-income communities generally do not have access to formal, regulated sanitation services such as centralized sewerage networks. Instead, they typically rely on unsafe practices for removing and disposing of fecal sludge, such as connecting pit […]

Theme: Faecal sludge management, Research, Sanitation, Urban Sanitation Research Initiative, WASH

Referee! Responsibilities, regulations and regulating for urban sanitation

Published: Country: Bangladesh, Kenya, Mozambique, ZambiaLanguage: English

This Discussion Paper synthesises experience from Eastern and Southern Africa and Bangladesh to explore the evolving role of regulators in driving urban sanitation service improvements. The paper argues that effective regulators and regulations are urgently needed to improve urban sanitation services to the poorest, and highlights some ways in which this can be achieved. The […]

Theme: Faecal sludge management, Regulation, Sanitation, Utilities

Attitudes of decision-makers towards urban sanitation: Does gender make a difference?

Published: Country: KenyaLanguage: English

Gender inequity at the level of policy, regulation and management limits the voice and participation of women decision-makers and can perpetuate inequities throughout the sanitation sector. To address this, the Urban Sanitation Research Initiative aims to analyse gender inequity in educational and professional settings of sanitation-related organisations. Among staff at sanitation-related public-sector institutions in Kenya, […]

Theme: Gender, Research, Sanitation, Urban Sanitation Research Initiative, Utilities