Raising local governments’ sanitation operational standards

Despite being Kenya’s third-largest city, Kisumu has only 18% sewer coverage, with residents living in low-income communities needing more access to safe and environmentally sound sanitation and sewer facilities.

The lack of sanitation regulations and guidelines has allowed for the unregulated operation of manual pit emptiers in the city’s low-income communities. This has resulted in unsafe and inefficient emptying practices, causing environmental and health concerns.

To improve fecal sludge management services in low-income communities, WSUP has collaborated with the County Government of Kisumu and Kisumu Water and Sanitation Company Limited (KIWASCO) to develop standard operating procedures and systems for collecting and treating fecal waste.

Through this partnership, WSUP provided business development and technical capacity support to the first fully licensed company, Gasia Poa. This privately owned pit emptier company provides manual fecal sludge management and solid waste collection services.

Trained pit emptiers from Gasia Poa safely empty an average of thirty latrines per month and, by so doing, improve residents’ hygiene and sanitation conditions. The success of this initiative continues to be a case study on what it takes to improve access to safely managed sanitation in urban low-income areas.