Financing Sanitation in Sub-Sahara Africa: Methodological Guide

May 2011

This guide provides practical decision-making tools for identifying the type of financing mechanisms to be implemented for on-site sanitation and small-piped sewerage systems.

The author states that in sub-Saharan Africa 100% of access to sanitation in rural areas is currently provided by onsite sanitation facilities and in urban areas, this figure stands at 80%. The predominance of on-site sanitation looks set to continue over the coming years. Households often opt to install latrines and soakaways for other, more practical reasons: on-site sanitation consumes little water, the investment cost is low and there are few maintenance requirements. For many developing countries, the large-scale development of on-site sanitation has become an inescapable reality.

The guide is organised into five sections:

  • Categorization of sanitation costs and expenditure,
  • Financing transversal activities,
  • Financing access to sanitation,
  • Financing the evacuation of wastewater and excreta,
  • Financing the disposal and or treatment of wastewater, excreta sludge products.

Who is this for and why?

The guide is simple enough to provide stakeholders/actors who are not sanitation or finance specialists with a better understanding of means of financing the sanitation chain.

The guide facilitates planning and aids decision-making for local authorities, city and council officials by taking account of the specific context of each town. From a political perspective, financing sanitation can help enhance public perception of the way in which the local authority manages basic public services.

It is also useful to practitioners, workers, researchers, and town planners, health workers as it deals with various segments of sanitation i.e., access, evacuation, treatment and reuse, and generally posits about employment creation.

It is also useful to environmental specialists as it provides advice on protecting the environment.


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