Slum-upgrading through integrated water, sanitation and development solutions: Lessons from Maputo and Nairobi

Slum-upgrading through integrated water, sanitation and development solutions: Lessons from Maputo and Nairobi

This session explores how we can integrate water and sanitation services within wider slum upgrading to build more resilient city systems.

To access the right to the city and to ensure the long-term resilience and habitability of slum settlements, a wide range of basic services, and rights must be addressed. By integrating water and sanitation solutions within wider urban development and land tenure, we can create more sustainable human settlements. Grounded in practical examples, this session will explore how integration might be achieved.


Pour accéder au droit à la ville et garantir la résilience et l’habitabilité à long terme des bidonvilles, il faut aborder un large éventail de services de base et de droits. En intégrant des solutions d’eau et d’assainissement dans un développement urbain et un régime foncier plus larges, nous pouvons créer des établissements humains plus durables. Fondée sur des exemples pratiques, cette session explorera comment l’intégration pourrait être réalisée.


Host: Water & Sanitation for the Urban Poor

London, United Kingdom

Jane Weru

Jane Weru is a lawyer by profession and holds a master’s degree in NGO Management from the London School of Economics. She is currently the Executive Director and founder member of Akiba Mashinani Trust (AMT), a non-profit organization working on developing innovative community led solutions to housing and land tenure problems for the urban poor in Kenya.

Since August 2018, Jane has been the Project Leader of the Mukuru Special Planning Area, a project of the Nairobi County Government, aimed at developing an integrated development plan to improve the lives of the 100,000 households that presently occupy over 600 acres of land within the city.

Mugo Kariuki

Mugo is an experienced WASH professional specialised in pro-poor rural and urban development programmes in both not-for-profit and private sectors. As the Director of WASH Sector Support at Water & Sanitation for the Urban Poor he has a demonstrable track record in the development and management of socio-technical programmes and projects in water supply, environmental sanitation, and hygiene promotion, mainly targeting low-income urban and rural societies.

Mugo has a strong knowledge of technology, business modelling, institutional and organisational development, SME capacity development, mobilising development finance and multi-sector partnership management.


Sam Drabble

Sam leads WSUP’s knowledge management, helping to ensure learning is captured and disseminated for impact through technical publications, research, learning events and programme reviews. He has authored, co-authored or edited over 30 publications on diverse aspects of urban WASH.

Sam has a background in evaluation, research and learning, having previously worked as an analyst specialising in programme evaluation at RAND Europe. This built on experience with the learning and development team at Institute for Government.

Nerea Ajuriagogeascoa

Nerea joined Water & Sanitation for the Urban Poor in February 2017 as a Research and Evaluation Officer. She leads the design and implementation of evaluation and research projects, including the development and roll-out of WSUP’s Citywide Survey Methodology.

Nerea has a scientific background, having previously led innovation and R&D projects in the private sector and research institutions in Belgium and Spain. She holds a BSc in Biochemistry from University of Navarra and a MSc in Global Health from University of Barcelona.

Most recently Nerea has worked as a Survey Specialist for a sanitation sector evaluation in Angola for the World Bank and as M&E coordinator for a CNHF-funded utility strengthening programme.

Sara Marquez

Sara Márquez Martín is a researcher specialising in developing the concept of “human building” as the attitude to build with and for the people in the limits of the planet. At Architects Without Borders she coordinates projects to improve mobility and slum upgrading in Maputo, Mozambique.

Sara holds a master’s degree in Architecture from the Polytechnic University of Madrid and has studied at the Balkrishna Doshi’s Vastu Shilpa Foundation in Ahmedabad, India and at Istituto Universitario di Architettura di Venezia, Italy.

Session Summary

Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP) hosted the session Slum Upgrading through the integrated water, sanitation and development solution: Lessons from Maputo and Nairobi. In order to achieve sustainable urban development, especially in the urban context, services must be designed and implemented in an integrated manner. Speakers working in Nairobi, Maputo and Accra spoke about their experience and learnings from projects which aimed to upgrade slums with an integrated approach.

Nerea Ajuriagogeascoa opened the session asking the question: what do slum dwellers want? She spoke of her experiences in Ghana and Kenya, where a large-scale survey was conducted exploring the importance of certain services across Accra and Nairobi. The results revealed the importance and complexity of user perspective in these contexts. Experiences from Maputo where then shared by Sara Marquez Martin and Silva Magia. One key learning was that residents of slums on the outskirts of the city did not believe that they belonged to the city. Through empowering and educating citizens around their land rights, encouraging them to plan what for their needs, various interventions were shown to have successfully been implemented.

In Nairobi, a case study of Mikuru was explored where issues of a lack of water, sanitation services were addressed when the city government-connected services to Mikuru based on plans developed by the people of Mikuru. The importance of roads in access to services was recognized and roads were also provided as a result of the project.

Sam Drabble then concluded the session with recommendations for integrating slum upgrading from WSUP’s latest report.