What is water worth?

To mark World Water Day, 22 March, WSUP is shining a light on the value of water: the theme for this year’s campaign. 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. Watch the video […]


What does ‘quality’ sanitation mean in low-income urban areas?

By Sam Drabble, Head of Evaluation, Research & Learning Broadly speaking, when we advocate for investment in sanitation, it is because we are trying to achieve two critically important aims: improve human health, and improve wellbeing or quality of life. But to what extent are sanitation interventions actually achieving these aims? In many cases, the […]


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:

  1. The Faecal Pathogen Flows study in Dhaka, Bangladesh — aiming to track and model how faecal pathogens move through urban low-income communities (LICs), as a tool to support sanitation intervention planning in developing contexts.
  2. The MapSan study carried out in Maputo, Mozambique — one of the largest and most rigorous studies ever conducted of the health impacts of an urban sanitation intervention.
  3. The QUISS study — based on large-scale surveys in Bangladesh, Ghana and Kenya, aiming to identify minimum standards for high-quality shared sanitation in urban contexts, and workable indicators of shared sanitation quality.
  4. The Clean Team evaluation — assessing customer experience among customers of Clean Team Ghana, a container-based sanitation enterprise.

Defending against disease: Improving WASH in Maputo’s schools

Broken sanitation facilities with no access to clean water make it difficult for students to enjoy a clean and safe environment in Maputo’s schools. Following years of working in individual schools, a new strategy developed by WSUP and the city council aims to help schools across the city defend against Covid-19 and other diseases. In […]


Melita Zeca, resident in Beira

Water-smart, inclusive, and integrated: ways to climate-proof sanitation systems

What have toilets got to do with climate change? This World Toilet Day, WSUP is highlighting how climate change is placing a growing strain on urban sanitation systems, and looks at ways to improve the climate resiliency of services to the poorest. Climate change is threatening sanitation systems in cities. Droughts in southern Africa have […]


Ilda Timan in front of the toilet block

Creating a safe and sustainable water supply for 50,000 low-income residents of Maputo

Increasing urbanisation in Mozambique’s cities is placing ever-growing demand on water services, meaning many vulnerable urban residents have limited or no access to clean, piped water. Together with Borealis, WSUP worked with the infrastructure asset owner FIPAG and small-scale operators in Maputo to extend the water network, repair water tanks and provide training on how […]


Climate recovery in Beira: sustainable water and sanitation access for a more resilient city

In the aftermath of Cyclone Idai, WSUP has been delivering sustainable, long-term water and sanitation solutions to help mitigate the effects of climate change for thousands of residents in Beira. In March 2019 Cyclone Idai caused devastation across Mozambique, including in the city of Beira which suffered from widespread flooding and severe damage to its […]


School sanitation in Aeroporto B

The virtuous circle of good customer service: experience from Mozambique

By Antonio Madeira, Head of Water, Mozambique Creating stronger service providers, a core strategic goal for WSUP’s 2020-2025 business plan, requires development of scalable business models that allow services to be provided to low-income customers at a profit. There are two fundamental ways to make a business model more profitable: increasing revenue or reducing costs […]