Lake Victoria nations come together for better sanitation

Themes: Container-based sanitation Hygiene Public/shared toilets Research Sanitation Sewerage Urban Sanitation Research Initiative WASH Water
Countries: Kenya Kenya-local

What is Lakewide Inclusive Sanitation (LWIS)? It is a strategy that can change the quality of life in the Lake Victoria Basin by improving essential service provision in the areas of water and sanitation.

LWIS was the focus of a workshop in Kisumu, Kenya, at the end of 2022. The event brought together representatives of the ministries, regulators, and service providers responsible for sanitation in each of the five East African countries represented by Lake Victoria Basin Commission (LVBC) – Tanzania, Kenya, Burundi, Rwanda, and Uganda.

The Knowledge and Learning Event on Citywide Inclusive Sanitation (CWIS) was held by The World Bank between 28th November and 1st December 2022, in collaboration with the LVBC  and supported by WSUP Advisory as technical assistance partners.

The participants met to share their regional experiences of CWIS. They agreed to develop together a Lakewide Inclusive Sanitation Strategy to mainstream the Citywide Inclusive Sanitation approach in the urban settlements of the Lake Victoria Basin.

Participants of the workshop visited the Kisumu Water and Sewerage Company

Why is CWIS different?

Citywide Inclusive Sanitation (CWIS) differs from traditional Sanitation Master Planning approaches in that its overall goal is to ensure that everyone in the city has access to safely managed sanitation at a price they can afford and are willing to pay. This approach recognizes the importance of matching services to the specific conditions within a community, in terms of geography or population density, and the needs and preferences of local service users.

The first two days of the workshop focused on how different cities in the region have successfully applied CWIS principles in order to improve access to sanitation services and their quality. Neil Macleod, a former head of eThekwini Water and Sanitation in South Africa, emphasized the importance of prioritizing the customer in designing sanitation systems and services.

Read more on CWIS

Alan Nkurunziza, the CWIS programme manager from Kampala Capital City Authority in Uganda, discussed the city’s efforts to manage waste from the sewer and onsite sanitation systems safely. He also noted that there are still challenges in reaching the most vulnerable and low-income customers.

On the third day, participants visited the Kisumu Water and Sewerage Company to see examples of traditional and innovative sanitation services, including container-based sanitation and septage treatment technologies.

Work on the strategy

On the final two days of the workshop, participants discussed the applicability of the CWIS approach to urban settlements in their own countries and the Lake Victoria Basin. The representatives from each of the five countries agreed to work together to develop a Lakewide Inclusive Sanitation Strategy, which will outline priority areas and key required outputs for improving access to safely managed sanitation in the urban settlements around Lake Victoria. A draft of this strategy is to be presented to stakeholders in early 2023.

Read more: CWIS in Malindi

Top image: workshop in Kisumu, Kenya