For many African cities, offering a decent toilet to all urban residents and ensuring that all faecal waste is safely managed is an ambitious vision that will take years to achieve, unless there is a fundamental shift in the delivery of sanitation services. This shift is already happening in Kenya, where more than two thirds of the population do not have access to safe sanitation services. Counties and cities are starting to adopt inclusive sanitation in their quest to achieve universal coverage for their residents.

Malindi is leading the way in adopting Citywide Inclusive Sanitaton (CWIS) principles, demonstrating a pathway for other cities and towns to follow. This Practice Note outlines how Malindi stakeholders are collaborating to deliver a long-term plan for improving sanitation services and making CWIS a reality.

 

More information on the full CWIS plan from Sanivation

Read also: Towards cleaner and more productive Malindi and Watamu

More information on the wider CWIS initiative from World Bank

 

The WSUP report A Guide to Simplified Sewer Systems in Kenya describes how a pilot project in the informal settlement of Mukuru has demonstrated a cost-effective way to bring decent sanitation to some communities in Kenya: simplified sewers.

New evidence shows that simplified sewer networks, which are much shallower and more flexible than traditional sewer systems, can form part of the solution to sanitation challenges faced by low-income urban communities in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi. In the city’s densely packed informal communities, most people lack access to decent sanitation.

The practical and financial challenges of addressing this crisis are well documented, but the alternative of simplified sewers networks opens up new possibilities for better sanitation which could benefit millions of Kenyans.

Pilot demonstrates effectiveness of simplified sewers in Kenya

A pilot project in the informal settlement of Mukuru has demonstrated a cost-effective way to bring decent sanitation to some communities in Kenya: simplified sewers. Most residents in Kenya’s densely packed informal communities lack access to decent sanitation, and the practical and financial challenges of addressing this crisis are well documented. However, new evidence shows […]


Smart water: the experience of utilities in adopting digital solutions

Across 2021 and 2022 the GSMA’s Digital Utilities programme and Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP) collaborated on research exploring four Kenyan water utilities experience of adopting digital solutions and their digitalisation journey more broadly. This blog, co-written by Eden Mati (WSUP) and Zach White (GSMA), summarises the report’s key findings and messages. […]


As Covid-19 restrictions are lifted, hygiene practices remain essential

Covid-19 infections have significantly declined in many parts of the world, after the spread of the Omicron variant, and that is also true in Africa. With the end of restrictions and with vaccinations levels still low in much of the continent, however, the adoption of good hygiene practices is as important as it has ever […]


School sanitation facilities in Madagascar

A template for action: how new guidelines pave the path to better sanitation in Africa

Joint article by AMCOW, Speak Up Africa, UNICEF and WSUP. This week’s World Water Forum, taking place in Dakar, Senegal, is a timely reminder of how the world is slipping behind its commitment to achieve universal access to safe sanitation by 2030. Access to basic sanitation and hygiene services is a primary concern globally, with […]


It can be done report cover

A joint publication by AMCOW, Speak Up Media, UNICEF and WSUP

On the 10th of June, 2021, the African Council of Ministers on Water (AMCOW) launched the African Sanitation Policy Guidelines (ASPG), a new initiative to help improve national and subnational sanitation and hygiene policy across the continent.

The policy guidelines aim to ease the process of resolving country-level enabling environment bottlenecks that stand in the way of African governments in meeting their national, regional, and global sanitation and hygiene obligations. They provide direction in functional policy drafting, broad stakeholder engagement, monitoring, and generic technical content specific to sanitation and hygiene service provision.

Download resource

This report explains the background to the creation of the ASPG and presents the importance of these policy guidelines. It then outlines examples from across Africa showing how the six parts to the guidelines can be applied:

Sanitation Systems and Services (South Africa)

Hygiene and Behaviour Change (Rwanda)

Institutional Arrangements (Senegal)

Regulation (Zambia)

Capacity Development (South Africa)

Funding and Financing (Chad)

High-level advocacy is key to the success of the ASPG rollout. Engaging senior policymakers in this process is the winning formula of success. Time and resources will be invested in continuous advocacy meetings and a wide stakeholder engagement to ensure no one is left behind during the policy process.The ASPG provides a wide range of resources that requires investing in the various stakeholders’ capacity building. This process presents an excellent opportunity for documenting both the learning and sharing, as part of knowledge management for policy processes.

Previous experiences across the continent clarify that Africa can achieve the indicators of progress outlined in the guidelines because they have been done before, even if only in a few countries. This time around the focus is on increasing the scale of success to the entire continent.

Africa has rightfully and decisively opted to pursue something that its leaders and populations can deliver. With political will and determination to design the right policies towards a common goal, the African Sanitation Policy Guidelines should generate a high level of confidence and certainty amongst the continent’s authorities, summarised by these encouraging words: it can be done.

 

Time to give groundwater a little respect

Groundwater: a key resource for towns and cities around the world struggling to provide enough water for their thirsty residents. It has many advantages over surface water, as it is often more reliable, nearer to households, less vulnerable to pollution, and more resilient to climate variability. With urban populations in Africa and south Asia continuing […]


Women spread the message: story of a communications leader in Kenya

By Emily Kirigha, Project Manager, and Beatrice Masaba, People & Support Officer, Kenya Every single project and activity WSUP has been involved with in Africa and Asia relies on the direct participation and deep involvement of women. From the hard work done by female residents in their communities to their role as mothers and sisters […]


Mind the Gap: what happens when customers cannot afford safe sanitation?

By Sam Drabble, Head of Evaluation, Research & Learning In a recent publication, WSUP explored what quality sanitation means from a public health and user experience perspective. But there is a further question which is core to achieving Citywide Inclusive Sanitation: how can quality sanitation be financed? The scale of the financing challenge for urban […]