Market-driven models for sanitation in low-income areas are of unquestionable importance, but there is broad consensus that the market needs to be supported by some sort of public revenue stream. One potentially pro-poor approach to revenue generation, as demonstrated in Lusaka and Ouagadougou, is to include a sanitation surcharge within water bills. This Discussion Paper is a situation review of sanitation surcharge systems in African cities, focusing on systems designed to raise revenues for improving sanitation in low-income districts.

Donor-funded water and sanitation improvement programmes operate within the formal frameworks put in place by municipal or national governments. However, in order to plan and implement programmes effectively, it is essential that implementers also recognise and take into account the influence of more subtle informal factors, such as conventions, norms of behaviour, and unwritten cultural codes of conduct. This Topic Brief draws on WSUP’s experience in the African Cities for the Future (ACF) programme, illustrating how both formal and informal factors can influence local service provider and low-income consumer behaviours – and providing practical guidance for programme managers on how to respond to these issues and ensure greater project sustainability.

Even in city districts served by a water network, there are various barriers to connection by the poorest households. Sometimes a major barrier is simply the paperwork. In Maputo, Mozambique, the Tchemulane project is working with community groups and the water utility to help poorer consumers access a household connection.

Mesmo nos distritos urbanos servidos por uma rede de abastecimento de água, existem vários obstáculos para a  ligação dos mais desfavorecidos. Muitas das vezes o maior obstáculo é simplesmente a documentação. Em  Maputo (Moçambique), o projeto Tchemulane está a trabalhar com as comunidades e com a AdeM para ajudar os  consumidores de baixa renda a terem acesso a uma ligação domiciliária.

Même dans les quartiers urbains desservis par réseaux d’eau, les ménages les plus pauvres rencontrent des difficultés de branchement. La plupart du temps, les formalités représentent l’ obstacle majeur. À Maputo (Mozambique), le projet Tchemulane travaille avec des groupes communautaires et le service des eaux pour aider les consommateurs les plus pauvres à avoir accès au branchement domestique.

Des toilettes communes pour plusieurs familles peuvent être une bonne solution dans les quartiers pauvres et densément peuplés. Mais encore faut-il assurer des paiements réguliers par les usagers, et une bonne gestion communautaire des recetttes.

Em comunidades com uma elevada densidade populacional e baixo rendimento, sanitários comunitários para pequenos grupos de famílias podem ser uma solução eficaz. O desafio é obter pagamentos regulares dos utilizadores e uma gestão comunitária eficaz desta receita.

This Practice Note examines the financing of communal toilets in Maputo, Mozambique, carried out in conjunction with municipal level capacity building and citywide sanitation planning. It argues that in high density, low income communities, communal toilets serving small groups of families can be an effective sanitation solution.

This Topic Brief explores the viability of communal or public toilets as an alternative to individual household toilets, noting the challenges of financing and sustainable management arrangements. It argues that communal or public toilets may be the most appropriate medium-term solution in some specific situations: notably in high-density slums with a high proportion of tenants and/or frequent flooding and water-logging.

This Topic Brief describes a business model for delegated management of local water services, recently developed with WSUP support in the Kenyan Rift Valley town of Naivasha. The model is designed to ensure affordable but high-quality services for consumers, profitability for the operators, and sufficient revenues for sustainable asset maintenance.