Piet deVries is Senior WASH Specialist and Liberia Country Director for Global Communities, a Maryland-based NGO with programs in more than 20 countries around the world. In his recent sit-down with Global Waters Radio, deVries discussed his experiences in Liberia promoting community-led total sanitation (CLTS) over the past several years, as former chief of party for USAID/Liberia’s Improved Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (IWASH) program.
CLTS is a methodology originally pioneered in Bangladesh that seeks to create sustainable improvements in community sanitation by prioritizing public education and equipping communities with the skills needed to build and maintain their own improved sanitation facilities. CLTS also encourages community members to support the behavioral changes necessary to eliminate the public health threats posed by open defecation — a common practice in much of rural West Africa.
“We realized that community-led total sanitation could be very successful. But it was extremely difficult and logistically challenging.”
Countries around the world have experimented with CLTS since the late 1990s, producing encouraging if inconsistent results. What specific factors then explain the rise, popularity, and effectiveness of CLTS in Liberia? For the answers, listen to the full Global Waters Radio interview below, and let us know what you think.
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