CLTS Blog posts
I have been puzzling to understand why I found this conference so energising and such a good experience. In part it was the choreography and facilitation by Barbara Evans and others – what a difference it makes to have inventive ways of involving everyone and keeping us awake with bits of serious fun, and what a difference when facilitators and presenters are on top of their topics, have new things to share, are driven by controlled passion, and really enjoy themselves. And maybe there is something Ozzie about this – welcome, openness, informality, climate.
Over the past few weeks, I visited India for the first time, primarily to work on a research project about the economic effects of sanitation. During that time, I had the chance to visit several villages in northern India, starting with one that won the "Nirmal Gram Puraskar" clean village prize for being open defecation free a few years ago.
This year’s Pan Africa annual review meeting has been yet another fascinating experience, bringing a rich set of African voices to share experiences, discuss challenges and develop action plans to achieve set objectives for the Plan Africa CLTS programme and combat Open Defecation in Africa.
This week Plan International WASH Advisors, IDS, IRC, Plan Netherlands,Plan UK and Plan USA have converged in Lusaka to deliberate on shit. It has been interesting to see how different countries have progressed over the four years of implementing CLTS. The experiences from the participants reveal that gender is critical in CLTS because we need to engage women, men and children to make decisions on sanitation as well as address their specific needs.
India is the country with the biggest open defecation problem in the world. In India, open defecation is practiced by more than half of households and by about 67% percent of rural households. In fact, 60 percent of people anywhere who defecate in the open live in India. This widespread lack of sanitation, combined with India’s high population density, poses important health threats for children.
Today, the 5th day of March 2014 has been yet another exciting day at the 2014 Pan-African CLTS Annual Review meeting hosted by Plan Zambia, in Lusaka. We had a field visit to Chibombo district’s Keembe Constituency falling under Chief Liteta’s chiefdom in Mashikili ward.
I am in Lusaka Zambia participating in the Pan African Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) annual Network meeting. The first day was really exciting for me… first because I got to meet enthusiastic CLTS champions from East and West Africa and secondly, this year’s meeting is UNIQUE because we have participation of the Zambian government staff, partners, and a traditional leader (Chief) from one of the communities where Plan Zambia is implementing CLTS!
Sanitation is probably one of the sectors with the highest levels of overreporting. It is clearly the case of India, where 4/5 of the toilets reported during the Total Sanitation Campaign were found ‘missing’ in the 2011 Census. The monitoring system, intended to measure the sanitation coverage increase, was found to actually reflect funds disbursement.