Description: The Kgalagadi District Municipality straddles both the northeastern section of the Northern Cape and the western area of the North West province. Agriculture and mining are the dominant industries. Over 180 000 people live in the district and unemployment and poverty rates are especially high in the rural regions. Given the extreme lack of service provision (approximately 168 villages have sanitation services below RDP levels), and of economic and educational opportunities, the District was declared a presidential poverty node. A household sanitation programme was implemented in 2003 to address this backlog. The Department of Water Affairs and Forestry provided the funding, the district municipality acted as the Project Manager, and the Mvula Trust provided the training to the effected communities. In each of the participating villages community meetings were held and community committees were elected. They received training as hygiene and health workers and local villages were educated, via the help of Participatory Health and Sanitation Training tools (PHAST). Health and Hygiene workers also made their respective villages aware of the different sanitation options so that they could make an informed choice. Ventilated Improved Pit or Urine Diversion toilets were built according to the findings of a groundwater protocol study that was conducted by DWAF. Households were encouraged to use their toilets and each committee had to ensure that all old toilets were closed and not used. Physical demonstrations of how to use the toilets were also done in communities. Other committee members were trained as builders, store men, and quality assessors. Problems identified during the implementation phase were immediately communicated to the district municipality, local chiefs and ward councillors and the necessary action was taken. The integration of management and on the ground services contributed to the success of the project.
Innovation: The participatory approach was used from the start and was viewed as a means of helping residents to take greater control of their lives and their environment by developing their own skills in problem solving and resources management.
Effectiveness: In support of the programme aim to alleviate poverty - local builders, storekeepers, quality assessors, project agents and sanitation committee members were used during the building of the toilets to keep the money within the community. Provincial emerging contractors supplied building material. One hundred and twenty people worked as builders, 30 as quality assessors, 30 as storemen, 90 as hygiene and health workers and 10 were trained as project managers. A total of 2760 toilets were constructed.
Poverty Impact: The majority of the funding (R8 million) for the project went back into the community, via salaries to committee members and building materials. The training that the community committee members received enhances the possibility of them being able to gain work in the future.
Sustainability: The total cost of the project was R11.5 million and it is expected that the project would be completed in June 2005. The cost of the project is way above that which would have been built in an urban area, but the reasons are threefold. These include the transport of material to remote areas, the central store and administration office and the 18- month extension due to unforeseen circumstances e.g poor road transport systems
Replication: The model can be replicated in other settings, as the lessons learnt, will not have to be repeated.