Inclusive Urban Sanitation

Reshaping the global agenda on urban sanitation

Learn more

IWA’s Inclusive Urban Sanitation initiative aims to reshape the global agenda on urban sanitation over the coming years. It forms part of IWA’s work to promote inclusive, resilient, water-wise and sanitation-secure cities. To further the aims of the initiative, IWA has launched a dedicated campaign – SanitAction – to gather the support and collaborative action needed to secure progress.

Far too many people in towns and cities around the world still lack access to safely managed sanitation. There is a need for an accelerated and inclusive approach to expanding safe service coverage. Importantly, this means looking beyond technology and the usual focus on building infrastructure. Inclusivity requires a holistic approach that tackles wider issues, especially the factors that allow sanitation services of all kinds to be accessed, managed, and delivered sustainably over time.

A central goal of IWA’s initiative will be to engage a wide range of stakeholders, not least the public sector, operators, academics, regulators and other key actors. Supported by this input, the initiative will build on current approaches to progress a widely applicable framework that can support elaboration and exchange on actionable guidance, case studies and peer exchanges and so advance inclusive urban sanitation, especially in low- and middle-income countries.

Sanitation project in Warangal City, India, courtesy ASCI

Actions to support development of this framework will involve assessment of existing tools and frameworks, securing worldwide endorsement to advance inclusive urban sanitation, and building awareness and skills, especially in the public sector responsible for creating the enabling environment for sanitation.

How to get involved

This initiative consists of a project team led by the IWA Secretariat as well as an Advisory Board and Task Force.

In addition, there are opportunities for IWA members to get involved and help shape the outcomes of this initative and contribute to its mission of achieving inclusive sanitation. IWA members can:

  • Attend upcoming webinars from this initiative, more information will be posted in due course on the IWA Learn section of the website.
  • Engage with the initiative on IWA Connect Plus where you can share knowledge, lessons learnt and insights on regulating for inclusive sanitation from different contexts
  • Get in touch with one of the project team members based within the IWA Secretariat (Suresh Rohilla) if you are working on any similar projects or initiatives that have synergies with this initiative or likewise if you have any relevant case studies you wish to share with us.
  • Submit your inclusive sanitation story! 
  • Join the discussion online using #SanitAction to promote inclusivity for resilient, water-wise, and sanitation-secure cities!

Inclusive Urban Sanitation Champions

The first edition of the Inclusive Urban Sanitation Champions received an overwhelming response, with a total of 106 submissions from 21 countries. An esteemed 13-member expert jury meticulously evaluated the submissions, recognising the outstanding efforts and initiatives that contribute to the advancement of sustainable and inclusive sanitation practices.

The programme features seven distinct categories, each spotlighting excellence and innovation in urban sanitation service provision. The selected IWA Inclusive Urban Sanitation Champions for 2023 are:

  1. IUS Champion for Service Delivery:
    1. Containment Systems: Fresh Life, Kenya
    2. Emptying and Transport Systems: Kampala Capital City Authority, Uganda
    3. Treatment Systems: Abdullah Al-Muyeed, Bangladesh
    4. Disposal and Reuse: Sinnar Municipal Council, Maharashtra, India
  2. IUS Champion for Communication: Tamil Nadu Urban Sanitation Support Programme, India
  3. IUS Champion for Youth Engagement: Global Sanitation Graduate School
  4. IUS Champion for Policy and Regulation: Lusaka Water Supply and Sanitation Company, Zambia

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Inclusive Urban Sanitation Stories

The Inclusive Urban Sanitation stories are documenting some of the policies, practices, and approaches that demonstrate how stakeholders especially those in urban areas (e.g., public sector, operators, academics, regulators, and other key actors) are taking part or contributing to Sustainable Development Goal 6 which require water and sanitation concepts and norms to look beyond technology and the usual focus on building infrastructure. Increased focus is on safety, inclusion, environment, public health, and multiple technology solutions tailored to different geographies and socio-economic contexts for building climate-resilient cities. The stories aim to inspire urban stakeholders to discuss ways for advancing inclusive urban sanitation, especially in low- and middle-income countries

Submit your sanitation story!

To submit a story, kindly send an abstract of not more than 500 words to The abstract should contain the title, name of author(s), location, and subject of the story. As part of the submission, the abstract will undergo a review. The abstract that meets the criteria will be contacted to submit the full story.

Advisory Board and Taskforce

The initiative is supported by an Advisory Board and a Task Force to provide guidance, feedback and direction on the initiative’s priorities, activities and performance.

The advisory board and task force consist of sanitation experts, regulators, strategic partners and members from various global regions in order to secure a balanced geographical representation and address a wide variety of sanitation challenges.

Global map outlining where our Advisory Board and Task Force members are based

Meet the Advisory Board

Name Organisation Country
Patrick Ty Manilla Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) Philippines
Mathi Vathanan Housing and Urban Development Department (HUDD), State of Odisha India
Jennifer Molwantwa Water Research Commission South Africa
Margaret Maina Limuru Water and Sewerage Company (LWSC) Kenya
Sylvain Usher African Water Association (AfWA) Côte d’Ivoire
Yvonne Magawa Eastern and Southern Africa Water and Sanitation Regulators Association (ESAWAS) Zambia
Kate Medlicott World Health Organization (WHO) Switzerland
Neeta Pokhrel Asia Development Bank (ADB) Philippines
Osward Mulenga Chanda  Africa Development Bank (AfDB) Côte d’Ivoire
Thammarat Koottatep  Asia Institute of Technology (AIT) Thailand
Damir Brdjanovic Global Sanitation Graduate School (GSGS) Netherlands

Meet the Task Force

Name Organisation Country
Diego Polania Colombia Regulatory Agency (CRA) Colombia
Hitesh Vaidya National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA) India
Sharmistha Debnath Department of Public Health Engineering Bangladesh
Shobana Srinivasan Global Water Operators’ Partnerships Alliance Germany
Recca Tharmarajah National Water Services Commission (SPAN) Malaysia
Allan Nkurunziza Cabinet EDE International Senegal
Beatrice Chibwe Lusaka Water and Sanitation Company (LWSC) Zambia
Priscillah Oluoch Malindi Water and Sewerage Company Kenya
Funke Adepoju Lagos State Water Regulatory Commission Nigeria
Jay Bhagwan Water Research Commission (WRC) South Africa
Ibra Sow Pan-African Association of Sanitation Actors Senegal
Aditi Dwivedi  CWAS – CEPT, University India
Najib Lukooya Bateganya Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation USA
Hasin Jahan WaterAid Bangladesh Bangladesh
Annabell Waititu Big Five Africa Ltd Kenya
Srinivas Chary Administrative Staff College of India (ASCI) India
Abishek S. Narayan  EAWAG – Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology Switzerland
Kirsty Carden University of Cape Town South Africa
Charles Niwagaba Makerere University Uganda
Juliet Willetts University of Technology Sydney Australia
Srikanth Mutnuri  Birla Institute of Technology and Science – Pilani India
Charlotte Akwaah-Adjei
Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources Ghana

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