Worldwide, 892 million people practice open defecation, most of whom live in rural areas of South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) is the most widely deployed approach to generate demand for, and use of sanitation facilities. CLTS relies on behavioral change and community self-enforcement to end open defecation.
Globally, CLTS has been widely embraced as a strategy to end open defecation, and dozens of countries have incorporated the approach as part of national policy for rural sanitation. Though the “total sanitation” focus of CLTS is laudable, there is reason to believe that the poor and more vulnerable segments of the community do not benefit equally, as they are more likely to construct lower-quality toilets and revert to open defecation.
On Wednesday, December 13, 2017, the USAID-funded Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Partnerships and Learning for Sustainability (WASHPaLS) Project held a webinar on the role of community-led total sanitation (CLTS) in helping to end open defecation. WASHPaLS presented key findings from a desk review assessing the knowledge base on CLTS program performance. The findings and identified evidence gaps will inform the WASHPaLS research agenda for subsequent years of the project.
We have been using the same toilet system for the past 200 years. The sewer system is safe and clean, but also resource intensive, and many countries cannot afford the water and energy needed. Can there be a new solution? That is the ambition of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) project committee 305 that is working to define a standard for a new type of toilet, which could help meet Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6 on safe sanitation for all.
Only 22% of Abidjan’s population has access to basic sanitation. Many low-income residents of the city live in compound houses of 4 to 45 persons, who share a common toilet. The situation is not too different in Bihar, India where only 30% of the population have access to basic sanitation, and open defecation is still rife.
The USAID Sanitation Service Delivery Project (SSD) held this webinar in April 2017 to explore successes and failures of the strategies from:
Globally, 2.3 billion people lack access to safe sanitation services and 892 million people practice open defecation, which poses a dramatic threat to public health. Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) aims at eliminating open defecation by applying participatory activities that engage entire communities. CLTS has shown to be successful in eradicating open defecation, however, results remain diverse and in-depth understanding of CLTS’ mechanisms is still lacking. This study from RanasMosler tries to close this research gap.
“I have seen that real change comes from the bottom up, from pressure from society—from good, willing people and action groups who actually put pressure on their governments to change,” says Rolf Luyendijk, executive director of the Water Supply & Sanitation Collaborative Council, in the latest episode of USAID’s Global Waters Radio podcast series. “Linking up with these groups, I think, is critical to get politicians to prioritize investing in sanitation.”