CLTS Blog posts
On a recent visit to a village in central India, we felt as if we had travelled back in time to the days of the Total Sanitation Campaign (TSC), when toilets were built as a tick-box exercise. Over a hundred concrete stalls with latrine pans had been built in the settlement. We call them concrete stalls instead of toilets: few were functional as they had faulty designs and connections to pits. Only one was in use… well, technically two —one as an actual toilet and the other as a storehouse for electric material.
The budget announcement of 2016 included this – ‘In order to continue this (Swachh Bharat) momentum, priority allocation from Centrally Sponsored Schemes will be made to reward villages that have become free from open defecation’.
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.