Sanitation projects – check for standards, approvals, permits and licences
Consider all needed standards, approvals, permits and licences in the implementation plan
Required standards, approvals, permits and licences are official documents that give you the authorization or guidance to carry out your intended project. For each type of projects different laws, regulations and specifications or standards apply. These need to be identified early on and considered during the project implementation.
Purpose and link to IQC
Identifying the required standards, approvals, permits and licences, obtaining them and keeping record is compulsory. Breaches of such legal requirements may jeopardize the permission to implement a project or its acceptance by the government and donor. Compliance on the other hand can help to avoid conflicts with public authorities, sanctions and provides for quality of the service, ensuring safety and to meeting users expectations. In the case of infrastructure projects certain technical design standards are a pre-requisite to obtain permits and approvals for construction works (WHO 2008).
Implementing organizations should ideally be facilitators of processes, not service providers. However, they should take responsibility to make sure that all required standards, approvals, permits and licences are obtained, also because breaches can affect their own reputation.
1. Identify all required standards, approvals, permits and licences
Start out by checking which standards have been agreed in your contract with the project funder. For further information contact the local government for advice. Discuss with them which standards, approvals, permits and licences you need to comply with for your type of project. The following table provides examples of different types of standards, approvals, permits and licences that may be required for sanitation projects (e.g. toilets for a school…). The overview is based in the requirements in Kenya, which may deviate in other countries.
Note that: the implementing organization usually only engages in a community for a limited period of time. It is therefore important that the actual owners of the project (e.g. the community) obtain the required authorizations. The implementing organization may facilitate the application process. It is important that both the project owner and the implementing organization have copies of all approvals, permits and licences.
|Examples from Kenya for standards, approvals, permits and licences required for sanitation projects|
|Basic documentation required|
|Minutes from your meeting with the community/school committee (see Info sheet “Exist strategy & creating project ownership”)|
|Evidence of land ownership or an agreement with the owner for the use of the land|
|Map showing the localization of the works, and location of all authorizations or permits currently held by the applicant relevant to the project|
|For rehabilitation projects: authorization to use works owned by another person|
|Water services regulations (example from Kenya can be found here)|
|Public health regulations (example from Kenya can be found here)|
|Approvals, permits and licences||Who needs to get it?||Issuing authority||Comments|
|Hydraulic Survey Report||Implementing organization / Community committee||Consultant||By a registered consultant|
|Environmental Impact Assessment||Implementing organization / Community committee||Consultant / National Environment Management Authority||By a registered consultant / National Environment Management Authority license is issued|
|Approval of design documents||Community / School committee||County Public Health Office & Public Works||Both authorities should approve|
|Completion certificate||Community / School committee||County Public Health Office|
|Waste water discharge permit||Community / School committee||Water Resources Management Authority||Form 001F|
|Establishment of the community/school committee||Community / School committee||County Government||Minutes should be written|
2. Take corrective measures where required to ensure your project planning complies with all required standards
Update the table in the template with the information about the new project planning.
3. Get the approvals, permits and licences that are still needed
Establish who needs to get each of the required documents and which authority needs to be contacted. Inform the responsible entity (CSO, Contractor or Community/School Committee) about its obligations and make sure each project stakeholder obtains the required standards, approvals, permits and licences.
4. Keep records
Both, the project owner and the implementing organization should keep records and copies of all the approvals, permits and licences of the project and be able to produce them if requested.
References & Further Readings
- 2002. Model Water Services Regulations. Kenya
- National Council for Law Reporting. 2012. Public Health Act. Kenya
- WHO and UNICEF. Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) for water supply and sanitation. http://www.wssinfo.org/definitions-methods/watsan-categories/