The Lagos International Water Conference (LIWAC) brought together experts to discuss innovative solutions for improving sanitation services. Among the most significant sessions was the panel on “Public Data Optimization for Improved Sanitation Services,” organized by Dev-Afrique. This initiative aims to build stronger, more efficient data systems for sanitation, ultimately leading to better service delivery and improved public health outcomes in the targeted regions.

Panel Session Highlights

The panel session focused on the pivotal role of sanitation data systems in promoting best practices and innovative solutions to enhance sanitation services across the region. Representatives from various organizations, including the Lusaka Water Supply and Sanitation Company, Nakuru Water and Sanitation Services Company (NAWASSCO), Lagos State Waste Water Management Office, EDAMS Technology, Wonderkid Multimedia, the Asian Institute of Technology, and Belinda Aderonke Odeneye, shared their insights and experiences.

Dr. Petros Kolovopulos talked about “Smart Water Systems in the 21st Century.” He emphasized the importance of implementing smart systems that measure water consumption accurately, facilitate proper communication networks, and enable efficient data exchange. Dr. Kolovopulos highlighted the necessity of advanced data systems and automation through integration within utilities, which allows for swift decision-making based on real-time data. He also pointed out the critical role of mobile technology in enhancing access to and management of these systems

Dr. Kavinda Guneasara discussed the theme “If We Can’t Measure, We Can’t Map,” focusing on how GWSC is working with its partners in the. ‘Strengthening of Public Data Systems for Sanitation in Bangladesh’ programme. He stressed the importance of continuous measurement to improve service delivery and utility management. Dr. Kavinda outlined the potential of automated decision-making enabled by APIs and chatbot integration, which can drive sustainability. He identified the high cost of building base data sets at the municipal level as a significant bottleneck, suggesting that new technologies could help reduce these costs and improve service delivery efficiency.


Dickson Marira addressed the challenges and opportunities of scaling rapidly through enterprise solutions as a service business model. He noted that utilities across Africa often face high costs and conflicts of interest when purchasing these solutions. Marira highlighted the predicament of small and medium-sized utilities that struggle to access affordable services. He proposed software as a service (SaaS) as a subscription model, allowing utilities to access specific services without significant upfront investments. Marira envisioned a future where affordable, homegrown software solutions could revolutionize sanitation services in Africa.


The panel session at the Lagos International Water Conference underscored the crucial role of innovative data systems and technologies in improving sanitation services. Collaborative efforts and the adoption of smart solutions can significantly enhance service delivery and public health outcomes across sub-Saharan Africa. By leveraging advanced data systems, mobile technology, and scalable business models, stakeholders can drive substantial improvements in sanitation infrastructure and management.