In the run up to AfricaSan I joined a Global Sanitation Fund (GSF) field trip and learning event in Matam region, Senegal. Along with Global Sanitation Fund programme managers and WSSCC National Coordinators we visited different villages where local NGOs had been triggering communities. Matam, in the north east of Senegal separated from Mauritania by the Senegal River, has a population of over 550,000 of which 98% are Muslim. In the region 47.2% practice open defecation.
This was my first, but unfortunately, probably the last annual review meeting of the CLTS Pan Africa Programme. We started the day with introductions and ice-breakers followed by updates from the different countries that a part of the project. It was great to hear how the different country officers have been implementing CLTS as well as changes they have made following the Plan ODF Sustainability Study. From the different presentations two things really stood out:
The Pakistan Approach to Total Sanitation (PATS) endorses a number of different total sanitation models of which Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) is one. Last week I attended the 2nd Pakistan Conference on Sanitation (PACOSAN II) in Islamabad. The conference was organised by the Ministry of Climate Change, with the support of WaterAid, UNICEF, Water and Sanitation Program – South Asia (WSP-SA), Plan Pakistan and other sector partners.
Last week’s Water and Health Conference held at the University of North Carolina’s Water Institute had an array of different workshops, side events and oral and poster presentations focusing on sanitation. After only a day into the week-long event two important messages started to emerge. Firstly, the sanitation problem is endemic in certain parts of the world, especially India, and unfortunately we do not know a lot and have an awful lot to learn.