WSUP acts as a bridge between local communities and service providers, helping to ensure that services are both financially viable, and meet the needs of the poorest citizens.
We help communities to ensure that new services are well planned, affordable, and can be managed by local residents and community groups so that the services are sustainable for the long term.
We work with community health officers to raise awareness of the linkages between improved water and sanitation, and improved health. By promoting better hygiene practices, we aim to reduce spread of diseases such as cholera.
Communal sanitation blocks in Maputo
In 2009, WSUP began trialling communal sanitation blocks to provide improved sanitation to the densely populated low-income districts of Maputo, Mozambique.
The communal sanitation blocks have been located in areas that meet needs of local communities, particularly women and girls.
Central to the success of the work has been the creation of sanitation management committees for each communal sanitation block, formed of local residents to ensure collective ownership of the facilities.
We also created a formal delegated management agreement between the sanitation management committees and the municipality so that there are clear lines of communication between each group and clear responsibilities for operation and maintenance of the facilities.
Improving communal facilities in urban Bangladesh
In Dhaka and Chittagong, we have implemented community water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) projects to improve services in specific low-income communities. The projects can include construction of new water points and sanitation facilities – or refurbishment of existing ones.
Behaviour change, to improve hygiene practices, is a core component of the sustainability of these projects and we run campaigns to promote handwashing and ensure upkeep of facilities.
We work with existing community groups and local NGOs to ensure that new services are created in coordination with the service provider, with the needs of the local community in mind and managed sustainably.
WSUP has introduced something that I did not think would be easy to achieve.
Promoting better hygiene practices
Working with local communities to improve hygiene practices can make a huge difference to health and well-being.
By engaging with community health workers, WSUP is able to support extensive hygiene promotion activities, such as encouraging regular handwashing with soap. These activities can reduce the spread of diseases such as cholera.
In Lusaka, Zambia, for example, we have worked with community health workers and Environmental Health Technicians from the Ministry of Health to carry out extensive hygiene promotion activities in communities.
We also work in schools in cities such as Accra, Ghana, and Dhaka, Bangladesh, to specifically target children with hygiene awareness campaigns.