Six districts, including Arua in West Nile; Lira and Soroti in North East, and Kyenjojo, Kasese and Bundibugyo in Rwenzori regions have developed action plans to roll out Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS), an innovative approach that focuses on sanitation and hygiene behaviour change. Launched on 16 April 2012, this was the first CLTS training organised by SNV under SNV's Community Empowerment Programme (CEP), funded by SNV, UNICEF and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
Community-led Total Sanitation (CLTS) is an innovative approach for empowering communities to completely eliminate open defecation (OD). CLTS places emphasis in community involvement in stopping open defecation rather than focusing on individual behaviour or on constructing toilets. People decide together how they will create a clean and hygienic environment that benefits everyone. The training attracted technical staff and extension workers from the six districts as well as SNV advisors and local implementing partners. The training was aimed at equipping participants with practical knowledge and skills on CLTS.
Children of Olelebun Village in Soroti District pinpoint the open defecation spots within the village during the ‘walk of shame’
While the CLTS approach of bringing 'shit' to the public was a shock to the moral sensibilities of most of the participants, many expressed their satisfaction with its blunt method of identifying and shaming individuals within the community who did not have latrines.
"Many of us came for the training with no clue of what CLTS is. Now we have acquired sufficient facilitation skills and resilience that will enable us move CLTS forward and help us eradicate open defecation in our districts," Hirotot Chris, Environmental Health Inspector, Lira Municipality.
The action plans were developed at the end of the CLTS training. Facilitation of the training was undertaken with support from Plan Uganda. 17 villages were triggered on CLTS in the three regions during the training. Evaluation of progress made by the districts in the implementation of CLTS action plans will be carried out after a period of six months. The overall objective of the Community WASH component of the Community empowerment programme is to increase access to and use of safe sanitary facilities and improve on the hygiene behaviours of 300,000 people living in 50,0004 households, which will be measured by the percentage of villages that will be declared open defecation free by end of June 2014.
Dorah Egunyu, Communications Officer
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