The project SMALL aims at supporting the development of applicable and sustainable water and sanitation provision models for small towns of Sub-Saharan Africa.

An interdisciplinary group of researchers and practitioners is assessing the existing implementation of infrastructural and management models for water and sanitation provision in small towns in Sub-Saharan Africa. The analysis of the models is anchored in understanding local governance structures, integrates a public health protection approach and includes impacts on users and local communities.

Practice and research have traditionally focused either in clearly urban centers, or rural areas. Areas in transition such as small towns, that do not clearly fit betweeb the options of urban and rural, have been borrowing well-established rural or urban models. Unfortunately, the design of these models does not take into account neither the specific needs and challenges, nor the opportunities present in small towns. As a result, services in these settlements have suffered from poor progress in water and sanitation service expansion. The better understanding of needs and characteristics of small towns is crucial to achieve water and sanitation services for all

This three year project will lead to the development of fit-for-use models for small towns of Uganda and Mozambique incorporating above mentioned elements in order to inform implementing agencies for future interventions. 

The expected outcomes that this project envisions are the following:

  • Authorities in charge of water supply and sanitation (WSS) service provision in small towns are capable to deliver reliable and good quality services in an efficient and sustainable manner.

o   Reduced number of failures in WSS service delivery in small towns.

o   Attractive business environment for WSS services market.

  • Inhabitants of small towns receive improved WSS services regardless of their gender, age, social-economic class and location.

o   Improved access to water supply and sanitation (quantity and quality).

o   Affordable access to water supply and sanitation services (also for poor households).

  • Existing and new policies for WSS service provision in small towns are (re-)defined and tailored to the particularities of small towns.