Population Services International (PSI)

PSI is a global not-for-profit organisation supporting people to lead healthier lives by strengthening markets for affordable products and services.

PSI Ethiopia (PSI/E) aims to increase the use of critical WASH products and services that are available, affordable, and desirable to the most vulnerable people. In collaboration with municipal authorities in Addis Ababa, PSI/E developed an innovative solution to address the gap in high-quality sanitation in densely populated low-income areas.

The “Liyu Class” (meaning “first-class”) sanitation model is the provision of privately-operated communal sanitation to low-income residents and workers on a pay per use basis. The new units consist of four toilet cubicles providing pour flush sanitation, two urinals, two showers, a handwashing station and an area for a secondary business (i.e. a coffee or laundry shop) providing additional revenue. Each unit is run by a local operator. PSI/E developed the franchise model and the local authorities provided land for the pilot.

The pilot demonstrated that customers are willing to pay to use the facilities, and local entrepreneurs are willing to buy into the management model. In Ethiopia, shared sanitation facilities are a necessary option in response to the rapid pace of urbanisation and will likely be a key component of the sanitation solution going forwards.

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