WSUP’s approach

WSUP believes that universal access to safely managed water and sanitation services requires the public and the private sector to pool resources and expertise. WSUP works with both to identify service gaps and design partnerships that can fill them according to context.

In WSUP’s experience, the flexibility of small-scale PPPs makes them well-suited to operating in low-income urban areas where there are no sewers, where partnerships rely on service- based agreements and/or working relationships rather than costly infrastructure-based contracts that govern ‘traditional’ large-scale PPPs.

In the water sector, community-based institutions (like Water Trusts in Kenya) are invaluable for providing clean and safe water in areas which lack coverage, in partnership with official, public or quasi public service providers.

Establishing a pit-emptying service in two cities in Bangladesh

Established by WSUP in 2015, SWEEP is the first of its kind in Bangladesh: a private vacuum tanker operator that is profitable and serves low-income urban communities.

Entrepreneurs operate under the SWEEP brand in Dhaka and Chittagong in partnership with public bodies. The PPP agreements guarantee that entrepreneurs receive valuable institutional support, such as reduced vehicle lease fees.

At the end of the two year-long pilot in March 2017, SWEEP had served more than 120,000 people in Dhaka. Within its first two months of operations in Chittagong in 2017, SWEEP had served more than 10,000 people, around 40% of whom are from low-income communities.

Read more about SWEEP.

It's unbelievable that faecal sludge collection can be a profitable business and is getting such a positive response. Now that WSUP has paved the way, CCC is committed to making more entrepreneurs in this business.

Shafuqul Mannan Siddique, Chief Conservancy OfficerChittagong City Corporation

Working with the public sector to support a sanitation entrepreneur in Kisumu, Kenya

WSUP is supporting a cleaning company ­– Gasia Poa – to move into pit latrine emptying, and working alongside Kisumu’s Water and Sewerage Company (KIWASCO) and Public Health Office to ensure that the company’s services meet regulations.

Under this partnership, Gasia Poa is fully licensed by the County and can access KIWASCO’s treatment facilities. The Public Health Office provides training so that Gasia Poa’s employees are kept safe and their activities do not negatively affect public health.

Gasia Poa is now operating in Kisumu’s informal settlements and contributing to the formulation of Kisumu County’s new sanitation guidelines and PPP policy.

Read more about WSUP’s work in Kisumu.

Encouraging innovation in managing public assets

Delegated management models – when public bodies mandated to supply water and/or sanitation choose to deliver services through other actors – are common in cities where WSUP works. In Zambia, for example, Lusaka Water and Sewerage Company (LWSC) provide services to low-income communities through community-based organisations known as Water Trusts.

In two low-income communities, Kanyama and Chazanga, WSUP has been building the capacity of existing small business service providers and Water Trusts to provide sludge emptying services, and working with LWSC to improve the enabling environment for private operators. This has resulted in LWSC becoming more open to working with private partners, and willing to implement projects to help the private sector, like establishing a database of toilets in low-income areas of Lusaka.

New treatment facilities constructed by LWSC (with WSUP support) in Kanyama and Chazanga mean that companies that are collecting faecal waste from low-income customers can safely dump the sludge, and once the sludge has been treated it can be disposed of safely or sold as fertiliser or soil conditioner by the Water Trusts.

Read more about WSUP’s work in Zambia.