Nairobi, Kenya — IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today announced support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to catalyze the market for improved sanitation and accelerate access to more affordable sanitation solutions for low-income households in East Africa.
The Selling Sanitation initiative, a joint project of IFC and the World Bank Water and Sanitation Program, will support regional manufacturing firms to deliver low-cost sanitation products to consumer markets, with a pilot program in Kenya.
This initiative will lower market barriers, attract private investment and spur innovation by helping firms better understand consumer needs at the base of the pyramid. It will provide support to manufacturing firms to design new products, strengthen rural distribution mechanisms, and actively promote sanitation to consumers currently without access. The initiative will work closely with regional government counterparts, including the Kenyan Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation, to create the right enabling conditions for the sanitation market.
“There is an urgent need to improve sanitation in Africa to reduce deaths and illnesses associated with poor hygiene. This partnership builds on the opportunity to mobilize private investment for better sanitation services,” said Oumar Seydi, IFC Director for Eastern and Southern Africa. “IFC’s new partnership with the Bill and & Melinda Gates Foundation will help further IFC’s strategy of transforming key markets and increasing access to basic infrastructure.”