Topic of the week: Community-Led Total Sanitation

Financing sanitation for low-income urban communities: Lessons from CCODE and the Federation in Malawi, 2016. Wonderful Hunga, IIED.

Like many other countries in the Global South, Malawi has failed to meet Millennium Development Goal (MDG) targets to improve access to sanitation. It has been estimated that only 25 per cent of the country’s population has gained access to improved sanitation since 1990 and access to it is a meagre 41 per cent, according to the latest Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) Report (2015).

By utilising social capital and promoting ecological sanitation, CCODE (an SDI affiliate), has enabled thousands of urban poor households, who could not afford better toilets, to live a dignified life. This study shows that the CCODE model could do this for most of Malawi’s urban poor.

Beliefs, Behaviors, and Perceptions of Community-Led Total Sanitation and Their Relation to Improved Sanitation in Rural Zambia. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2016 Jan 19. Authors: Lawrence JJ, Yeboah-Antwi K, et al.

Inadequate hygiene and sanitation remain leading global contributors to morbidity and mortality in children and adults. One strategy for improving sanitation access is community-led total sanitation (CLTS), in which participants are guided into self-realization of the importance of sanitation through activities called “triggering.” This qualitative study explored community members’ and stakeholders’ sanitation, knowledge, perceptions, and behaviors during early CLTS implementation in Zambia.

We conducted 67 in-depth interviews and 24 focus group discussions in six districts in Zambia 12-18 months after CLTS implementation. Triggering activities elicited strong emotions, including shame, disgust, and peer pressure, which persuaded individuals and families to build and use latrines and handwashing stations. New sanitation behaviors were also encouraged by the hierarchical influences of traditional leaders and sanitation action groups and by children’s opinions.

Poor soil conditions were identified as barriers to latrine construction. Taboos, including prohibition of family members, in-laws, and opposite genders from using the same toilet, were barriers for using sanitation facilities. CLTS, through community empowerment and ownership, produced powerful responses that encouraged construction and use of latrines and handwashing practices. These qualitative data suggest that CLTS is effective for improving sanitation beliefs and behaviors in Zambia.

Afghanistan’s CLTS Implementation Manual, 2016.

CLTS is a new approach in Afghanistan; and all stakeholders need to become familiar with how to implement it. CLTS has been successfully implemented in various countries throughout the world; however, there was an urgent need to adapt this approach to fit the societal and cultural aspects of Afghanistan. The Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development (MRRD) in collaboration with UNICEF and WSG members developed this manual for CLTS implementation in Afghanistan. It is aimed at CLTS facilitators who implement this approach in the target communities.

Community led total sanitation for community based disaster risk reduction: A case for non-input humanitarian relief. Jàmbá: Journal of Disaster Risk Studies 8(2), 2016. Authors: Mlenga, D.H. & Baraki, Y.A.

This study investigated Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS), subsidy free, community based disaster risk reduction approach, for open defecation reduction, in four constituencies in Swaziland. Data collected from households, through a knowledge, attitudes and practices (KAP) survey illustrated that with appropriate training, involvement of traditional and community leaders, CLTS minimises open defecation. There is need of participatory rural appraisal through regular community monitoring and feedback meetings, as the disgust generated especially for women and youth, through the meetings, as well as group dynamics, steer the sustained construction and use of sanitation facilities. Lack of coordination between Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) leads to slow improvement of sanitation coverage, wherein the same communities are promoting CLTS and others are promoting Subsidy Based Sanitation Intervention (SBSI) which involves subsidies. It is recommended that there be coordination between partners for harmonisation of messages and an integration of the CLTS and SBSI approaches.

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