Despite 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