Sanitation surcharges collected through water bills: a way forward for financing pro-poor sanitation?

Market-driven models for sanitation in low-income areas are of unquestionable importance, but there is broad consensus that the market needs to be supported by some sort of public revenue stream. One approach to revenue generation is to include a sanitation surcharge within water bills.

This Discussion Paper is a situation review of sanitation surcharge systems in African cities, focusing on systems designed to raise revenues for improving sanitation in low-income districts. The review considers existing pro-poor surcharge systems in Lusaka and Ouagadougou; systems that cannot currently be considered pro-poor, in Dakar, Beira and Antananarivo; and the special case of Maputo, where there is ongoing debate about how a surcharge might be introduced. Lusaka’s model is of particular interest: could it be applied more widely to raise finance for pro-poor sanitation?

For more publications in this series, visit www.wsup.com/sharing

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