USAID's Uganda Sanitation for Health Activity (USHA) worked with existing fecal sludge management entrepreneurs (FSMEs) to improve their business models to enable them to provide sustainable and safe pit emptying services. In doing so, USHA also aimed to help increase the volumes of fecal sludge reaching treatment plants.
As a result of USHA’s fecal sludge management (FSM) interventions, between March 2020 and September 2022, USHA’s partner FSMEs were able to provide safe emptying services to a total of 1,216 unique customers. When considering jobs for repeat customers, the FSMEs collectively emptied an estimated 13 million liters of sludge. Three of the six FSMEs USHA partnered with accounted for 86 percent of the total unique customers and 87 percent of sludge emptied.
Through their partnership with USHA, these three FSMEs were able to increase the number of customers they served per year despite several challenges, including profitability.
This document describes USHA’s FSM interventions, their impact on partner FSMEs, persisting challenges, and steps USHA took to address these challenges. It also outlines key learnings based on USHA’s experience. USHA hopes these findings will be useful for other implementers looking to introduce market-based FSM interventions in Uganda.