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Selling Sanitation

Catalyzing the Market for Household Sanitation in Africa

Selling Sanitation is a joint IFC-WSP initiative that aims to help millions of people across Africa access household sanitation facilities they want and can afford. The market development approach is currently being piloted in Kenya, with planned expansion to other African countries by 2014.

Why Sanitation Matters

A family with access to quality sanitation is more productive and experiences lower health-related expenses. Family members are also less likely to die prematurely. In spite of its importance, sanitation remains one of the most off-track UN Millennium Development Goals. About 600 million people across Africa – 70% of the continent’s population – do not have access to a hygienic household latrine. In 2012, the World Health Organization estimated the global return on sanitation spending is $5.5 for every $1 invested.

What can be done to transform this situation?

house hold shows prideHouseholds show pride in their improved latrinesDespite the clear need, few affordable products and services exist for low-income households looking to upgrade from a poor quality latrine or build new sanitation facilities. The potential market opportunity has remained untapped for private businesses as most firms are unable to shoulder first mover costs and risks associated with entering the market. Meanwhile, governments lack funding to fill the gap through public subsidies. The result: low-income households simply do not have access to the right products at the right time for the right price.

Selling Sanitation works with sanitation businesses and governments to develop commercial and sustainable markets for affordable and desirable sanitation facilities. We define success as market transformation: new sanitation solutions manufactured at scale, sold and distributed through new channels, reaching underserved consumers that are most in need.

Who can benefit from Selling Sanitation?

• Manufacturers, distributors, retailers, service providers and microfinance institutions can access Selling Sanitation business development services and market intelligence to enter or expand their sanitation offering.
• Consumers will be better aware of the benefits of improved sanitation, make informed purchase decisions, and have a wider choice of quality, affordable sanitation product and service options.
• Governments, starting with the Government of Kenya, can benefit from Selling Sanitation’s support to the enabling environment and strategic advice on market facilitation and regulation.

For more information, visit us at: www.ifc.org/sellingsanition.


Selling Sanitation works with manufacturers, distributors, consumers, financial institutions, and governments to catalyze the sanitation market through:

• Business Development Services to remove first-mover barriers to market entry by supporting businesses to develop new affordable sanitation products and distribution channels to reach underserved consumers.
• Consumer Awareness to support ministries of health to develop and deliver national campaigns reaching millions with behaviour change messages and consumer information on available low-cost product options.
• Market Intelligence to demonstrate the viability of the market by providing data on market size, consumer preferences, key target segments and current trends. Market intelligence helps manufacturers, distributors and other businesses understand market opportunities and make informed decisions.
• Public Sector Engagement to improve the enabling environment for sanitation by working with government at all levels to increase uptake of improved hygienic latrines, and to facilitate and regulate a self-sustainable consumer market for sanitation.
• Pro-poor financing to address financial constraints and
bottlenecks for both consumers and businesses.

testing consumer prefernceTesting consumer preferences.    latrinsLatrine slab with foot operated lid.


The Selling Sanitation Initiative is a part of wider IFC and WSP advisory services programs in the water and sanitation sector run in partnership with Australia, Austria, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Ireland, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States and The World Bank.

About IFC

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. We help developing countries achieve sustainable growth by financing investment, mobilizing capital in international financial markets, and providing advisory services to businesses and governments.
For moreinformation, visit: www.ifc.org  and www.ifc.org/ssawa

About WSP

The Water and Sanitation Program (WSP) is a multi-donor partnership administered by the World Bank to support poor people in obtaining affordable, safe, and sustainable access to water and sanitation services. WSP provides technical assistance, facilitates knowledge exchange, and promotes evidence-based advancements in sector dialogue.
For more information, visit: www.wsp.org.

IFC - CBA Building, 4th Floor | Upper Hill, Mara/Ragati Road
Nairobi, Kenya, P.O. Box 30577-00100
Contact: Will Davies | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | +254 (0) 717 133 177
World Bank - Water and Sanitation Program | Hill Park Towers, Upper Hill Road
Nairobi, Kenya, P.O Box 30577
Contact: Yolande Coombes | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | +254 20 322 6309




Current Issue: Africa Water & Sanitation & Hygiene March-April 2017 Vol.12 No.2