Call that a septic tank?

In a previous blog post back in January, we described the start of a research project which is aiming to assess and  model how faecal pathogens move through the environment in a low-income urban community in Dhaka in Bangladesh. By Guy Norman, WSUP’s Director of Research and Evaluation It’s one of our three biggest projects […]


Is slum sanitation likely to require major subsidy?

Improving sanitation in slum communities is a complex challenge. Particularly challenging is working out how it can be financed. By Guy Norman, WSUP’s Director of Research and Evaluation Now if you believe that subsidy is a Bad Thing or just ain’t ever gonna happen, you might approach slum sanitation by first assessing what slumdwellers are […]


Running Dry front cover

WSUP has identified five myths which are stopping investors, agencies and policymakers from properly addressing the inadequate access to essential water and sanitation services in cities across Africa and South Asia.

 

Myth one: Struggling utilities are unable to serve the poorest

The reality: Much-maligned, publicly owned utilities can deliver services for the poorest communities.

Myth two: Water should be free

The reality: Water is a human right, but people should still pay for it. Even the poorest.

Myth three: Communities should be responsible for their own services

The reality: Community ownership can result in poor services. We should be aiming for community buy-in instead.

Myth four: We should only focus on household facilities

The reality: Community sanitation facilities can help bridge the gap when household facilities are not viable.

Myth five: Building toilets alone will solve the sanitation crisis

The reality: Solving the waste management conundrum is bigger than just building toilets.

 

Gasia_Poa_pit-emptying_business_Kisumu

What is the market like for pro-poor, safe emptying services in Kisumu, Kenya?

In Kisumu, Kenya, the majority of households rely on pit latrines but most pit emptiers do not work safely – which is bad for the customer, the neighbourhood, and the emptiers themselves. This lack of adequate services is an opportunity for those who can deliver safely managed sanitation services to customers, including those in low-income […]


Lead author: Aquaya Institute.

In Kisumu, Kenya, the majority of households rely on pit latrines, though the servicing of these latrines is largely unsafe. This Brief assesses the market potential to expand safe fecal waste emptying services to low-income areas in Kisumu.

Price is the largest barrier for this population to access safe emptying services, which are more than double the cost of existing practices.

Future interventions need to address the price barrier between formal (safe) and informal (unsafe) faecal sludge emptying. The Aquaya Institute are currently conducting a randomised, real-money demand trial in Kisumu to quantify the gap between existing prices and consumer willingness-to-pay for safe pit emptying services.

Combining toilets and mobile tech

We’ve all heard it before – more people in Africa have mobile phones than have access to sewerage (according to the 2017 Afrobarometer survey, at least). It’s not that useful a comparison when you think about the difference in cost, installation and infrastructure requirements of a toilet compared to a mobile phone, but it’s still […]


Chazanga Water Trust has provided an affordable, accessible and safe pit-emptying service to low-income customers in Lusaka since August 2014, the result of a partnership between Lusaka Water and Sewerage Company (LWSC) and WSUP.

This Practice Note explains the process behind LWSC’s recent price adjustment for its FSM service in Chazanga, and situates that within its wider journey towards becoming a viable and sustainable FSM model.

This Topic Brief presents WSUP’s experience supporting sanitation businesses oriented towards low-income customers in five cities. Each case study highlights changes to the business model or enabling environment with the potential to trigger business growth.

In WSUP’s experience, the success of sanitation businesses depends on factors internal to the business as well as those external, and out of the control of, the business. We have seen that where businesses and development actors are able to identify and push these trigger points, rapid progress can be made in business growth.

Service providers involved in faecal sludge management are held back by a lack of current data on their customer base, operating standards and levels of service. Pula, a mobile app, was developed to address this data gap.

This publication shares the learning from a 3-year process of developing a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) for the Pula app. We outline how the MVP was designed and developed, supported by reflections from the app development team about the technology and user requirements.

The publication concludes with three key recommendations identified by the app development team:

  • Focus on one core feature and ensure this is fit for purpose;
  • Establish a relationship with one target customer, allowing the product to be tested over longer periods; and
  • Focus on developing a product tailored to a single market, which can then be adapted for new markets as required.

See also: Design, Prototype, Test: using Design Sprints to develop an app for sanitation service providers

This Practice Note describes the design process behind development of a mobile app, Pula, inspired by GV’s Design Sprint method. Pula aims to support vacuum tankers with their business while providing urban planners with data about sanitation in the city.

See also: Integrating mobile tech into sanitation services: insights from Pula