Waste-to-Value Sanitation in Kakuma Refugee Camp


Market-based solutions are increasingly seen as having an important role in filling gaps in public services provision and bring increased efficiency to humanitarian assistance. UNHCR partnered with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) to investigate waste-to-value sanitation solutions for areas with difficult ground conditions in protracted refugee camp settings in East Africa. In response to a call for sanitation solutions for difficult ground conditions in refugee settings, Sanivation introduced an innovative market-based solution with a waste-to-value component to Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya.

This report examines the business model and financial model that Sanivation developed during the project and illustrates some of the real world challenges and opportunities for waste-to-value sanitation. It is hoped that the insights from this research will provide a useful reference for potential investors and entrepreneurs, as well as humanitarian practitioners looking to design self-sustaining waste-to-value sanitation services in refugee and low-resource settings in the future.

Download the full report.


Emergency WASH Network Biweekly Update, July 1, 2020

Dear Colleagues:

CKM’s role in managing the Emergency WASH Network will end later this year so we are searching for organizations that would be interested in managing the Network in the future. Please contact me if this is something you would like to discuss.

Also, let us know if you have research, reports or upcoming events that can be featured in the next biweekly update. 

Member Updates

From Michelle Tran – michelle.tran@ouce.ox.ac.uk
A Survey on Faecal Sludge Management in Emergencies: University of Oxford – Purpose of Survey: This survey inquires about the importance of FSM in WASH responses during first-phase emergencies (approximately the first 6 months of the response) and whether later stages of the FSM chain are prioritized in emergencies. The results of this study will estimate demand for FSM products and guidance among WASH practitioners. Survey results will be shared within the wider emergency WASH sector after publication of this research (September-November 2020).

Upcoming Webinars

July 14 (in English and French) Make Me a Change Agent: An SBC Resource for WASH, Agriculture, and Livelihoods Activities – USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA)-funded SCALE and PRO-WASH awards invite you to this interactive webinar to dive into the Make Me a Change Agent: An SBC Resource for WASH, Agriculture, and Livelihoods Activities training manual, and discuss how these fundamental skills can improve your WASH, agriculture and livelihoods programming.

Culture, Context and Hygiene Promotion for COVID-19. This is a free interactive online module, delivered live by RedR UK’s hygiene promotion experts. You will learn the key public health risks related to COVID-19 and how these can be addressed by appropriate hygiene promotion.


USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance Fact Sheet, June 2020 – BHA leads and coordinates the U.S. Government’s humanitarian assistance efforts overseas. The Bureau responds to an average of 75 disasters in more than 70 countries every year.

Twelve finalists in the running for the EIC Horizon Prize for Affordable High-Tech for Humanitarian Aid. European Commission, June 2020 – LORAWAN monitoring by United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), real-time solutions for water tanker and water reservoir remote monitoring to improve the effectiveness of water trucking programming globally. WATER4HUMANITY by Tel Aviv University, a new circular economy solution allowing ultra-filtration of water using discarded “artificial kidney” filters.

WASH in Humanitarian Situations

Lebanon: Menstrual Hygiene Management Among Syrian Refugee Women in the Bekaa. Oxfam, June 2020. The research provides potential solutions and recommendations for integrating menstrual hygiene management in humanitarian responses, particularly targeted at the WASH, protection, education and health sectors.

Strengthening Local Governance of Watershed Management for Water Supply and Irrigation in the Dry Corridor of Honduras

Emerging Learning Brief: Strengthening Local Governance of Watershed Management for Water Supply and Irrigation in the Dry Corridor of Honduras. Global Communities, June 2020.

Under the Dry Corridor Alliance Program (ACS-USAID), the Government of Honduras and USAID aim to reduce extreme poverty and malnutrition in rural areas of Honduras.

Since 2017, Global Communities has been implementing the “Watershed Management and Conservation” component of ACS-USAID in the departments of La Paz, Intibucá and Lempira, working with national government agencies, local and regional governments, communities and water organizations to address weak management of watersheds, which often results in severely deforested lands.

The Project provides grants to communities to reduce rates of degradation and reforest the watersheds, providing sustainable access to water for consumption and irrigation.

Global Communities also provides technical assistance to strengthen the capacity of local communities and organizations to manage water resources.

This Learning Brief describes the Project’s participatory approach, shares results to date and identifies key emerging lessons that will help to strengthen the Project moving forward.

WASH & Financing – Water Currents, June 2020

Below is an excerpt from the Water Currents issue on WASH and financing and the complete issue is on the Globalwaters.org website.

How Improved Financing Enhances Water and Sanitation Service Delivery . Global Waters Radio, March 2019. How can better financing help extend water and sanitation services to those most in need? To answer that question, Global Waters Radio speaks with two experts: Ella Lazarte, senior water and sanitation advisor at USAID, and Barbara Kazimbaya-Senkwe, global knowledge management and communications lead with the USAID–supported WASH-FIN program.

Reform and Finance for the Urban Water Supply and Sanitation Sector . World Bank, August 2019. This summary note integrates three lines of work—utility reform, sector reform, and sector finance—for readers to understand the critical links among the three spheres.

Utilities in Developing Countries, in Financial Tailspin, Try to Keep Water Flowing During Pandemic and Beyond . Circle of Blue, May 2020. Water utilities are experiencing a “double hit” in their finances that could hinder operations into the future.

Rethinking the Economics of Rural Water in Africa . Oxford Review of Economic Policy, January 2020. The findings conclude with policy recommendations to network rural services at scale, unlock rural payments by creating value, and design and test performance-based funding models at national and regional scales.

Channeling Financial Flows for Urban Water and Sanitation . Center for Strategic and International Studies, November 2019. New sources of financing are needed to provide clean water and sanitation for citizens around the world. The challenge is particularly acute in cities where population growth and urbanization are stretching resources and deteriorating living conditions.

Financing for Water—Water for Financing: A Global Review of Policy and Practice . Sustainability, February 2019. The relationship between the water and financial sectors is explored through a review of past and current policies and practices, and new needs driven by growing water insecurity (i.e., drought and floods) and climate change.

Read the complete issue.

Sanitation Learning Hub launched

Sanitation Learning Hub

Following the start of a new four-year programme funded by Sida, the Institute of  Development Studies (IDS) launched the Sanitation Learning Hub website on 22 June 2020.

The website is divided into into three main sections:

Practical Support 

This section presents recommended approaches and practical tools to help sanitation and hygiene practitioners do their job well. It reflects our commitment to adaptable, ‘combinable’ and context-specific learning and sanitation approaches. Each approach page has an introduction recommended resources.

Current Thinking

Resources are divided by nine essential themes in this section. Each theme has an introduction, recommended resources, and sub-themes that get into more detail.

Connect, Share, Learn

The desire to bring together sanitation and hygiene professionals is reflected here. You can find blogs, news, events in the sector and more information about workshops, including stories from participants of past workshops. You can also submit a blog in this section.

Watch this video introduction to the new website.

Resources from the Center for Water and Sanitation (C-WAS), CEPT University in India

Center for Water and Sanitation (C-WAS), CEPT University in India – CEPT’s Center of Water and Sanitation (CWAS) works on urban water and sanitation related action research. In Maharashtra, the C-WAS team works closely with the state government and local government to support implementation of the Swachh Bharat Mission. There is also a link to C-WAS at CEPT University.

Selected reports and resources include:

Policy Brief: Financing and Business Models for Faecal Sludge and Septage Treatment for Urban India. CWAS, July 2019. This policy brief identifies the possible financing options and business models for setting up Faecal Sludge Treatment Plants (FSTPs) as a part of citywide FSSM services. The research findings highlight that capital financing requirement for FSTPs is only a small proportion of the total urban sector outlay at both the national and state levels. Thus, there is a need to create better awareness at both national and state levels to explicitly incorporate FSSM related components in national programs.

Exploring Development Impact Bonds: Faecal Sludge and Septage Management (FSSM). CWAS, July 2019. In this Roundtable Discussion, participants shared preliminary ideas on DIB in FSSM, assessed opportunities and challenges and discussed the potential impact on investors and outcome funders.

Development Impact Bonds for Urban Sanitation in India. World Water Week, Stockholm, Sweden 2019. Development Impact Bonds or a Social Impact Bond (SIB/DIB) can help unlock private financing while focusing on social outcomes. This video discuses CEPT and partner initiatives to develop SIB/DIB for urban sanitation in small towns in India.

15th Finance Commission: Covid-19 Warrants Rethink of Local Government Allocations. Ideas for India, April 2020. In this post, Meera Mehta and Dinesh Mehta provide suggestions with regard to increasing allocation for sanitation, and making available more untied funds for urban local governments to enable them to meet exigencies of Covid-19-like situations.

Sanitation Taxes for Waste Treatment Plants and Pay-for-Success in Desludging. OECD. Technical assistance provided by CEPT enabled municipal governments in Wai and Sinnar in the India State of Maharashtra to establish a sanitation tax as part of existing property taxes and to introduce city-wide fecal sludge and septage management services. The approach uses a public-private partnership to deliver scheduled emptying and establish fecal sludge treatment plants.

New Series of USAID Briefs Provide Technical Guidance on WASH Programming

New Series of USAID Briefs Provide Technical Guidance on WASH Programming – June 2020.

USAID’s Water Team is pleased to introduce a new series of technical briefs that provide guidance for developing and implementing water and sanitation activities in support of the U.S. Government Global Water Strategy and USAID’s plan under the strategy.

These are intended to be used by staff working in the water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) sector, both within and outside of USAID. The first set of technical briefs cover:

  • Rural Water Services
  • Rural Sanitation 
  • WASH and its Links to Nutrition

These briefs draw upon the latest evidence from USAID’s research and learning activities, our ex-post evaluation series, and other WASH sector studies. USAID WASH technical experts developed the briefs to highlight key considerations for activity design on a specific topic and provide recommendations for implementation and monitoring.

Each brief puts current practice into context with a discussion of programming approaches that have and have not worked in the past, includes concrete examples from the field, and suggests additional resources for further reading. Readers will have a better understanding of how to put the latest technical guidance into practice in the context of a USAID activity. 

The rural water brief describes the important roles of national governments, service authorities, and service providers in delivering sustainable water services beyond first-time access. It describes various water service delivery models as alternatives to the traditional approach of volunteer community water management committees which has failed to sustain services in the past.

The rural sanitation brief focuses on how to address governance, financing, markets, and behaviors to achieve areawide coverage of sanitation. It also notes the need to leave space for failure and learning, as the sector does not yet have all the answers in this area. 

The brief on WASH and nutrition outcomes summarizes the evidence of how WASH services and behaviors affect nutrition, given recent results from the Sanitation Hygiene Infant Nutrition Efficacy (SHINE) and WASH Benefits trials. It recommends key approaches to achieving the type of transformational WASH that is likely to lead to benefits for child nutrition.

We hope these briefs are helpful to those designing and implementing WASH programs. Additional briefs will be released in the coming months. Look for new additions on Globalwaters.org.

By Elizabeth Jordan, Water and Sanitation Advisor, USAID RFS Center for Water Security, Sanitation and Hygiene 

The Sanitation Learning Hub’s Latest News and Resources

In this newsletter we are pleased to announce the forthcoming launch of our new website! We also offer timely advice to sanitation and hygiene practitioners in the second edition of our Handwashing Compendium for Low Resource Settings: A Living Document.

You may already know, here at the Sanitation Learning Hub, we’ve been working hard on a new website and branding, following the start of a new four-year programme funded by Sida. From Monday June 22nd the site will be available at https://sanitationlearninghub.org/

Second Edition: Handwashing Compendium for Low Resource Settings: A Living Document

The compendium is a living document which will be updated regularly as more examples and good practice emerge. It has been developed and disseminated quickly so immediate, relevant and timely actions can be taken.

This version is the second edition. This updated version includes new sections on:

  • Drainage
  • Taps, pumps and water dispensers for handwashing
  • New handwashing technologies: foot-operated bucket/container with taps, the Jengu handwashing facility and Oxfam handwashing stand
  • Several new local examples of handwashing facilities
  • Examples of community engagement processes designed to promote handwashing  

Please email your feedback and contributions to SLH@ids.ac.uk or via Twitter (@SanLearningHub) to be included in the third edition.

The unsung heroes of the COVID-19 pandemic

The unsung heroes of the COVID-19 pandemic, by Andrés Hueso. WaterAid, June 2020.

The COVID-19 pandemic has drawn attention across the world to the vital roles of key workers such as those employed in healthcare and sanitation. We must use this opportunity to improve the often dangerous conditions they work in every day, argues Andrés Hueso.

If there is anything that has spread faster than the coronavirus during the pandemic, it has been the recognition of healthcare workers. Across the globe, people have been regularly clapping and cheering from windows and front doors to thank these key workers for their effort and courage in facing the threat of COVID-19 in their daily work. Courage that, unfortunately, borders heroism, where they lack personal protective equipment.

This well-deserved tribute should be extended to other workers who are contributing to keeping society going and all of us safe. In particular, I would like to highlight sanitation and waste workers, who keep communities’ environments clean.

A halt to the services they provide would leave societies at risk of outbreaks of many other diseases. All too often lacking adequate information and personal protective equipment to keep themselves safe, their courage also borders on heroism, yet they rarely receive recognition.

Poor conditions and health risks are amplified during the pandemic
Waste and sanitation workers already faced dire working conditions before the pandemic – debilitating infections, injuries, social stigma and even death. During the pandemic, we still need their services, and they must continue to carry them out, whatever the risk, be it because of civic duty, or fear of losing daily income or the job altogether.

Read the complete article.

Stronger regulators crucial to improving sanitation services for the poorest, report finds

A new report published by Water & Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP) and the Eastern and Southern Africa Water and Sanitation (ESAWAS) Regulators Association identifies how stronger regulators can play an important role in improving sanitation for under-served urban residents.Regulation-report-cover

The report, entitled Referee! Responsibilities, regulations and regulating for urban sanitation, has four key findings:

  1. Regulatory effectiveness is a core driver of improved sanitation services. Every football match needs a referee.
    An independent regulator can act as a referee between the government, and sanitation service providers, to ensure the best deal possible for customers.
  2. Regulations are not enough: clear responsibilities and active regulating is essential.
    A plethora of national laws and municipal by-laws already governs much around sanitation services. Yet on their own, rules rarely translate into improved outcomes.
  3. Problems cannot be solved in one bold step. Active regulating involves incremental change, extensive consultation and testing.
    Even countries which are showing good progress have a long way to go. Sandwiched between utility, government and consumer, regulators have to introduce change gradually and manage stakeholders wisely.
  4. A Regulating Ladder could support countries in their journey to active regulating.
    A ladder which mirrors the industry-wide UNICEF / WHO JMP sanitation ladder could inform assessments of where countries stand in their journey from passive regulations compliance to active regulating.

Read the report.

The national case studies are as follows:

  • Bangladesh: national institutional and regulatory framework for un-sewered sanitation
  • Kenya: standard operating procedures in the city of Kisumu
  • Kenya: introducing cross-subsidies to finance sanitation
  • Mozambique: adopting new regulatory responsibilities
  • Zambia: a new national framework for regulating un-sewered sanitation
  • Kenya: incentives to encourage utilities to serve the poorest communities

The report also assesses the contribution being made by ESAWAS to drive change through at pan-African level.

Read the report.