Problem Addressed

There is currently a limited availability of quality sanitation solutions that effectively and affordably address the needs of low income households in Uganda. In Kampala alone over 84% of the population relies on on-site sanitation facilities (pit latrines). However, the majority of pit latrines are unlined and in poor shape which compromises the state of sanitation both for households and institutions. According to a 2010 survey of Kampala, 45% of latrines were found to be abandoned after 5 years of construction because they are either full or broken down. This indicates that there is both a gap and a significant market for a latrine emptying, construction and upgrading business.

More significantly for pit emptying, only 6% of Kampala’s population is connected to the main sewer line, which means that the other 94% is in need of some kind of emptying service for their sanitation facilities. Although there is a high demand for improved high quality, affordable, desirable latrine services and products, the quality products and a supply chain to deliver them sustainably do not exist.

Innovative Approach

SSG takes a market-based approach to sanitation. Initial stages included understanding: how to create sanitation businesses, the sanitation needs of SSG’s customers (who are often ignored in traditional sanitation efforts), and how to tailor solutions to them. Products and technologies were then developed to address these interests, such as a way to empty full latrines in slum areas.

SSG is also bringing additional partners into the market, giving assistance to other organizations, and growing the sanitation market as a whole. Specifically, SSG trains local businesses and entrepreneurs in production, how to train engineers, and how to train sales and marketing staff, among other topics.

Program Solution

To address the existing gaps in provision of affordable sanitation solutions to households, SSG’s initial focus is on three main sanitation business models - latrine construction, latrine upgrading and latrine emptying. Subsequently, SSG will facilitate replication of the same business models within rural areas through various channels including identification of appropriate technical and business partners for supply and distribution. SSG further intends to fill this gap by nurturing the growth of sanitation businesses, developing better business models and financing mechanisms, and providing partners using the Sanitation Solutions brand with appropriate technical, financial, training, marketing and business support services.

Between 2015 and 2019, SSG plans to construct 7,000 DuraSan latrines, upgrade 20,000 existing latrines, and empty 25,000 latrines, reaching over 360,000 direct beneficiaries and 720,000 indirect beneficiaries. This increase in the uptake of sanitation products and services will improve sanitation and ultimately translate into improved health and economic productivity of customers by reducing incidence of sanitation-related illness.

Pit Emptying and Marketplace Development: A Mucky Business