Africa: self-help sanitation for more than 2 million people

More than 2 million people and over 740 schools in Africa are getting improved sanitation.

In a new five-year programme, development organisation Plan International will expand its existing self-help sanitation programme in six African countries (Sierra Leone, Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, Zambia and Malawi) and introduce it in two other countries (Ghana and Niger).

The programme aims to implement and promote the Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) approach as it was originally intended: the community is triggered to act by itself towards its development by stopping open defecation and improving hygiene behaviour. There are no toilet subsidies and no financial rewards for eliminating open defecation. Plan and its local partners will carry out CLTS activities in 805 rural communities. Adapted versions of the approach will be used in 36 peri-urban communities and 742 schools.

Besides implementing sanitation projects, the programme will also engage the private sector. It will support local small or medium entrepreneurs to market the construction and maintenance of sanitation facilities.

Another programme element involves setting up national and international CLTS networks. National sanitation networks will not only coordinate programme activities but also lobby for sanitation policies to include CLTS and its adapted approaches in urban areas and schools. The results of the programme will be disseminated, including feed-back to the communities. The IDS website is instrumental in the dissemination to the wider audience.

The “Empowering self-help sanitation of rural and peri-urban communities and schools in Africa” project started in December 2009 and runs until December 2014. Plan Netherlands, in collaboration with Plan’s two regional African offices, is the programme’s lead agency. The two other programme partners are the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) at the University of Sussex, UK and the IRC International Water and Sanitation based in The Netherlands. The total budget for the programme is € 8.4 million, half of which is provided as a grant by the Netherlands Directorate-General for International Cooperation (DGIS), one third are the estimated investments by the communities in their own development, and the remaining part comes via Plan Netherlands from fund raising activities by Dutch primary school children.

For more information read the programme’s executive summary

For more information on CLTS go to

Contacts details:

One response to “Africa: self-help sanitation for more than 2 million people

  1. please would appreciate comments and suggestsions on how to tackle the issue of overflooded areas in a slum where government presence is mi imally felt that is he suituation in our area

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