Building resilience faster: Join us for World Water Week 2021

How can water help us tackle the world’s greatest challenges and build resilient cities faster? Join us virtually for four sessions during the week to find out. As the world faces multiple challenges from increasing urban populations to climate change and with the SDG deadline fast approaching, finding ways to improve the resilience of cities […]


New report explores market-based solutions to meet SDG6 targets

Inspired by best practice within the private sector, a new report titled A meeting of mindsets highlights how social enterprises and sustainable investors can work together to develop market-based solutions to tackle one of the world’s biggest challenges. Increasing number of mainstream investors are prioritising sustainability initiatives – a welcome addition to the SDG funding […]


Core to WSUP’s guiding strategy is the belief that market-based solutions will contribute significantly to sustainable progress in tackling the world’s biggest challenge: water and sanitation for all.

However, financially viable business models targeting the poorest residents are just not very many.

Our work with local service providers, social enterprises, and WASH-driven start-ups, seeks to de-risk entry into the water and sanitation market, and drive growth for the business models with the potential to create lasting change.

The ideas outlined in this report explores how social enterprises and sustainable investors can work together to make SDG 6 a reality.

Read more about this report on NextBillion.

Improving sanitation conditions in low-income communities is a major challenge in rapidly growing cities of the developing world.

To determine the degree through which market forces can promote safe fecal sludge removal in low-income neighbourhoods of Kisumu, Kenya, this research compared household willingness-to-pay for formal pit emptying services with the prices charged by service providers.

The results suggest that improving fecal sludge management in these neighbourhoods via the private sector will require large subsidies to address the gap between willingness-to-pay and market prices.

Raising and administering subsidies of this scale will require the development of a city wide sanitation master plan that includes investment, management, and regulatory procedures for fecal sludge management.

WSUP support enables Madagascar utility to access EUR 71.5m in funding

A 10-year programme of support from WSUP has helped the national water utility in Madagascar, JIRAMA, to secure a EUR 71.5 million investment package from the European Investment Bank, European Union, and Government of Madagascar. The package consists of a loan of EUR 35 million and a grant of EUR 30 million from the EIB […]


Ghana reactivates the call for a National Sanitation Authority

Plans for a new national sanitation body in Ghana have been reactivated by the government, raising the hope of accelerated efforts towards universal coverage. But serious challenges remain. By Azzika Yussif Tanko, Research & Policy Lead for WSUP in Ghana The National Sanitation Authority (NSA) will focus on coordinating national sanitation improvements, with a proposed […]


Rebooting the system: Lessons from Lusaka and Maputo

To mark World Toilet Day, we’ve launched a new report which identifies steps needed to support cities in delivering citywide sanitation services. The report, entitled Systems Reboot, identifies four components crucial to bringing change for all urban residents: Begin by optimising one part of the system, to overcome institutional inertia and secure buy-in for wider […]


In one in seven countries, access to basic sanitation is decreasing. Even in cities, where access to safely managed sanitation is more prevalent than in rural areas, gaps between the rich and the poor continue to be stark.

But what does this look like at a city level?

This Discussion Paper provides examples of how a systems approach can be applied at a city level by looking at two cities – Lusaka, Zambia and Maputo, Mozambique – that have experienced positive change in their on-site sanitation sector over the last decade.

Each case study contains an in-depth examination of one particular component of the system that was identified by stakeholders as being particularly crucial: a community-based, utility-managed faecal sludge management (FSM) service in Lusaka, and the design of a sanitation tariff in Maputo.

The report identifies four components crucial to bringing change for all urban residents:

  1. Begin by optimising one part of the system, to overcome institutional inertia and secure buy-in for wider change
  2. Embrace the power of process, recognising that simply bringing people together to discuss challenges can help to move change forward
  3. Design investments to address genuine system constraints, rather than purely directing investment towards more tangible infrastructure projects
  4. Anticipate and factor in delays, due to the likelihood of unexpected political, economic or capacity constraints slowing down progress

WSUP has been working to catalyse the Ghanaian market for improved sanitation through introducing and selling affordable and desirable products. While it sounds simple, efforts to sell various sanitation products in Ga West (in Greater Accra) and Kumasi were thwarted by overarching issues that prevented potential customers from purchasing and installing sanitation products in their homes.

Using quotes from residents of Ga West and Kumasi as discussion points, this report explores the financial, social, legal and physical hurdles to improving household sanitation in Ghana. We demonstrate the impact that such a ‘disabling’ environment can have on market-based programmes and make suggestions for practical activities that WSUP and other actors could pursue to ease the path to the market for safe sanitation products in the future:

  1. Incentivise product and business development to reduce costs
  2. Reduce dependence on public toilets as primary sanitation facilities
  3. Enforce existing by-laws in a sensitive manner
  4. Target and inform landlords about investing in sanitation
  5. Increase local government funding for sanitation activities
  6. Tailor financial mechanisms to be more inclusive
  7. Apply subsidies carefully to avoid distorting the market

Slow uptake of household toilets in urban Ghana is due to several factors, including (but not limited to) cost which is a key focus of stakeholders. Collating data on the costs of constructing toilets in Kumasi, this Practice Note provides points of comparison for others seeking to build toilets in Ghana and beyond.

Ghana has endured a difficult macro-economic period, with rates of inflation rising to around 17.5% in 2016. Although rates have since reduced, the impact on costs of materials, labour and credit were a constraint on sales of Round Concrete Tanks (RCTs), pit latrines and SaTo Pans in Kumasi in 2018 and 2019.