Towards total sanitation: Socio-cultural barriers and triggers to total sanitation in West Africa

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WaterAid (2009)
This report documents the results of studies on open defecation in rural communities and the cultural values that reinforce its practise carried out by WaterAid in four West African countries — Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mali, and Nigeria.

In these countries, the practice of open defecation is surrounded by cultural taboos and beliefs particular to many of the ethno-linguistic groups who live there. While total sanitation techniques such as Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) have been generally successful in West Africa, some
communities where WaterAid works are particularly resistant to abandoning open defecation.
In response to these challenges, a series of in-country studies have been carried out to identify the socio-cultural barriers specific to communities in the region. Based on these findings, WaterAid is now moving to address these issues in West Africa, and is gradually adapting its sanitation programming

Date: 24 November 2009
Burkina Faso