Resilient Waters Program

Sanitation Safety Planning for the Polokwane Municipality in the Limpopo Region

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Polokwane, South Africa
  • 2019 - 2021

  • Client



    Citizens of the Municipality of Polokwane.

    Key Partners

    JG Afrika and Oxford Policy Management Limited (OPML)

    Thanks to our long-time cooperation with the WHO promoting Sanitation Safety Planning (SSP) and training stakeholders, we got in touch with JG Afrika and Chemonics in Southern Africa. As a result, they started the USAID Resilient Water Program. The Resilient Waters Program aims to build more resilient and water secure Southern African communities and ecosystems through improved management of transboundary natural resources and increased access to safe drinking water and sanitation services.

    As part of the program, the Resilient Waters Program team committed to developing a National Faecal Sludge Management (FSM) Strategy for South Africa, using the pilot project to improve FSM in Polokwane Local Municipality as a solid evidence base.


    According to the recommendations provided by the World Health Organization (WHO) in its 2018 Guidelines on Sanitation and Health, sanitation systems and services should be selected according to the local context, and investments should be based on local risk assessments, i.e. Sanitation Safety Planning, along the entire sanitation chain.



    As Sanitation Safety Planning experts, we are in charge of supporting the implementation of the WHO recommended SSP local risk assessment and management approach in Polokwane. As the SSP facilitators, our contribution is:


    Explore and discover

    • Conduct a stakeholder analysis considering all key actors of the sanitation service chain.
    • Prepare the sanitation system map and describe each step of the on-site sanitation service chain: toilet, containment-storage/treatment, conveyance, treatment and end-use/disposal.


    Co-create and design

    • Facilitate the local health risk analysis to identify the highest risks for which control measures must be sought.
    • Facilitate the preparation of an incremental improvement plan to reduce the public health risk, together with a monitoring and verification plan.



    • Design and conduct an online training and coaching program to build the capacity of the members of the Polokwane SSP team.


    Reach and connect

    • Facilitate a high-level SSP session within the “Building Urban Resilience through Sanitation Management” workshop that took place in South Africa from the 21st to the 23rd of August 2019.



    Links to publications

    • This is the USAID press release about this initiative in Southern Africa.
    • In this article you will read what our coordinator, Robyn Thomson (JG Afrika) has to say about the project.

    Let’s work together!

    If you are planning or already implementing a sanitation project, don’t forget to select and invest in systems and services that respond to the local context based on local level risk assessment, i.e. Sanitation Safety Planning. Contact us to work together to ensure that your sanitation project responds to the highest health risk first!

    Contact us