Event Details

This FSMA Spotlights webinar will explore the linkages between city-level sanitation, national strategy and transboundary basin management by unpacking the lessons learned from an FSM Pilot Project in Polokwane, South Africa, conducted by the Engineering & Environmental Consultancy JG Afrika.

JG Afrika received a grant from the USAID Resilient Waters Program to implement a project in two phases as follows:

  • Phase 1: Pilot four faecal sludge management (FSM) planning tools in Polokwane Municipality in South Africa. FSM tools used were the City Service Delivery Assessment, Faecal Waste Flow Diagram (SFD), Re-use Options analysis, and a Sanitation Safety Plan. In addition, an Urban Resilience Toolkit was developed to make linkages between sanitation and resilience in the context of basin management
  • Phase 2: Use the findings from the pilot project as inputs into the development of a National Faecal Sludge Management Strategy for South Africa, the first for the country.

The USAID Resilient Waters program is a transboundary basin management program within which one of the four key components is WASH. In this context, the WASH component needs to link with the broader water security and resilience objectives of the program.

The project team worked closely with the South African Department of Water and Sanitation to design the activity, based on the country's WASH sector needs (identified through a gap analysis of the WHO Global Analysis and Assessment of Sanitation and Drinking Water (GLAAS) and aligned with the objectives of the USAID Resilient Waters program.

However, given the relative newness of the concept of FSM in South Africa – with most efforts focused on sewered sanitation, and given the Resilient Waters objective of improved resilience and water security within the Limpopo River Basin – the project steering committee decided that a local case study would ensure that the first FSM strategy for South Africa was not only relevant to the South African context but also designed in the context of climate change factors that affect South Africa.

The application of this integrated, 2-phase approach has influenced the direction of the 10-year national strategy and also provided tools that other municipalities in South Africa can use as they begin to implement the strategy once it is finalised. In addition, the implementation of FSM tools in Polokwane Local Municipality has helped to identify the stakeholders involved in non-sewered sanitation service delivery at city level in relation to the legislative and regulatory provisions for FSM across the service chain. This analysis helped to guide the stakeholder engagement for the national strategy.

The key outcome of this project is that it highlighted the constraints and opportunities in making linkages between municipal level implementation and national strategy and between city level inclusive sanitation approaches in the context of an urban area within a transboundary basin.

Please join us for this online session where we unpack the methodology, findings and lessons learned from rolling out four planning tools for FSM at a city level based on the Pilot Project that took place in Polokwane, South Africa from 2020 till 2022.


The FSMA Spotlights webinar series aims to highlight key aspects and discussions around FSM and the sanitation service chain.

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Registration is free and open to the public.


  • Robyn Tompkins (Executive Associate at JG Afrika)

    Robyn Tompkins

    Executive Associate at JG Afrika


    Robyn is an Executive Associate for JG Afrika Engineering and Environmental Consultants, and holds a Masters (Environment and Development cum laude) from the University of Natal, Pietermaritzburg’s Centre for Environment and Development. The combination of Robyn’s Masters degree and varied business experience have led to much of her work comprising business and high-level strategic analysis specialising in WASH sector issues, international river basin management, and more recently, climate resilience and WASH, inclusive sanitation and water security.
    She has worked in Angola, Botswana, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe managing projects and advising on all aspects of the WASH sector, from community level to transboundary basin management level. Her recent work includes large-scale programmes such as USAID Resilient Waters, WHO Global Analysis and Assessment of Sanitation and Drinking Water (GLAAS); and smaller projects, such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation WASH-Gender mainstreaming and The Nature Conservancy partnership models for integrated catchment and WASH management.

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  • Suvritha Ramphal (Associate at JG Afrika; WASH Specialist at USAID Resilient Waters Program)

    Suvritha Ramphal

    Associate at JG Afrika; WASH Specialist at USAID Resilient Waters Program


    Ms Suvritha Ramphal is an Associate at JG Afrika and is currently the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Specialist for the USAID Resilient Waters Program in Southern Africa. Her project profile consists of projects focussed on building resilience in communities, local government, national government and transboundary water forums. These projects take the form of small-scale community rural water supply and sanitation infrastructure projects (Zimbabwe, Botswana), national government policy development in WASH (South Africa and Botswana), institutional and technical development in faecal sludge management (Mozambique, South Africa) and community governance and capacity development trainings in WASH (Zambia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Angola). Her passion for working in the development sector grew through her journey in volunteerism at the International Water Association and the Water Institute of Southern Africa.

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