There are a large number of small communities and towns in Africa that suffer from severe problems with water supply and sanitation. Small communities in rural areas and peri-urban areas of small towns have comparable settlement structures in which reuse of water and use of sanitation products can be utilized. However, there is only limited local capacity to adopt, implement and operate integrated water supply and sanitation.

CLARA's overall objective is to strengthen the local capacity in the water supply and sanitation sector. From a technological point of view, existing low cost technologies for decentralized water supply and sanitation systems shall be assessed and adapted for African conditions with the focus on reducing risks in use and reuse of water and sanitation products, and providing demand oriented water quality.

Based on these technological improvements and the experiences from the FP6 projects ROSA and NETSSAF, a simplified planning tool for integrated water supply and sanitation systems for small communities and peri-urban areas shall be developed that incorporates the key factors for success, i.e. operation and maintenance issues and reuse potential, form the beginning of the planning process, and that can be tailored to available local capacities. This simplified integrated CLARA planning tool shall then be tested and evaluated in different geographical African regions to incorporate different economic, cultural and social boundary conditions. For the communities participating in the planning process, application documents will be prepared as a final output that serve as basis to ask for funding of their implementation plans for integrated water supply and sanitation.