Water Engineering and Development Centre

Urban sanitation

SPLASH Urban Sanitation Research Programme

Location Client Dates Value
Sub Saharan Africa EU-ERANET, FP6  2011-2014 £300,000

WEDC staff involved:

Summary of project activities and outcomes:

The SPLASH sanitation research programme investigated aspects of sanitation service provision in urban areas, addressing all stages of the sanitation service chain from containment at the household to final disposal or reuse of excreta-related products. 

© WEDC: The stages of the sanitation service chain from generation through to re-use

The programme comprised five projects that conducted research in eight urban centres of seven countries of sub-Saharan Africa. The research helped to improve understanding of challenges and opportunities for improving sanitation services in urban areas, with a focus on informal settlements.

Key findings from the programme were in relation to how a lack of planning culture and limited financing of sanitation services, coupled with low demand for sanitation – particularly in the context of insecure tenure – can constrain investment in longer-term sanitation solutions. Capacity gaps dominate the entire sanitation service chain, requiring better understanding of the vulnerabilities this creates such that incremental steps can be made to best achieve systematic improvements. Potential gains to improve services were identified through initiatives such as raising demand and affordability of improved sanitation infrastructure, technical options for improved faecal sludge treatment techniques and the production of marketable end-products, such as faecal sludge pellets used as a fuel source. 

WEDC undertook overall management and administration of the programme, coordination between the projects to identify and promote synergies within and beyond the programme, as well as a dissemination strategy to support stakeholder engagement throughout the research process. Consolidated programme level outputs, drawing-out key learning and lessons from the programme to inform wider practice, were also prepared.

The full set of outputs from the programme and individual projects, including a series of four briefing notes in both English and French, can be found here http://splash-era.net/outputs.php

A synthesis report of the consolidated programme level findings can be found here: http://splash-era.net/downloads/SPLASH-Consolidated-findings-February-2015.pdf

A journal paper taking the learning from the programme to address the achievement of sustainable sanitation services chains more broadly can be found here: (https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/20996 or http://pubs.rsc.org/en/Content/ArticleLanding/2016/EW/C5EW00255A#!divAbstract