Urban Affordable Clean Toilets Project (U-ACT)
Analyzing the sanitation situation of the urban poor and designing and empirically testing innovative economic interventions with the aim to improve sanitation access and sanitation maintenance in urban slums.
More than 2.5 billion people in developing countries still lack access to improved sanitation facilities. From a public health perspective, this situation is disconcerting as the lack of sanitation is one of the key factors contributing to diarrheal infections, which are the second leading cause of death among children below five in developing countries.
From an engineering perspective, on-site sanitation systems are recognized to be one of the best technological options for poor, water-scarce and fast-growing urban areas. Private investment in such facilities has, however, remained at very low levels. Hence, most of the urban poor across sub-Saharan Africa do not have access to improved sanitation. National and international agencies have provided free public toilets in many slums. However, free public toilets often quickly suffer from poor maintenance.
With the aim to overcome constraints to private sanitation investment and public sanitation maintenance, U-ACT empirically tests various interventions in randomized controlled trials (RCT). U-ACT is active in the low-income areas of Uganda’s capital, Kampala, a setting which is representative of many urban centers in sub-Saharan Africa.
Contact: Isabel Günther
Alexandra Horst (now World Bank) and Japheth Kwinringira (now at Kyambogo University, Uganda) completed their PhDs within the U-ACT project.
U-ACT was awarded with the Best Practice Award 2013 of the Poverty Reduction, Equity and Growth Network: PEGNet Best Practice Award