Only 15% of Ghanaians use an improved household toilet, while nearly a quarter lack access to any household or shared facility. Inability to obtain finance is often cited as a key barrier.

Financial institutions offer toilet loans to help sanitation customers and providers bridge the gap, but uptake is low and businesses face wider challenges in providing affordable products.

This Practice Note considers how demand for sanitation financing products in Ghana could increase.

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 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

Participatory Health and Sanitation Transformation (PHAST) is a behaviour change methodology designed to engage participants at every stage of the process of improving health, hygiene and sanitation behaviours. This Practice Note evaluates the early results of a Comic Relief-funded project that utilised PHAST in two neighbourhoods in Lusaka, and its integration into the response to cholera outbreaks in the city in 2016 and 2017-2018.

Since January 2016, WSUP Advisory and its partner GOAL have supported Freetown City Council (FCC) in its efforts to improve faecal sludge management services in Sierra Leone’s capital city.

This Practice Note provides an overview of project activities, challenges and results to date.

The Kenyan water and sewerage regulator, WASREB, has introduced a new Key Performance Indicator (KPI) mandating utilities to report their efforts to serve low-income areas. KPI 10 requires utilities to demonstrate their pro-poor strategies, mapping and engagement, now essential to placing highly in WASREB’s annual ranking.

This Practice Note outlines the 7-year process – driven by WASREB with long-term support from WSUP – that led to the KPI’s eventual introduction.

Master Operators (MOs) are small-scale semi-autonomous water providers who serve low-income areas in Kisumu, overseen by Kisumu Water and Sewerage Company (KIWASCO) through a Delegated Management Model.

MOs extend the supply network to many of the city’s poorer residents for a fair price and have helped to semi-regulate previously informal water services. However, they have a poor growth and performance record.

This Practice Note outlines KIWASCO’s management model and how these social entrepreneurs can improve their business sustainability while continuing to extend services to low-income customers.

This Practice Note outlines the development of a toilet database to support sanitation business development and public health monitoring in Lusaka.

Currently being tested in the peri-urban area (PUA) of Kanyama, the electronic database enables information on the ownership, location, quality and emptying history of local pit latrines and septic tanks to be stored in one place.

Blog: November 2017 – Innovations to combat the spread of cholera in cities

In Kisumu, Kenya, pit latrines are the dominant form of sanitation, yet the servicing of these pits has previously been unregulated.

This Note outlines the recent introduction of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) – led by Kisumu County Public Health Office – which aim to minimise operator and public health risk throughout the emptying and disposal process.

 

PULA app Practice Note front cover

Service providers involved in faecal sludge management (FSM) are held back by a lack of current data on their customer base, operating standards and levels of service.

This Practice Note introduces PULA, an innovative mobile app now being developed to bridge the data gap.

In WSUP’s experience, one key barrier to citywide FSM service provision is lack of data. This means a lack of up-to-date information about the areas of the city being serviced by FSM businesses; about the target customer base for these businesses, and the extent to which businesses are reaching low-income households; and about operating standards (the extent to which businesses are providing a safely managed service). Without this data, authorities are left in the dark about the state of sanitation service provision in their city, undermining their ability to plan, implement and evaluate FSM interventions.

A mobile app has the potential to respond effectively to these challenges, by facilitating real-time, accurate data collection. This in turn will give municipal authorities a clear picture of sanitation in their city; and support the professionalisation of vacuum tanker businesses, by giving drivers the means to collect detailed information about their customer base and jobs completed.
PULA: the design process.

WSUP and project partners BoP and UX are in the process of developing the app through an iterative human-centred design process, with the aim of ensuring app design and functionality respond to genuine user requirements. Initial, intensive ‘Design Sprints’ have been conducted in Ghana and Kenya to develop early prototypes and gather feedback through interviews and workshops with target users, including vacuum tanker business owners and water and sewerage utilities.

The aim is to develop an app which can be customised to the local context, enabling vacuum tanker owners, drivers and municipal sanitation authorities to choose from a menu of features.