Please note: this page is under development

The provision of safe drinking water and sanitation services to the public requires the use of risk assessment and management frameworks e.g. Water Safety Plans and Sanitation Safety Plans. An integrated water and sanitation safety plan (iWSSP) is a desirable approach for rural areas with limited resources and support. One third of rural water supply systems in Serbia were found not to meet standards for microbiological drinking-water quality. Moreover, rural areas have less access to safely managed drinking water and sanitation compared to urban areas.

This project is funded by the German Federal Environment Ministry’s Advisory Assistance Programme (AAP) for environmental protection in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia and other countries neighbouring the European Union. It was supervised by the German Environment Agency (UBA).

Goal of the project

The project’s main goal is to establish an advanced safe water and sanitation service provision in small systems in rural areas in Serbia. The project’s team aims to assess and demonstrate the feasibility of integrating water and sanitation safety planning through pilots at selected sites. This is done by developing templates and guidance on this novel approach, which is then implemented at pilot sites. It is important to build the capacity of safe water supply and sanitation services at local community and national level. This is accomplished by providing training workshops and in-depth support during implementation. This will identify public health risks associated to water and sanitation systems. Stakeholders are supported on how to manage these risks. Based on project outputs, i.e. knowledge and tools, local communities, water suppliers, and public health institutes at regional and national level are able to scale the approach up to additional rural communities and decision-making authorities. This will ultimately sustain good water and sanitation safety, including added benefits to the environment and population health in Serbia.

Who is involved 

  • National Institute for Public Health and The Environment (RIVM) and WHO Collaborating Centre for Risk Assessment of Pathogens in Food and Water, P.O. Box 1, 3720 BA Bilthoven, The Netherlands.
  • German Environment Agency (UBA) and WHO Collaborating Centre for Research on Drinking Water Hygiene, Berlin, Germany.
  • Institute of Public Health of Serbia, Belgrade, Serbia.


  • Paper submitted to Journal on Water and Health
  • Templates are in development


  • Sensitization workshop was held on 16th June 2021
  • A three-day training- and capacity-building workshop took place between the 21st and 23rd of September 2021
  • Implementation of integrated water and sanitation safety planning in rural areas in Serbia

RIVM role  

The National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) in the Netherlands acted as project coordinator.