Smart water: the experience of utilities in adopting digital solutions

Across 2021 and 2022 the GSMA’s Digital Utilities programme and Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP) collaborated on research exploring four Kenyan water utilities experience of adopting digital solutions and their digitalisation journey more broadly. This blog, co-written by Eden Mati (WSUP) and Zach White (GSMA), summarises the report’s key findings and messages. […]


As Covid-19 restrictions are lifted, hygiene practices remain essential

Covid-19 infections have significantly declined in many parts of the world, after the spread of the Omicron variant, and that is also true in Africa. With the end of restrictions and with vaccinations levels still low in much of the continent, however, the adoption of good hygiene practices is as important as it has ever […]


Women spread the message: story of a communications leader in Kenya

By Emily Kirigha, Project Manager, and Beatrice Masaba, People & Support Officer, Kenya Every single project and activity WSUP has been involved with in Africa and Asia relies on the direct participation and deep involvement of women. From the hard work done by female residents in their communities to their role as mothers and sisters […]


A round-up of SWEEP: WSUP’s solution to tackle Bangladesh’s sanitation challenge

The SWEEP service has transformed the collection of human waste in three of the largest cities in Bangladesh, with the potential to go much further. This ground-breaking public-private sector led service was launched in Dhaka, in 2015, to address the lack of safe collection and treatment of sanitation waste services in the city. To date, […]


Mind the Gap: what happens when customers cannot afford safe sanitation?

By Sam Drabble, Head of Evaluation, Research & Learning In a recent publication, WSUP explored what quality sanitation means from a public health and user experience perspective. But there is a further question which is core to achieving Citywide Inclusive Sanitation: how can quality sanitation be financed? The scale of the financing challenge for urban […]


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.

WSUP publishes 2020-2021 Annual Report

WSUP has launched its 2020-2021 Annual Report, presenting our operations and impact in the year up to March 2021. Through work in our core countries Bangladesh, Kenya, Ghana, Madagascar, Mozambique, and Zambia, plus our emerging presence in Uganda and consultancy work in Malawi and Cambodia, we were proud to improve the lives of 6.7 million […]


A year in water and sanitation: battling Covid-19 and climate

We reach the end of 2021, with Covid-19 and climate change having exacerbated the historic lack of access to water and sanitation for many around the world. Despite these challenges, it has been a year of many achievements. With Covid-19 and climate change permeating nearly everything WSUP has worked on in 2021, WSUP has continued […]


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.

Valuing toilets: how customers rate the container-based sanitation experience

By Sam Drabble, Head of Evaluation, Research & Learning Container-based sanitation (CBS) offers an innovative response to the challenge of sanitation in densely populated urban settlements. This blog presents key findings from a ground-breaking study looking at customer satisfaction with Clean Team Ghana, a CBS provider owned by WSUP serving over 3200 customers in Kumasi, […]