Testing the supply chain of sanitation: a new MSABI and AQUAYA collaboration

From September 2014 to June 2015, MSABI will be working on a new project with the Aquaya institute. Based in Nairobi, Kenya, the Aquaya institute is a non-profit research organisation that focus on water, sanitation and hygiene interventions. 

Since its founding in 2005, Aquaya has completed successful projects in more than 15 countries with partners that include private foundations, UN agencies, international NGOs, development finance groups, government agencies, and the private sector. We are contracted by the Water and Sanitation Program, World Bank to explore different products for the Tanzanian market. 

The project will focus on testing the supply side of improved sanitation across rural Tanzania. Supplying materials and off-the-shelf products to improve sanitation facilities to the rural poor faces many barriers in Tanzania. With incomplete roads, high transport prices, and hard-to-reach, remote communities, it is a constant struggle to reach households and supply much needed improvements to the toilets and facilities.

The use of improved sanitation, whereby a latrine has an improved floor (cement or plastic, and washable), prevents contact with harmful pathogens and helinths from faeces, directly benefiting the users’ health. It has been shown to improve  overall health, and to reduce the prevalence of diarrhoeal disease in families.

Ismail and Rose interviewing retailers to take part in the study

Ismail and Rose interviewing retailers to take part in the study

We will be working in two locations to test the supply chain models for Tanzania, one in Kilosa District in Morogoro region and the other in Ludewa district, Njombe region. Both are remote, difficult to reach, and face the challenge to improve sanitation across their districts.

Remote and hard to reach villages with little to no road access in Kilosa District

Remote and hard to reach villages with little to no road access in Kilosa District

Rose with a Masaai retailer. This village consisted of 7 houses and 55km from the nearest town

Rose with a Masaai retailer. This village consisted of 7 houses and 55km from the nearest town

The study will initially look at the demand side for improved sanitation in 40 villages with 1,440 households. And we are specifically looking at three products: cement slabs, plastic slabs and ceramic squat latrines. The design of the first phase demand study will attempt to assess the willingness to pay for improved latrines and assess how this will both financially and feasibly affect the supply chain of sanitation products across Tanzania.

Cement SanPlats- an example of an off the shelf product to improve sanitation standards

Cement SanPlats- an example of an off the shelf product to improve sanitation standards

The MSABI team will be facilitating the research in Tanzania, led by Ismail Rutta (Sanitation Program Manager) and Rose Kasase (Environmental Science Officer). They will be assisted and supported by Lauren D’Mello-Guyett (Monitoring and Evaluation Coordinator) and Kate Hyland (WASH Research Coordinator).

We have started work on the project, and the teams will be out in the field collecting data and starting the trial from January to March.

We will keep you updated on the progress of our teams, and will provide another blog post shortly on the full study design.