Addressing global sanitation crisis requires effective and sustainable interventions for faecal sludge management. Worldwide, 2.7 billion people are using onsite sanitation systems, with number expected to increase to 5 billion by 2030 due to rapid population growth and emergence of informal slum settlements in urban cities of developing countries. This is despite lack of management structures to manage the feacal sludge generated from the systems. Feacal sludge thus generated finds its way back to the environment untreated, posing  high environmental and public health risks.

Engineers and city planners previously focused on sewer-based sanitation systems which in addition to being expensive to develop require significant costs in maintaining and upgrading infrastructure. Zooming in on Kenya, the sanitation situation has further been aggravated by the recent devolved Government system that has seen increased migration especially within urban and peri-urban centre across the Counties. Many previously desolate markets have found new status as service centres attracting cosmopolitan populations and mushrooming of unplanned businesses and settlements. As such, a dismal 25% of the population is connected to conventional sewer system, whereas 75% rely on onsite systems. If well managed (when entire service chain; collection, transport, treatment and reuse/disposal are planned), onsite technologies can represents sustainable cost effective sanitation solutions.

To this effect, Meru University of Science and Technology has continued to play a leading role. A Sanitation Research Institute (SRI) with five themes aligned to WASH activities and the University Vision, Mission and core Mandate was established within the university campus. These are; Training and capacity development, waste collection and management, research and technology development, technology transfer and outreach, knowledge dissemination on FSM.  On 13th January 2020, MUST following successful transfer of IHE Delft based sanitation programs (MSc (Master of Science), GPDP (Graduate professional Diploma program), OCC (On-campus course)) launched a Master of Science Program in Sanitation with 45 students. This was through a program which IHE delft endeavoured to accelerate the impact of and make graduate education in non-sewered sanitation more accessible to professionals in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. This transfer of the three programmes (MSc. Sanitation, GPDP and OCC) from the IHE, Delft and the associated linkage with the GSGS is not only synergistic with the University mission but also in line with the University vision of being a world class University of excellence in Science and Technology and the University mandate of Training, Research, Consultancy and Extension. Non-sewered sanitation impact will further be increased by transfer and launch of the MUST programs at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) and University of Eldoret (UoE) in September 2020.

 Master of Science in Sanitation

  1. Brief Description: Master of Science in Sanitation at Meru University of Science and Technology is part of the Global Sanitation Graduate School (GSGS) framework 2019. The goals of GSGS is to share and exchange knowledge on citywide inclusive sanitation across the globe and reach thousands of sanitation professionals through the wide network of academic professional institutions, all towards achievement of Sustainable Development Goals.

In Kenya, the programme targets immediate sanitation needs for peri-urban, slum and rural dwellers with an aim to produce qualified sanitation specialists.  It will also build capacity in postgraduate education in Sub-Saharan Africa with a view to achieve improved sanitation at the national, regional and global levels.

 Admission requirements:

A holder of a Bachelor’s degree in Public Health, Community Health, Environmental Sciences, Microbiology, Biological Sciences, Chemistry/Biochemistry, Civil Engineering, Agricultural Engineering, Agriculture, Health Sciences or any other relevant degree from an Institution recognized by Meru University of Science and Technology Senate.

  1. Description of modules:



Background of Sanitation: sanitation coverage, global access, universal sanitation goals, the trend of urbanization, urban sanitation situation, challenges emerging from rural-urban interaction.

Sanitation Environments: Sanitation ladder in various environments (rural, urban, slums, refugee and IDP camps): open defecation, unimproved facilities, shared facilities, improved facilities. Discussion of individual’s local sanitation environment sharing experiences from various regions.

Management of sanitation issues: Excreta management (faeces, urine), drainage for rainwater/storm water). Disposal methods: containment, conveyance, treatment and end use of disposal. The material flow analysis (MFA); assessment of sanitation systems, environmental impacts, system analysis. Sanitation Monitoring: National sanitation access, Community Approaches to Total Sanitation (CATS),

Elimination of open defecation (OD), Disposal of children’s faeces, Hand washing with soap (HWWS). Fecal/Shit Waste Flow Diagram Approach.



Urbanization, basic urban services and systems approach:  Urban development trends, demography; factors driving urbanization and how this affects urban development in development country contexts (Growth, Socio-spatial disparities, Low-income and informal settlements, dynamics of urban development (city and Town Planning). Service delivery chain; Importance of service delivery chains, the enabling environment, why service chains fail. Compendium; Introduction to the compendium, main parts of the document & its utility, introduction to the five functional groups and the different sanitation products, using the Compendium to plan a complete sanitation system, On-line demonstration of the eCompendium & glossary of Sanitation Systems and Technologies, key sanitation sector document, application to the sanitation systems approach.

Systems and technologies: Urban Sanitation Case Studies. Analysis of the most appropriate systems and technologies in different urban and peri-urban contexts.

Urban service delivery: Case studies of successful and failed urban sanitation projects, key success factors, why certain projects have failed. Examples (Ordos Nala, Nepal, Durban, South Africa, Orangi Pilot Project, Pakistan, Sector innovations: Soil (Haiti),  Sanivation (East Africa), FSM in Dakar.

Urban sanitation planning approaches: Urban sanitation planning & programming, why planning & programming is important for achieving 100% sanitation coverage; master planning critique, rapid diagnostics for city wide analysis, how sanitation fits in urban planning, weaknesses of master planning, overcoming the disconnection between urban planning and the sanitation sector. Planning approaches; differentiate between existing urban sanitation planning approaches – Sanitation 21, Community-Led Urban Environmental Sanitation Planning (CLUES), Service Delivery Assessment (SDA).

Diagnostic tools in urban sanitation projects and programmes: Utility of using different diagnostic tools, types of decision support systems, categories and application (Sanitation 21, CLUES, Saniplan, Strategic Sanitation Planning, FSM tools for sustainable service delivery, etc). Diagnostic tools (GIS/mapping; surveys; shit flow diagrams (SFDs); service level analysis.

Formative research: Formative research/diagnostic work, undertaking formative research a given context. A review of methods for undertaking formative/diagnostic research in low-income urban settings, Example: Eawag’s FSM video on Lusaka in Zambia. Stakeholder analysis in urban settings. Stakeholder analysis. Formulating SMART questions.



Introduction to public health: The work of John Snow and the relationship between public health and sanitation.

Human Health Hazards and Waste: Introduction to the concept of hazards and risk, what types of risks exist and how they are classified, what is a public health risk. Types of wastes generated and their associated hazards, classification of waste and how wastes are defined, hazardous caused by different types of wastes.

Disease associated with human waste. Pathogens; their important, different types of organisms that cause diseases focusing on sanitation. Factors in excreta related disease transmission, Concepts; Excreted load, latency, persistence, intermediate hosts, alternative hosts, multiplication, infectivity, susceptibility of hosts.

Transmission routes: Classification of environmental transmitted diseases in relation to sanitation; Bradley classification, Water/Excreta related, Faecal-oral using the F-diagram. Disease Cycles – Lifecycles & Vectors, lifecycles of pathogens related to sanitation and how this affects control mechanisms, factors related to disease transmission. Adverse nutritional and anthropometric outcomes related to sanitation. Review of global and national disease burdens of sanitation related diseases. Review of other neglected tropical diseases related to sanitation. Noninfectious public health issues linked to sanitation

Control Measures: Non-technical principles of control which are related to lifecycles. Current outbreaks via case studies i.e. Cholera in Yamen, Hep A in USA.

Risk Evaluation Tools: A review of the tools and how they are related, when and why you would use specific tools. Sanitary surveys and how to use them. Sanitation Safety Planning – workshop using a case study on how to develop one. Case study on the use of Sanipath. Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessment (QMRA).



Compare the characteristics of different sanitation streams  and assess their potential pollution and health impacts: Classification of waste types, Wet waste streams and typical characteristics, Typical sanitation streams and their characteristics, Why the characteristics vary from stream to stream, Potential pollutions issues association with sanitation streams, Potential public health issues  associated with sanitation streams, Review sanitations streams as a raw material and potential products. Evaluate the legislation in relation to these sanitation streams; Review current legislation in relation to sanitation streams via reviewing Shit Flow Diagrams. Evaluate the results gained from laboratory test of to identify samples taken from various sanitation streams; Laboratory induction, Analysis of sanitation streams;  parameters tested should include chemical, physical and biological. Assess the results gained for compliance to legislation; Current legislation.



Urban drainage and sewerage: Urban Drainage and Sewerage.

Technologies for the sewage and sludge treatment: Carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus removal & recovery; sludge treatment.

Sanitation chain components: toilet interface; storage; transport; treatment; end use or disposal. Site evaluation; toilets; onsite sanitation systems; emptying and transport; established and transferring technologies for dewatering, stabilization, pathogen inactivation and nutrient management, urban low cost drainage. Workshop and group design.

Innovations in sanitation: Innovation processes; RTTC, eSoS exercise. Critical assessment of innovations.

Sanitation decision support tools: carry out a decision support analysis. Intro & Exercise technology selection tool / decision support system; Critical assessment and discussion of outcomes of decision support tools.



Explain main approaches and theories on water and sanitation; Water & sanitation governance: definitions, debates, controversies, the policy making process. Identify actors and decision-making processes related to sanitation governance; Power relations among actors in the local and global levels: Gender, class & race relations and power asymmetries, Practices of coordination & decision, making around contested water distribution. Explain the advantages and shortcomings of sanitation regulatory frameworks in countries of the Global South; Contextualizing sanitation: the politics of urban waste, Formal and informal regulation, regulatory impact assessment. Analyze sanitation governance structures from specific study cases, including integration of policies and strategies into government planning and budgeting systems; contextualize sanitation, understand the politics of urban waste, and be in a position to understand sanitation governance surrounding sanitation issues both locally and globally. Case studies on regulatory frameworks around the world– how is sanitation managed: where, how and why, Everyday sanitation from different perspectives. Contrast failures, successes, and journeys of sanitation histories around the world; Sanitation history. What does history have to do with all this?:Sanitation in Europe main cities, Sanitation in colonial contexts, Evaluate elements for developing evidence based policies; Shifting sanitation governance in light of justice concerns, Governance alternatives amongst the “crisis of imagination”.



Overview of sanitation financing and impact of service financing: National context:

Decentralization and Local Authority Finances. Innovative Financing for Sanitation. Saniplan Tool – financing model.

Sustainability and business models in sanitation: Sanitation service and value chain, sustainability in sanitation. Business models in sanitation. Financial flow in business model. Business canvas. Public Private Partnership (PPP) in sanitation.

FSM Technical and Financial Assessment Tool: Use FSM Technical and Financial Assessment Tool for costing and financing of a sanitation project



Appreciate the importance of behavior change and advocacy in sanitation planning and delivery: Sanitation & behavior change (BC); Defining behavior across the sanitation chain & the importance of BC in urban sanitation programming, What is behavior?; (1) Behavior science concepts: behaviors vs habits & drivers vs reinforcements; (2) behaviors & sanitation programming; & (3) Key BC actors: roles & responsibilities, What is advocacy?; Promoting change via persuasion & policy vs education/awareness raising.

Discuss the concepts underpinning behavior change and advocacy (BC&A) interventions:

Behavior change frameworks; what is a theory of change?, Behavior change frameworks: (1) What is a theory of change?; (2) Conceptual models (BCD, COM-B, IBM-WASH, CLTS, nudging, RANAS) & tools (Willingness-to-pay & marketing – SaniFOAM & DIP IN); (3) BC channels; & (4) Limitations.

Demonstrate an awareness of models, methods and tools that promote change in a diverse range of target populations and contexts: BC&A formative research: (1) BC intervention process & prioritisation; (2) Embedding BC interventions; & (3) What is formative research & why it’s needed? Case example applications: In-class exercises & discussions over hypothetical BC TOC/methods selection, implementation and evaluation of real-life case, Monitoring behavioral change: (1) whether/how it occurred; (2) strategy (inc. objs); & (3) TOC validity, Tracking change: (1) Planning – indicators, information and costs; (2) Data sources & collection tools; & (3) Challenges, Occupational Health & Safety Protocols: Significance & case examples, Advocacy & public policy: (1) Linking behaviors to public policy & administration; & (2) Case examples, Advocacy & media: Media & social media case examples



Description of humanitarian aid: history, key elements of the legal context and key sectors of humanitarian assistance, and apply humanitarian principles and work within the framework and coordination of humanitarian assistance; The evolution of humanitarian aid: historical events and the humanitarian system as it stands today, Overview of the international legal framework (Refugee law, International Humanitarian Law-IHL, International Disaster Relief Law-IDRL), code of conduct and guiding principles of humanitarian action, Standards applied by relief agencies and global cluster, Sphere, WASH cluster.

Describe the stages of humanitarian aid and recognize the main actors of the international relief system and their respective mandates; Disaster cycle, risk reduction/ response/ recovery/ development, emergency response phases, Overview of relief organizations, their mandates, their commitments and priorities in emergencies.

Explain the key environmental sanitation needs and approaches common in emergency situations; Options for the provision safe excreta disposal, solid waste management, vector control and surface water drainage.

Compare the suitability of different technical options depending on the phase of emergency and variety of practical settings, adjusting to time and resources available; An example about humanitarian organizations adapting their practices (and responses) to the local context (local resources, local practices, etc.)

To implement a specific sanitation solution; applied approaches bringing theory into practice (good and bad experiences, lessons learnt),

Plan, implement and monitor a sanitation response to a disaster situation; Development of a sanitation plan for a specific situation including budgeting (contingency planning, acquisition, management, use of information for decision making, monitoring and reporting),

Integrate and apply the theory in a case scenario; Different stakeholders in a humanitarian emergency context.



Discuss the concepts of leader, leadership, and management:  Leading and Managing; An introduction to leadership concepts; The difference between a leader and leadership; Competencies relevant for establishing an enabling leadership environment; Inter- vs intra-development, management vs leadership, inter-cultural leadership and competencies of a leader Leading in intercultural settings. Articulate their vision through a strategic plan based on Theory of Change: Establishing a vision and a strategy; How to develop a vision and translate it into a plan; Introduction to the concept of a sanitation vision, supported with Change Management and Theory of Change frameworks to develop a strategy for translating the vision into actions on the ground; Choose from various communication skills in order to effectively lead a team; Effective communication for leadership; Building and maintaining trust; Active listening; Giving and receiving feedback;  Consensus building; Conflict Management; Negotiation Reflect on their current and desired capacity as leaders, in terms of personal and situational awareness; Emotional Intelligence; Self-reflection and the way forward; Participants will carry out self assessment in order to prepare an individual leadership development plan based on their strengths, weaknesses and desired future goals. Identify conflicts in sanitation management and their solutions; Introduction to working in groups. Identify change agent in evaluation processes.



Explain project management cycle and key elements of project planning; Project management cycle; Key elements of project planning: Apply standard tool(s) for context, stakeholder and problem analysis to plan a sanitation project/proposal;  Introduction to case study and group assignment; Context analysis; Stakeholder analysis; Problem analysis: Apply Theory of change approach to develop a sanitation project/proposal;  Results-based Project Management; Theory of Change – Map Conditions; Theory of Change – select a path of change; Theory of Change – Assumptions and justifications; Options Analyses, Multi-Criteria Analyses;  Stakeholder management; Risk assessment and mitigation; Finalise project plan; Good practices and criteria for good project proposals:  Organise and develop project implementation plan;  Project plan to implementation plan; Recap/Transfer Exercise of previously developed project plan; Task Planning and Work Breakdown Structure (WBS); Resource disposition – make-or-buy, tendering, hiring, contracting; Project Human Resources: Organise and develop project monitoring, evaluation and learning (MEL) plan21. Monitoring, evaluation and learning  (MEL) frameworks; Monitoring for Results vs Implementation;  Indicators for validation of results/impact; Indicators for project implementation and operation; Use MS Project for developing a sanitation project plan;  Project Planning Software; Overview and use of MS project on project management/implementation; MS Project; Introduction to software and MS Project; Demonstrate and work with MS Project; Demonstrate and work with project tasks and linking tasks; Assigning resources and costs for a project; Creating project timeline, milestones, summary task and sub task; Demonstrate and work with project tracking.



Description of personality with respect to group work and their preferred role within a Team; determinant of personality, selected theories of personality, personality, and occupations

Introduction to working in groups. Group dynamics – formations, functions. Composition of Groups of varying in sizes and composition; group working models

Carry out various group works over the regular content modules and reflect on their own performance; Handle conflicts, evaluate processes and resolve impasses in the progress; Write a portfolio on the personal development during the various group works. Group exercises



Evaluate different types experimental design and sampling strategies in relation to the individual research project; World philosophical views; Research design/methodologies; Classification of research designs; Sampling strategies; Methods – the advantages, disadvantages when they are appropriate; Methods which may be included in the social science stream:    Participant Observation , Interviews , Focus Group Discussion, Media Analysis, Survey and Questionnaire Participatory Methods ; Methods which may be included in the science stream:  Ascaris Analysis, Calorific Value, Viscosity, DNA extraction and Analysis: Evaluate the research methods in relation to the individual research project; Stream A; Dewatering; Anaerobic; Vermi-filters; Compost analysis; Analysis of products; Stream B:  Participant Observation; Interviews; Focus Group Discussion; Media Analysis; Survey and Questionnaire Participatory Methods; Feminist Research. Classification of Research Methods -Science,

Engineering and Social Science; Qualitative vs Quantitative; Examples of types of methods; Advantages and disadvantages of methods; Mixed methods approaches-the debate; Triangulation of data:  Ethics and consent; What is good practice; Avoidance of data mining/stripping; Causing no harm; Returning knowledge back to stakeholders.

Research Process; Defining a research problem, review of literature including concept and theories, principles and models related to the problem and review of previous research findings. Formulation of research questions, objectives, Hypothesis, Operational definition of terms, variables, limitations, delimitations and assumption in research study, selection of research design, determination of sampling methods of the target population, development of a research protocol, designing data collection instruments, Data collection and management of data analysis methods, interpretation of findings, evaluating research results and drawing conclusions and recommendations; Ethical considerations: Ethical principles, the power of research, informed consent, ethics and legal requirements in research. Development and writing a Thesis,: Major Components of a Thesis and the format of writing, characteristics of a quality Thesis, Presentation skills: oral presentation skills using illustrative material,  handling discussions and questions, guidelines for trial oral presentations, guidelines for effective visuals, Poster presentations: guidelines for poster presentations, handling the poster presentation session.



Statistic terms: Introduction to Statistics; Statistical thinking;  Importance of statistics in research, planning, predicting, forecasting, interpreting, and problem solving: control;;  Hypothesis testing methods; Differentiate between an hypothesis and research questions; Descriptive and inferential statistics, Objectives and significance of undertaking Research; Solution to a problem, creation of knowledge, policy development, testing of theories, determination of relevance and applicability of models and approaches in decision making, establishment of relationships and seeking answers to problems: Research Types: Descriptive versus analytical, applies versus fundamental, Quantitive versus Qualitative, conceptual versus empirical, longitudinal research, clinical or diagnostic research and historical research: Statistical Methods: Scope of statistics: Purpose and importance of statics; Descriptive statistics: Measures of central tendency, measures of variation, tabulation and data processing; tabular and graphical methods; Probability: the meaning of probability, probability calculations and distributions, Subjective probability, Sampling error of the mean, proportion, variance, difference; Statistical inferences: Parametric and non-parametric tests, Significance tests and confidence levels, Inferences from means, comparison of two means, inferences from variance, comparison of two proportions, 2X2 tables and chi square tests, inferences from two counts, comparison of two counts, regression and correlation, comparison of multiple groups,  multiple measurements. Statistical Computation: Data processing, Statistical analysis, statistical software programs (Excel, SPSS, Nvivo).


  1st Cohort MSc. Sanitation 2020

 MSc. Sanitation students in a group discussion

 Collaborations: To implement the Master of Science in sanitation, Meru University of Science and Technology has partnered with various institutions both public and private to provide the required expertise and supervision. Some of these institutions are;

  • Meru County Government
  • Ministry of water and sanitation
  • Sanergy
  • Sanivation
  • Umande Trust
  • Kiyan
  1. GSGS framework 2019
  1. Module coordinators

Module coordinators pose for a photograph with Domenic Kiogora , TOT(2nd right) during one of the training sessions

 Teaching Facilities and infrastructure

To support the programme the University has the following facilities

Research infrastructure:

  1. Innovation and Entrepreneurship Centre
  2. Sanitation Research Centre
  3. Well-equipped library
  4. Teaching rooms and faculty offices


  1. Sanitation Research laboratory
  2. Biological laboratory
  • Animal Health laboratory
  1. Agriculture laboratory
  2. Chemistry laboratory
  3. Physics laboratory
  • Microbiology and Pathology laboratory
  • Molecular science laboratory
  1. Biochemistry laboratory
  2. Computer science laboratory


  1. Sheet metal workshop
  2. Welding workshop
  • Material testing
  1. Solid and Structural mechanics
  2. Fluid mechanics


  1. Black Soldier Fly adult and production units
  2. Toilet complex at Kunene primary School