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Tried and tested institutional and community sanitation facility designs for rural South Africa


Hello All,

I would like some support in designing sanitation facilities for rural South Africa both community and institutional latrines.

Are there any approved designs that have been tested and adopted in relation to community acceptance and local authorities` standards?


3 Answers



I do not currently have the designs you are looking for but can certainly get them as my office (WaterAid Southern Africa region) is linked with South Africa's Water Saniration parastatal research group. I am on leave until Tuesday May 1 but can help you then if you haven't found what you are looking for by then.


Mark Fabian Regional Technical Advisor WaterAid Southern Africa


Hello Mark, Thank you very much. It is good to hear that you can certainly get the designs for me. Can I have your email address so that I can forward you the request? Thanks once again.


Brixton gravatar imageBrixton ( 2016-05-04 15:40:32 )

Many years ago I designed some school toilets for the Mvula Trust. I don't know if they used my design, but I feel certain that they have been very active in promoting institutional sanitation. Try contacting them for details of their experience and designs.


Thank you so much, I did also got another recommendation from someone to check with Mvula trust.


Brixton gravatar imageBrixton ( 2016-05-04 15:51:49 )

You will need to check local standards, of which there are likely to multitudes I am afraid. For sanitation programmes to be successful they need to be designed with the specific needs of users in mind, hence your search for a universal standard is likely to cast you as Perceval in the search for the holy grail. There is the added complication that South Africa has recently adopted the CLTS approach to community sanitation, so there are likely to numerous models of ‘appropriate technology sanitation in use, and there is unlikely to be a single authority with a mandate to impose sanitation standards.

The Sustainable Sanitation Alliance is likely to be your best starting point, their South Africa page is avaialable at . You should also check out the standards for institutional sanitation set by the relevant ministries; The Ministry of Health will have published standards for health centres and the Ministry of education will have standards for schools.

I am sorry I cannot be more specific, but it has been a few years since I worked in Southern Africa.


Hello John, Sure you right local standards differ a lot depending on where you are but I was hoping there are already approved designs for rural sanitation for SA... they can`t be too many for one country otherwise there wont be any "standardisation". However I will definitely have to engage beforehand the authorities in the areas where our interventions will be targeted. CLTS is a very interesting concept that I have seen many authorities in other countries trying to put into practice. I was not aware SA is one of the countries that has adopted this approach. It will be interesting if you have any case studies where it has yet been put in place to see how it went down there.

Thanks so much for your response.


Brixton gravatar imageBrixton ( 2016-05-04 15:50:28 )