The Research on Shared Sanitation in Africa (RESSA) – (2018-2020)

Project Period

January 2018 - December 2019

African countries are faced with an increasing urban population growth which has led to the growth of informal and/or low income settlements. Sanitation services in these settlements are often either lacking or inadequate. Therefore, sharing of sanitation facilities among households is a common practice in the low income settlements. Sharing has enabled many residents to have access to sanitation facilities. Studies in countries such as Kenya and Uganda however, indicate that most shared sanitation facilities in low income settlements are unclean.

The Research on Shared Sanitation in Africa (RESSA), is a study being implemented under the Leading Integrated Research for Agenda 2030 (LIRA 2030) programme in Kisumu-Kenya and Kumasi-Ghana. The study aims to identify improved management strategies for high quality shared sanitation facilities in low income settlements of Kisumu (Kenya) and Kumasi (Ghana). The study will assess the quality of the existing shared sanitation facilities, identify barriers and opportunities for management of shared sanitation facilities, and together with different stakeholders, co-design and test strategies that promote sustainable use of shared sanitation facilities. The intended outcome of the study is to generate findings that will lead to an increased use of high quality shared sanitation facilities, and consequently, improved quality of life in low income settlements.

The study has adopted a transdisciplinary approach to achieve its goal. Quantitative and qualitative methods are being used to collect the required data. Further it has engaged stakeholder from different disciplines and sectors including academic institutions, governmental organisations, community groups, non-governmental organisations, private organisations and community members.

Findings from this research are expected to provide evidence at the international level on the quality and management of shared sanitation facilities. At the national level, the study is expected to generate information on strategies that can be adopted to ensure the use of high quality shared sanitation especially in low income areas. In Kenya and Ghana especially, where large portions of the population share sanitation facilities, the evidence will assist the national governments in both countries in developing national policies that can influence investment in shared sanitation.

Funding for the RESSA Study is provided by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) through the International Science Council (ISC) and the Network of African Science Academies (NASAC) as part of the Leading Integrated Research for Agenda 2030 in Africa (LIRA 2030) programme.

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