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.

The WSUP Advisory report The challenge of small towns: Professionalising piped water services in Western Uganda tells the story of the recent progress made by the Mid Western Umbrella (MWU), one of the recently established Uganda’s structures of water utilities management. The improvements made in water provision in the country come as a much needed response to the challenges presented by the rapid growth of small towns.

Straddling both urban and rural life, small towns are at the forefront of a major change in population distribution, marked by increasing growth in urban populations, and systems and structures need to be adapted to keep up. Provision of water supply is one example of an essential service that needs to adapt to this evolution.

There are five key recommendations the WSUP Advisory report makes to help other utilities serving small towns:

  1. Adopt a decentralised management structure to remain lean, cost-effective and responsive
  2. Develop talent and empower middle management
  3. Start with short-term performance improvement and track simple metrics
  4. Meet operational costs to create breathing room
  5. Align support programmes with operational priorities

The publication provides further insight into each of these recommendations and provides specific experience and insights for all those concerned with sustainably managing water supply in small towns across Africa.

Download WSUP Advisory Uganda report

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.

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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.

 

Sanitation for all is a challenge particularly acute for low and middle-income countries. In the face of funding constraints, and a lack of political influence among those living in poorer areas, governments have tended to under-prioritise sanitation as a public investment
area.

Yet, countries have committed to the Sustainable Development Goal for sanitation. In doing so, governments have pledged to the Leaving no one behind principle, and to reaching the underserved as a matter of priority. A key question in this endeavour is which financing models can support governments’ ambitions for citywide sanitation.

This publication explores how high-quality sanitation can be financed in low-income urban areas in developing contexts. It is based on
findings from four research projects conducted under WSUP’s Urban Sanitation Research Initiative 2016–2020 (USRI), funded by UK Aid:

  1. A research project led by the Aquaya Institute and conducted in five cities – Kisumu (Kenya), Nakuru (Kenya), Malindi (Kenya), Kumasi (Ghana), and Rangpur (Bangladesh) – identified the costs of sanitation services and the willingness-to-pay of poor urban households for those services (this research is referred to as SanCost in this paper);
  2. A second research project led by the Aquaya Institute and which carried out a comparison of service models, financing models and willingness-to-pay for faecal sludge emptying services in Kisumu (Kenya);
  3. A third research project by the Aquaya Institute that considered the willingness-to-pay of utility customers for a sanitation surcharge on the water bill to cross-subsidise sanitation for the poor in two Kenyan cities; and
  4. Finally, a research project led by Dr. Charles Yaw Oduro (Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology) and conducted in two districts in Ghana that examined policy-makers and taxpayers’ attitudes towards a sanitation surcharge on the property tax.

During 2020-2021, WSUP’s work became more vital than ever before, with the Covid-19 pandemic driving increased need for general good hygiene practices.

Our Annual Report shows where, how, and how much WSUP’s work has benefited the communities it serves across Africa and south Asia.

In the year to March 2021, despite global challenging circumstances, WSUP reached:

515,000 people with improved water access

721,000 residents with improved sanitation services;

5.5 million people with improved access to good hygiene;

and mobilised $8 million in additional investment.

Lord Paul Boateng, WSUP’s chairman, says in his opening message:

“As a world leader in research and practical assistance in the market-led delivery of access to urban water, sanitation and hygiene, our efforts are critical to the achievement of SDG 6, clean water and sanitation, and SDG 11, sustainable communities and cities.”

Neil Jeffery, WSUP’s CEO, adds:

“Covid-19 highlighted how vital water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) is, how central it can be to combating disease and how WSUP’s expertise is fundamental to overcoming that challenge in urban areas.”

Download WSUP Annual Report 2020-21

 

The social and economic development of any country requires strong basic conditions, such as the health and well-being of its population. Hygiene practices are proven to be crucial for health, so any initiative aimed at ensuring those practices are incorporated by communities is incredibly important.

In Madagascar, this has been done successfully over recent years, thanks to partnerships that combined efforts and expertise from organisations and local authorities, with specific focus on educating pupils at schools. In order to assess those actions and the progress they brought about, a study has been produced.

In collaboration with Madagascar’s Ministry of Education, WSUP asked Hydroconseil and GRET to carry out research on the effectiveness of hygiene promotion in schools. The objective of the study was to compare several hygiene promotion approaches in EPPs by assessing their effects on student behaviour.

Container-based sanitation (CBS) systems are acknowledged by the JMP as providing improved sanitation services. By contrast with onsite-infiltration systems, such as latrines and septic tanks, container-based systems ensure full containment of faecal waste.

This Research Brief presents the results of an evaluation of user experience of CBS. The study found that CBS provides social benefits including increased satisfaction for women, and for those unable to use the toilet at night or otherwise excluded from accessing toilets for physical or social reasons.

Most Clean Team Ghana customers previously used public toilets – they show higher satisfaction with CBS, and on average, paid 3.6 USD or 20 GHS person/month less for sanitation with Clean Team Ghana. The study strengthens the evidence base that CBS, under the right arrangements, should be considered as an option to be included in the national sanitation policy and contribute towards Ghana meeting Sanitation for All.

ESAWAS report Citywide Inclusive Sanitation resources

Effective resource planning and management are required to ensure that mandated entities are sufficiently resourced to be able to fulfil their mandate.

This publication forms part of a series looking at Citywide Inclusive Sanitation in terms of three closely related requirements for achieving safe, inclusive and sustainable urban sanitation: clear responsibility, strong accountability, and fit-for-purpose resource planning and management.

This paper is one of three complementary publications that explain these functions (responsibility, accountability, resource planning and management) in more detail, on the basis of specific case studies.

Click for a shorter version of this paper, which looks at the function of resource planning and management, drawing on a desk review of over 40 urban sanitation investments in twenty-eight countries across Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Accountability mechanisms are required to make sure that mandated responsibilities are fulfilled.

This publication forms part of a series looking at Citywide Inclusive Sanitation in terms of three closely related requirements for achieving safe, inclusive and sustainable urban sanitation: clear responsibility, strong accountability, and fit-for-purpose resource planning and management.

This paper is one of three complementary publications that explain these functions (responsibility, accountability, resource planning and management) in more detail, on the basis of specific case studies.

Click for a shorter version of this paper, where we explore the accountability mechanisms that can be applied to the different service provision mandate structures identified in our parallel paper on responsibilities.