CLTS Blog posts
The first SACOSAN was held in Dhaka in 2003, so the return of SACOSAN VI in 2016 was like a homecoming – at least, that was the opinion of Junaid Ahmed, the World Bank representative (and former regional team leader of WSP South Asia) who chaired the initial session.
Regional CLTS sharing and learning workshop, Sunday 10 January 2016: Innovative Bangladesh!
The traditional pre-SAN gathering of CLTS practitioners and enthusiasts brought together an interesting and eclectic group in Dhaka, with a notably large and welcome presence by the Afghanistan delegation. The focus of the first session was on innovation and new learning. While always difficult to focus the group’s attention tightly on new learning, several interesting new developments were highlighted.
The Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) is a revamped programme on sanitation launched by the H’ble Prime Minister, with a clear focus on outcomes. The programme was drafted carefully, looking at learnings from past sanitation programmes in the rural sector. Despite many programmes, the rural sanitation coverage rate did not get much success, for varied reasons. The primary reason was inability to implement programme in a pure ‘demand driven’ way, and lack of capacities to trigger behavioural change, required for this demand generation.
(The recent SACOSAN gave an opportunity to understand first hand from Dr M Geetha, Mission Director, Chhatisgarh, steps being taken by the State towards achieving an open daefecation free status. This blog is based on the same)
An important change agreed upon is the creation of a SACOSAN Secretariat and a Working Group, to facilitate communication and horizontal learning between the biennial conferences. The Sri Lankan government has volunteered to host the Secretariat.
Another point in the declaration is to reach out to other multi-country fora with information and advocacy for sanitation improvement. SAARC, the regional coalition, was specifically mentioned; and a SAARC representative spoke in the concluding ceremony.
Leave No One Behind
Presentation by an Afghan woman (Adiba Quraishi): We women do not use public toilets. We are embarrassed to be seen going into them. During these last few days, I have learned that governments are doing a lot.
Session on Community Approaches to Sanitation and Hygiene
The eight large and small countries involved in these biennial South Asia Sanitation Conferences (SACOSAN) differ in important ways. The Maldives is an island nation. Bhutan and Nepal are mountainous areas. Bangladesh’s, Afghanistan’s, and Pakistan’s populations are majority Muslim. India, of course, is the largest and most diverse. And Sri Lanka may be the most advanced in terms of literacy and other development indicators. Sri Lanka has recently experienced civil war and a tsunami, which also hit the Maldives. Nepal had a terrible earthquake last spring.
Azafady UK’s three-year sanitation and hygiene initiative, Project Malio, has recently reached its halfway point promoting sustained behavior change and latrine use in the coastal town of Fort Dauphin, southeast Madagascar. Using an adapted version of the Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) methodology, Project Malio aims to eliminate – or at the very least significantly reduce – open defecation in Fort Dauphin by working with households, schools, communities and local government.