Destroyed property in Beira, Mozambique

Moving towards the recovery phase in Beira

How to rebuild after the crisis? The devastating impacts of Cyclone Idai in early March were widespread across five of Mozambique’s eleven provinces, affecting 1.5 million people. The city of Beira was hardest hit, and thousands of families are still struggling to get their lives back together. After a major relief operation which saw families […]


This Discussion Paper examines the theory and practice of supporting change processes in urban water and sanitation institutions – a chain of actors that includes local governments, water utilities, and a mix of private and public service providers – to help them reach all urban citizens, including the poorest, with water and sanitation services.

The report presents findings from a literature review of institutional change processes in the WASH sector, supplemented by case studies of WSUP’s work and interviews with WSUP staff that explore their personal experiences of participating in institutional change interventions.

The pathogen problem

In many cities, people’s living and working environments are contaminated by huge amounts of untreated faecal waste. We know that excreta (human and non-human) is incredibly dangerous for health. But the pathogens found in faecal waste (i.e. the micro-organisms that cause diseases like diarrhoea, typhoid and hepatitis) have very complex patterns of movement through the […]


Citywide Inclusive Sanitation: perspectives from Manila

By Yaver Abidi, Managing Director, WSUP Advisory         Last week I was in Manila, at an annual meeting organised by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on Citywide Inclusive Sanitation. Citywide Inclusive Sanitation is the notion that current approaches to sanitation are too small in scale and too focused on infrastructure to genuinely […]


The devastating impact of poor wastewater management

Ahead of World Toilet Day, our CEO looks into the impact of poor wastewater treatment and highlights ways in which cities can improve sanitation management. By Neil Jeffery, Chief Executive When people in the most developed cities flush the toilet, they have the luxury of not having to wonder where the wastewater goes to next. […]


A public toilet in Kumasi, Ghana

New guide to make toilets better for women and girls by WaterAid, WSUP and UNICEF

The requirements of women and girls are too often ignored in the planning and design of toilets, leaving them unable to use the toilet where and when needed. Women have different sanitation requirements, for instance during menstruation, pregnancy and after menopause, that should be considered when designing and building public toilets. Of particular importance is […]


The female-friendly guide written by WaterAid, UNICEF and WSUP, is designed primarily for use by local authorities in towns and cities who are in charge of public and community toilets. It’s also useful for national governments, public and private service providers, NGOs, donors and civil society organisations who play a role in delivering these services.

The guide explains why toilets must be female-friendly, before detailing the essential and desirable features needed to make them so. It also suggests ways to increase gender sensitivity in town planning on sanitation.

The guide draws the recommendations and practical steps from existing literature, expert opinion and analysis of pioneering experiences from around the world.

This Topic Brief sets out the process of institutional change undergone by Nairobi City Water & Sewerage Company (NCWSC) to extend services to the informal settlements of Nairobi.

Beginning with the creation of an Informal Settlements Department (ISD) in 2009, the utility has implemented a set of structural reforms, strategies and service delivery approaches which have engendered significant progress towards citywide service provision, and which can be instructive for utilities facing similar challenges across Sub-Saharan Africa.

Growing Nairobi, flowing Nairobi: a Story Map for World Cities Day

In some of the poorest urban communities of Nairobi, residents currently spend one-fifth of their income procuring humanity’s most basic need: water. As the city’s low-income communities grow in size, and as inequality becomes more pronounced, so it becomes more important to tackle this most vital issue in a comprehensive fashion. Policymakers, NGOs, the private […]


According to the Local Government (City Corporation) Act 2009, City Corporations (CCs) are responsible for sanitation in large cities – a key public service, because millions of urban Bangladeshis of all income levels rely on on-site sanitation like septic tanks.

But are CCs able to deliver safe and affordable sanitation services such as faecal sludge management (FSM) to millions of urban citizens? And is there internal awareness of the issues, and a desire to overcome barriers blocking improvements to sanitation for all, including the very poorest?

This research looked at organisational practice and capacity for sanitation planning and investment in three CCs – Dhaka North (serving a population of just under 8 million in 2011), Chittagong (2.5 million, 2011) and Rangpur (120,000, 2017). This Policy Brief summarises recommendations about how CC staff can improve pro-poor sanitation.