Tag Archives: Sierra Leone

Study examines sustainability of CLTS programmes in Africa

Plan-ODF-sustainability-coverDespite the widespread implementation of Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) programs and many claims of success, there has been very little systematic investigation into their sustainability.  A new study, which aims to change that, is creating a stir in the WASH sector.

A study commissioned by Plan International on the sustainability of CLTS programs in Africa revealed that 87% of the households still had a functioning latrine. This would indicate a remarkably low rate of reversion (13%) to open defecation (OD) or “slippage”.

However, if the criteria used to originally award open defecation free (ODF) status to villages are used, then the overall slippage rate increased dramatically to  92%. These criteria are:

  • A functioning latrine with a superstructure
  • A means of keeping flies from the pit (either water seal or lid)
  • Absence of excreta in the vicinity of the house
  • Hand washing facilities with water and soap or soap-substitute such as ash
  • Evidence that the latrine and hand washing facilities were being used

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Tender for external evaluation WASH Facility: Sierra Leone

Adam Smith International are procuring for external evaluators (consultants or firm) to evaluate the Sierra Leone WASH Facility.

The Facility, which has a total budget of £5 million (US$ 8.4 million), is managed and administered by Adam Smith International, on behalf of DfID and the Government of Sierra Leone (particularly the Ministry of Water Resources, and Ministry of Health & Sanitation).

The evaluation covers the Facility mechanism itself, and its portfolio of 36 projects funded by small grants all less than £200,000 (US$ 330,000) each.

It is expected the evaluation will require approximately 60-80 days total level of effort.  Organisations or individuals that have been financed by the WASH Facility cannot apply.

Deadline for applications:  6pm (GMT) 14th March 2014

For full details and application guidelines please consult the attached Terms of Reference.

Please do not send applications or requests for information to Sanitation Updates.

AMCOW training consultancy on sanitation & hygiene policy development

The African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW) needs the services of a training service provider to carry out a sanitation and hygiene policy training.  Focal persons in Burundi, Chad, Sierra Leone and Zimbabwe need to be brought up to speed on drawing up plans and strategies .

The aim of this small (20 days) but interesting assignment is to:

train the focal countries on the process of developing a policy document and costed implementation plans and strategies for ending open defecation in those countries, and how to operationalise them.

The assignment supports a US$ 2 million Gates Foundation funded policy and advocacy project being implemented by AMCOW .

Closing date for receipt of applications is March 7, 2014.

Read the full Terms of Reference.

Please do not submit applications or requests for information to Sanitation Updates.

Creative measures improve sanitation programmes in eight African countries

Sapling handwashing, Malawi.

Sapling handwashing, Malawi. Photo: Plan Malawi

Eight African countries are creatively achieving the goals of community led total sanitation programmes (CLTS) including one idea in Malawi where handwashing is monitored according to the health of tree seedlings planted beneath water outlets.

In Zambia several schools have established vegetable gardens to reduce malnutrition and improve school attendance. Some of the harvests have been sold raising funds for school activities.

In Sierra Leone men have traditionally been the community leaders but women are now being encouraged to play a major part in village committees and networks of natural leaders.  To support CLTS women conduct house-to-house monitoring, giving health talks and reporting diseases –- many of them overcoming challenges such as illiteracy to maintain the programme.

Plan International’s five year Pan African CLTS (PAC) programme which ends in December, 2014, is operating in the eight countries of Sierra Leone, Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, Zambia and Malawi, Ghana and Niger. With the backing of the Dutch government the project was designed to promote and scale up sanitation in communities and schools.

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WaterAid – Keeping promises: why African leaders need now to deliver on their past water and sanitation commitments

210 million more Africans lack access to sanitation than in 1990 | Source: WaterAid-Feb 18, 2013

African Governments are failing to keep their funding promises on sanitation, a new WaterAid report has revealed. The report warns that unless investment is increased, the challenges of urbanisation, climate change and most critically population growth risk turning the clock back on sanitation access even further(1).

Kroo Bay slum in Freetown, Sierra Leone, 2012, during the worst cholera outbreak in nearly 15 years. Credit: Tommy Trenchard

Kroo Bay slum in Freetown, Sierra Leone, 2012, during the worst cholera outbreak in nearly 15 years. Credit: Tommy Trenchard

From 1990 to 2010, the population of Sub-Saharan Africa grew by 340 million, however only 130 million people secured access to sanitation over the same period(2). In total nearly 600 million Sub-Saharan Africans – 70% of the population – are without access to a safe toilet(3).

The Keeping promises: why African leaders need now to deliver on their past water and sanitation commitments report uses official Government figures from five African Governments – Ghana, Niger, Sierra Leone, Rwanda and Uganda – to show that funding on sanitation is falling short of government commitments across the continent.

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Sierra Leone – 1,000th community declared “Open defecation free”

1,000th community declared “Open defecation free” in Sierra Leone

Pewama village in the Kenema District was recently officially counted as Sierra Leone’s 1,000th community to be declared “Open Defecation Free” (ODF). This means that each household now has access to their own latrines, hand washing facilities and other hygiene interventions without relying on financial and logistical support from government and development agencies.

The latrines are being built by villagers using locally produced materials such as mud bricks and Palm Fronds under the Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) programme.

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Sierra Leone, Freetown: photographer documents extreme sanitation conditions in Kroo Bay slum

He then asked me: you want to know the truth? We’re all suffering here in Kroo Bay. He began talking about the water issues again and showing me his arms with open sores, “you see these, they move at night” – he was talking about the worms in his body.

Photographer Dominic Chavez spent a week documenting the life of communities in Kroo Bay, one of the worst slums in Freetown, Sierra Leone. He writes about his encounters in the summer 2010 issue of Global Health magazine, a publication of the Global Health Council.

[A]fter meeting a wonderful family who lived underneath a small bridge in Freetown. I was surprised by the amount of raw sewage and the lack of clean water. After visiting this family a couple more times they told me there were communities in Freetown much worse.

This was when I first heard of Kroo Bay, a difficult slum filled with good families and shanty structures overrun with garbage, extreme sanitation issues, and a long list of health conditions due to the lack of clean water. Some of the biggest issues they are facing are polio, ringworm, typhoid fever and malaria, not to forget a high incidence of child malnutrition.

Kroo Bay, Freetown. Photo: Dominic Chavez

In Kroo Bay, Chavez saw some of the worse conditions he had ever seen: homes without with dirt floors, no windows, no doors and roofs that provided no shelter from the heat and rain, and children “digging in heaps of trash and pools of blackened water”.

See the full story and pictures.

Sierra Leone, 22 villages go ‘Open Defecation Free’ in Kenema

The community led total sanitation (C.L.T.S) has certified twenty-two communities in the Kandu Leppiama Chiefdom in Kenema District as ‘open defecation free’ zones. This followed an extensive community cleaning exercise climaxed by the construction of their own latrines out of local materials for the control of human faeces. The project is being organized by the Muloma Womesn’s Development Association (MUWODA), jointly supported by UNICEF and the District Health Management Team.

The ODF celebration attracted dignitaries from the Kenema District Council, the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, representatives from NGOs and a host of others.

The program manager for MUWODA, Jeneba Nyallay said the existence of MUWODA as an entity is to promote the cultural, political and socio-economic status of rural women. “The vision of our organization is to initiate and undertake activities that can contribute to the improvement of the status of women and children,” she opined. She however noted that such can only be achieved through increase in food production, skills training, peace building efforts and advocacy for women’s rights and as well as the protection of disadvantaged children in society.

Giving a brief overview of their activities, Madam Nyallay said from 2002 to present they have undertaken skills training activities in gara, tie dyeing, tailoring, hairdressing and embroidery among others, adding that about 150 youths are currently engaged in metal works, carpentry Rights Act of 2007

On behalf of KCC, Chief Administrator Charlie Kallon who chaired the celebration expressed thanks and appreciations to MUWODA, the District Health Management Team, and other NGOs for reviving the CLTS which he said had become dormant since the war broke out in 1991. He appealed to the community people to take good care and maintain the newly constructed latrines.

MUWODA programme coordinator Samuel Bangali described the association as a female led organization that has over the years embarked on social work in both Kenema and Kailahun Districts by empowering rural women to be self reliant in their various communities. he said the organisation has succeeded in bringing women groups together, though he lamented on the high level of illiteracy among women posing a limitation to their ability to assume leadership roles in society.

Source – http://news.sl/drwebsite/publish/article_200515622.shtml

Sierra Leone: plan for sanitation rests with community

Community-led Total Sanitation (CLTS) is not always a success. The IPS article below tells about a peri-urban community in Sierra Leone where a CLTS programme failed because the community had wrongly assumed that it would receive a subsidy to build improved latrines.

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Freetown. Lying forgotten in the bush somewhere is a sign declaring “Ogoo Farm is an open defecation-free community.”

This peri-urban community of roughly 3000 people was one of the villages where UNICEF and the Sierra Leone ministry of health implemented the pilot phase of a Community-Led Total Sanitation Programme in 2008.

The programme trains communities on the dangers of open defecation – which contaminates streams and other water sources – and mobilises action to end the practice.

]…] But the gear pushing the programme forward in Ogoo Farm, 40 kilometres from the Sierra Leone’s capital, Freetown, appears to have become stuck in reverse. The majority of community residents still head for a quiet spot in the bush to empty their bowels.

“The project is simply not working properly,” Bai Kabia, the Ogoo Farm headman told IPS. He explained that initially the villagers were all thrilled with the idea of keeping their village hygienic.

“The sensitisation was dramatic. We realised that the idea of using the bush and streams in our village as toilet was bad and detrimental to the health of the whole village and we agreed to start building toilets,” Kabia explained.

He said that they dug 70 pit latrines around the village, each with a screen made of tarpaulin or nylon rice bags to shield a user from view.

The toilets were not an unqualified success. Ogoo farm’s women were among the first to abandon using them.

“These makeshift toilets are not very private,” Ramatu Kamara complained. “The heat that comes up these holes are unbearable when we stoop to use them. Moreover some of us have had infections using these toilets.”

There was worse to come. “When the rains came, the tarpaulin covering was destroyed. We also discovered that the pits were unsafe as the dirt around it was collapsing because we did not use iron rods to build the pit, we used sticks and these rot during the rain,” Kabia said.

“The holes even flooded and brought up everything we had sent down in them.”

Kabia said that they invited UNICEF and the health ministry to a meeting and told them about the problems.

“We suggested that they help us build proper toilets. We have offered to make mud blocks and we want them to give us corrugated iron sheets to (make a) roof. They promised that they would source funding for that but up till now nothing has been done.”

But Thomas Amara, the acting manager of environmental health in the ministry of health and sanitation told IPS that this is not how the sanitation programme works.

“What the project does is to trigger the community to take action against open defecation. We get them to see vividly that open defecation is bad for the community as it can contaminate their water source and thus lead to diseases including diarrhoea,” said Amara.

Arnold Cole, UNICEF’s water and sanitation health specialist for Sierra Leone, confirmed that the programme does not provide any subsidy whatsoever to communities.

“We encourage self empowerment.” Cole said. UNICEF is providing finance and technical support to more than 30 NGOs and six districts authorities to take the programme of awareness and mobilisation all over the country.

Cole claimed that Ogoo Farm was an exception in a programme that is succeeding in other parts of the country; alongside the health ministry, they have identified enthusiastic locals they refer to as “natural leaders” who then go into other villages and towns and spread the message.

The health ministry’s Amara said that in some rural villages in Port Loko, Kenema and Moyamba, the programme has been embraced so fervently that by-laws against open defecation have been passed, with heavy fines for defaulters.

“They also have been ‘scaling up’, building better and permanent toilets with their own monies,” said Amara.

One difference, he noted, is that villagers in the provinces usually own the houses they live in. They are more ready to bear the cost of building improvements like toilets than those in communities close to urban areas, such as Ogoo Farm, where most residents are tenants who look to their landlords to build permanent toilets.

Ogoo Farm headman Bai Kabia agreed, “They do not want to take responsibility for anything and as soon as they found out the project is being facilitated by NGOs – especially big organisations like UNICEF – they thought that there should be money for everything.”

And so it was that the “open defecation-free” sign was uprooted just two months after it was planted. “We do not want to live a lie, (open defecation) is still here,” the village headman sighed.

However Kabia revealed that the Farmers’ Association in their community has promised to build proper public toilets in different locations in the Community as part of their social responsibility.

The headman said he is also encouraging the community people, tenants as well as landlords to build toilets for their houses and that new house constructions will not be approved if the plan does not include toilet construction.

Source: Mohamed Fofanah, IPS, 01 Apr 2010

UNICEF – Improving hygiene through ‘school-led total sanitation’ in Sierra Leone

PORT LOKO, Sierra Leone, 1 July 2009 – Practicing good hygiene is anything but a chore for the children of E.M. Primary School in Laya, in the Port Loko district of Sierra Leone.

“We learn about good hygiene through games and sports,” says Fatmata, 12, a proud member of the School Health Club. “It’s a lot of fun, but we also have a serious responsibility to pass these messages on to our families and friends.”

Before the School Health Club members and their teachers got involved, infectious diseases caused by poor sanitation had been rife in Laya. Now, thanks to the club’s efforts, the majority of families in the surrounding villages have access to a latrine.

Children as agents of change

The club, which meets twice a week, is supported by UNICEF and a local non-governmental organization. Its goal is to promote the construction and use of latrines in Port Loko.

As an example of a School-led Total Sanitation (SLTS) programme, the club empowers children to be the agents of change within their communities by encouraging local families to construct latrines and end the practice of open defecation.

Fatmata and her family are in one of the households that took action as a result of the SLTS programme. Following the death of Fatmata’s father, life for her family was difficult. With nine children to support, her mother had little money available to spend on sanitation supplies. Due to a lack of facilities, the entire family was required to practice open defecation in the surrounding bush.

“I used to be so afraid of going to the toilet, especially because of the snakes,” explained Fatmata.

The introduction of SLTS to Laya encouraged Fatmata’s mother to make a change. Earlier this year, with help from her neighbours, she began to construct a latrine using local materials. The latrine is now complete and the family uses it on a daily basis.

Keeping children healthy and educated

UNICEF believes that working with schoolchildren is one of the most effective methods of promoting good hygiene and sanitation practices across communities. And in Sierra Leone, such interventions are greatly needed.

Communicable diseases, such as diarrhoea, also cause many school-age children to regularly miss school. Families living on limited finances are further strained when these diseases require costly medical treatments.

UNICEF and its partners are working to ensure that SLTS, combined with other health and education interventions, enables children like Fatmata to remain healthy and continue their education.

Source – UNICEF