Tetra Tech led the Sustainable Water and Sanitation in Africa (SUWASA) program to improve access to safe, reliable, affordable, and sustainable water and sanitation services for unserved and underserved urban populations in sub-Sahara Africa. The program, funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), fostered urban water sector reforms to solve policy, institutional, regulatory, financial, and operational challenges that hindered the effective delivery of sustainable water and sanitation services for urban residents in nine African nations.

Through the SUWASA program, Tetra Tech worked through various modalities, including urban water sector reforms to increase sector autonomy, governance, and accountability, while advancing performance improvement and customer orientation of water utilities. Our team helped create regulatory reforms and economic regulation of water service providers to ensure effective and efficient delivery of water and sanitation services to customers and provided identification and testing of innovative capital finance mechanisms to help water utilities better serve informal and peri-urban settlements. SUWASA worked in Ethiopia, Kenya, Liberia, Mozambique, Nigeria, Senegal, South Sudan, Uganda, and Zambia to achieve long-term, financially sustainable water sector interventions by applying market-based principles through a collaborative approach with governments and service providers.

The SUWASA program was USAID’s first significant urban water and sanitation reform effort in Africa on a regional basis. SUWASA’s achievements were based, in part, on employing and working through African experts with a rich understanding of the challenges and culture of the continent. Tetra Tech successfully worked with donors and development partners to promote best practices and sector learning within the region. The regional office in Nairobi, Kenya, put together and disseminated SUWASA knowledge management tools, which provided leadership, technical backstopping, and oversight of country activities.

SUWASA was designed to support, demonstrate, and promote new ways of operating in the sector that would improve sector efficiency and enable water providers to deliver better service to their customers. Through SUWASA’s activities, Tetra Tech helped 64,937 people gain access to an improved drinking water source and 117,336 people receive improved service quality from existing drinking water services.

Tetra Tech worked with cross-sector stakeholders to disseminate lessons learned through the SUWASA Pathways—tools developed to share experiences; deliver key messages; and provide links to useful resources such as manuals, case studies, templates, and reports. The Tetra Tech team developed the Pathways in consultation with project partners including officials from government ministries, municipalities and regulatory agencies, utility managers, private operators, commercial bank representatives, civil society, and development partners.

The Pathways aim to communicate complicated reform topics in a highly accessible manner to a broad range of sector stakeholders and to assist with envisioning and sequencing reform efforts.

For more information about SUWASA’s Pathways for Urban Water and Sanitation, view the documents below:

Read the SUWASA final report that Tetra Tech prepared.


"On behalf of the U.S. Mission, let me begin by thanking everyone for attending this event and acknowledging the importance of the Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) program in Nigeria...With technical assistance from SUWASA, the Bauchi State Water Board formed revenue improvement task teams to improve revenue collection and efficiency in water utilization. For the first time, high-volume consumers are metered and compelled to pay for what they consume, resulting in higher revenues and improved efficiency in water use by these consumers. I would like to acknowledge the tremendous efforts from all the players in the water sector in undertaking this commitment to making the necessary steps to achieve tangible improvement...As I applaud the commitment by our SUWASA Implementing Partner, Tetra Tech, I want to emphasize that we all have an important role and responsibility in the solution of the world’s most pressing problems. No section of society can address these problems alone. Here in Nigeria efforts to improve the livelihoods of Bauchi citizens cannot be possible without the active participation of Tetra Tech. In joining this partnership, they’re acknowledging and accepting their role as a key partner in attaining the Millennium Development Goals we have set before us."

The remarks were made by the U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Terence McCulley, on the Urban Water Reforms MOU Signing.