Urban growth across much of sub-Saharan Africa is generating considerable pressure on public and private utilities to provide safe and reliable water and sanitation services. The municipal water infrastructure of many African cities also faces daunting challenges from age, lack of maintenance or connecting communities without water and sanitation access.
To assist partner countries with these challenges, USAID launched the Sustainable Urban Water and Sanitation in Africa (SUWASA) program in 2009. SUWASA sought to catalyze commercially viable partnerships in the water sector that extend utilities’ reach into underserved, low-income communities in sub-Saharan Africa’s growing cities and suburbs.
Overall, SUWASA’s multiple projects covered nine countries including Ethiopia, Kenya, Liberia, Mozambique, Nigeria, South Sudan, Senegal, Uganda and Zambia. SUWASA’s activities varied in each country depending on the context, and ranged from encouraging institutional reforms and helping bring women into the water workforce, to improving regulatory frameworks for water. The project’s legacy also includes creating knowledge-sharing networks across the region on urban water issues.