WaSH-UP Principles

WaSH-UP Principles: Key Elements of a Successful WaSH Facility

As we discovered the successful components and areas of improvement in the assessment of the Mandela Park WaSH facility, we were able to identify the key elements of a successful WaSH facility. These principles make up the Water Sanitation and Hygiene Upgrading Programme, and were used in the planning of the Zwelitsha facility.
The success and longevity of a WaSH-UP Programme is based on 6 core principles:pie chart

1.       Community Has Responsibility and Ownership

  • Community-Driven Solutions: When designing a communal toilet facility, community involvement is essential. A top-down government implemented approach to water and sanitation will not succeed because the facility must fit the specific needs of a community. As one size does not fit all, it is best for the community to have a say in the design and implementation of their own facility.
  • Community-Driven Operation: The community is responsible for the operations and maintenance of the facility. The people hired as caretakers come from the community but the entire community is responsible for maintaining the condition of the facility.
  • Creation of Livelihood: The community’s involvement in the operation of the facility allows for job creation as community members are hired as caretakers, and security guards.

2.       Full-Service Facility Meets WaSH Needs

It is important that the facility is not simply an ablution block, but a centre that has all of the basic water and sanitation needs of the community. Where there are toilets, there should also be water taps, hand washing sinks, and laundry basins.

3.       Public Health Programme

A WaSH facility can be used as a centre for public health education as it pertains so heavily to water, sanitation and hygiene. Caretakers can facilitate the spread of public health knowledge through workshops.

4.       Multi-purpose Facility Increases Usability

Multi-purpose use of the facility is an element that increases usability of the centre. As people have more than one reason to come to the facility, whether that is to use the toilet, clean laundry, or fetch water, they are able to become comfortable with it and are more likely to embrace it as part of their community.

5.       Multi-partner Involvement

Multi-partner involvement is an important element to the design, construction, and operation of a new WaSH facility. The commitment of several parties will help to see the construction to completion, and check in on the operations of the facility once construction is complete. Involvement must be consistent with all partners’ core values and commitments.

6.       Management Facilitates Maintenance and Fosters Program Development

It is important that caretakers be hired from the community to clean and maintain the facility. It is also important to have a WaSH-UP Coordinator to make decisions when needed, report to CORC any issues, and to strategize the best operational budget.