Development Bank establishes new fund for African urban sanitation

Improving health © Shutterstock/VladKK

The African Development Bank has established the first African Urban Sanitation Investment Fund (AUSIF) to leverage public and private sector investment to support innovation and citywide inclusive sanitation services for sub-Saharan Africa’s urban inhabitants. With the support of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, AUSIF aims to raise $500 million to address urban sanitation in a comprehensive way. The initiative builds on the partnership between the Gates Foundation, the African Water Facility and the African Development Bank started in 2011. The Gates Foundation is committing $14.5 million in grant funding for the design and structuring of the Fund and to support the initial development of the project.

At least 30% of resources raised will be used to finance innovations in non-sewered sanitation to serve low-income communities. Projects will be developed upon City Wide Inclusive Sanitation principles to ensure that the whole community benefits from equitable sanitation; that human waste is managed safely and sustainably; that authorities demonstrate political will and accountability; and technical and managerial leadership drives innovation and fiscal responsibility to ensure services are sustained and inclusive.

The fund aims to accelerate the adoption of new approaches to sterilise human waste and help to end infant deaths and the $233 billion annual cost linked to diarrhoea, cholera and other diseases caused by poor quality water.