Department Sanitation, Water and Solid Waste for Development

SMALL: Water Supply and Sanitation Service Provision in Small Town at the Urban-Rural Intersection

Project SMALL aims to support the development of applicable and sustainable water and sanitation provision models for small towns in Sub-Saharan Africa. Practice and research have traditionally focused either on distinct urban centers or rural communities. However, areas under transition, including small towns throughout Uganda and Mozambique, do not easily fit the definitions used by rural or urban planners. Small towns therefore lack clear guidance on applicable water and sanitation service models and, as a result, suffer from poor progress in expanding access to safely managed water and adequate sanitation. This project aims to identify and account for the specific needs, opportunities and challenges of transition zones in Uganda and Mozambique when devising improved service provision models, focusing on the experiences of the National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC) and the Administração de Infraestruturas de Abastecimento de Água e Saneamento (AIAS).

Project Timeline: 09.2016 - 12.2019

Project Status

An interdisciplinary group of researchers and practitioners is currently assessing existing 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.

Regular updates available on the main project site>> 

Expected Outcomes and Impacts

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.


Marks, S. J.; Clair-Caliot, G.; Taing, L.; Bamwenda, J. T.; Kanyesigye, C.; Ernest Rwendeire, N.; Kemerink-Seyoum, J. S.; Kansiime, F.; Batega, D. W.; Ferrero, G. (2020) Water supply and sanitation services in small towns in rural-urban transition zones: the case of Bushenyi-Ishaka Municipality, Uganda, npj Clean Water, 3, 21 (9 pp.), doi:10.1038/s41545-020-0068-4, Institutional Repository
Daniel, D.; Gaicugi, J.; King, R.; Marks, S. J.; Ferrero, G. (2020) Combining sanitary inspection and water quality data in western Uganda: lessons learned from a field trial of original and revised sanitary inspection forms, Resources, 9(12), 1-19, doi:10.3390/resources9120150, Institutional Repository