Water-smart, inclusive, and integrated: ways to climate-proof sanitation systems

What have toilets got to do with climate change? This World Toilet Day, WSUP is highlighting how climate change is placing a growing strain on urban sanitation systems, and looks at ways to improve the climate resiliency of services to the poorest. Climate change is threatening sanitation systems in cities. Droughts in southern Africa have […]


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.

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 […]


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 […]


“Health is wealth”: improving communities through access to sewers

In urban areas, sewer networks – a low profile, but vital piece of infrastructure – can play a key role in the fight against diarrhoea. But in many fast-growing cities in Africa, sewers rarely extend beyond the richest parts of the city. In Nakuru, Kenya’s fourth largest city, WSUP is working with the city utility […]


Pit-emptiers and politicians come together to discuss Africa’s sanitation challenges

By Sam Drabble, Head of Research and Learning Last week sanitation enthusiasts from across Africa and beyond convened in Cape Town for the joint FSM5/AfricaSan conference. This marked the first time the FSM conference – established as a biannual global event to share best practice in faecal sludge management – merged with AfricaSan, a political […]


Towards sustainable sanitation in Freetown, Sierra Leone

Mabinty runs the new call centre in Freetown, taking enquiries from the public on faecal waste management services available in the city. “It is not just a channel of complaints for faecal waste management issues, but also a medium through which other issues are reported,” she says. “People call to report solid waste issues and […]


Low connection rates in sewerage projects

In this blog post, I wanted to draw people’s attention to some fascinating recent commentary by Ian Ross around sanitation costings. Ian’s an ex-OPM consultant, now taking time out with LSHTM to do a PhD looking at costs of sanitation: so he’s able to put a lot of his considerable brainpower into thinking about this, […]