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Community Led Total Sanitation and its adaptations were piloted in Nigeria from 2004 to 2007 in several communities. The pilot interventions were carried out by several organizations such as UNICEF, WaterAid, State and Local governments and based on the outcome, CLTS was adopted as a major approach for rural sanitation development in the government approved Strategy for Scaling up Rural Sanitation in the country. The scaling up of CLTS in most states effectively commenced in 2008 coinciding with the International Year of Sanitation.

Key actors
Major institutions supporting CLTS implementation in the country are: the National Task Group on Sanitation (under the leadership of Federal Ministry of Water Resources), the State Task Group on Sanitation, the State Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agencies, the Local Government Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Departments, the Community Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Committees and many Community Based Organizations. Donors supporting CLTS in Nigeria include the European Union, DFID, WSSCC. International NGOs and agencies engaged in CLTS are UNICEF, WaterAid and Concern Universal. WERI, BENGONET, FAHINTA and RUCODEV are the main local NGOs involved.

Capacity building
Towards building the capacity of implementers on CLTS approach, the first national Training of Trainers’ workshop was organized in March 2008 by the National Task Group on Sanitation (NTGS) with financial and technical supports from UNICEF and Water Aid. At the end of this training, the skills of 71 participants from 15 states were enhanced on implementation of CLTS and the first set of master trainers were identified who subsequently facilitated sub-national trainings at State and LGA levels. Based on capacity gaps identified in CLTS promotion and the need to ensure quality facilitation, UNICEF engaged Kamal Kar in 2010 to conduct a rapid assessment of CLTS implementation in the country and facilitate a national training of master trainers on effective scaling up of CLTS in Nigeria. This training provided further insights and clarifications on the best approaches for CLTS training and facilitations and 81 participants had their skills enhanced on scaling up strategies.

ODF Certification
With the support of UNICEF, guidelines for certification of Open Defecation Free (ODF) communities were developed and are being applied to a great extent in all the states implementing CLTS. The certification process involves the participation of Community Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Committee (WASHCOM), Local Government Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Department/Unit and State Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency. Based on field observations, the guidelines are presently being reviewed for effective certification process.

Roundtable Conferences
In furtherance of the efforts to sensitize all relevant stakeholders, share experience and document CLTS implementation in the country, the first Roundtable Conference on CLTS was organized in October, 2009 by the National Task Group on Sanitation with financial and technical support from UNICEF. Over 110 participants from 33 states comprising of policy makers, technocrats from government ministries, departments and agencies, media personnel, NGOs representatives and Natural leaders from communities attended the conference. Building on the experience of the first conference, the second Roundtable conference was organized in October 2010 with funding from Cross River State government, Federal Ministry of Water Resources, EU, DFID and UNICEF. Over 160 participants attended the conference which had for the first time an award and recognition for the best performing State, Local Government, Communities, Media and Local NGO in CLTS promotion in the country Based on the success recorded so far, there has been an increased funding from the hosting state government and Federal Ministry of Water Resources and the next conference is scheduled to take place in the last quarter of 2011 in Katsina State.

Government and donor buy-in
There have been increased levels of subscriptions from governments at national and sub-national levels. Federal Ministry of Water Resources is providing the required leadership in funding of CLTS in the country and advocating in collaboration with other members of NTGS for more funding from states and local governments to scale up CLTS implementation in the country.

In line with the government approved Strategy for Scaling up Rural Sanitation, CLTS has been fully adopted by donors and all other relevant stakeholders in the country. All donor assisted rural sanitation projects have adopted CLTS as the main approach and they are complying with the core principles of CLTS.

The National Task Group on Sanitation
Institutional strengthening and sustained advocacy are critical for successful implementation of CLTS in the country. To achieve these, the National Task Group on Sanitation is advocating for establishment and strengthening of State Task Group on Sanitation for coordinating and promoting CLTS at State and LGA levels.

As part of the DFID assisted SHAWN project, a National Assessment of CLTS was conducted in 2011 to determine status of implementation and establish a database for CLTS in Nigeria. This assessment was conducted by NTGS with technical support from WaterAid and UNICEF. Strategy for achieving LGA-wide total sanitation is also being developed to guide project interventions.

As at October 2010, over 2,875 communities in 268 LGAs in 30 States were implementing CLTS. 659 communities have attained ODF and One LGA with a population of over 200,000 is at the verge of achieving ODF.

Further information
Mr. O.A. Agada
Director, Water Quality Control and Sanitation
Federal Ministry of Water Resources.
Abuja, Nigeria