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Community-Led Total Sanitation Lessons Incorporated into Lao Strategy

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The Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) pilot in Lao PDR has enabled organizations to identify and agree on key sanitation issues as a result of lessons learned from CLTS. These issues will feed into the National Strategy for Rural Water Supply and Environmental Health Sector, which is currently under revision and due for submission to the Ministry of Health in March. The incorporation of the issues is expected to help improve the government’s role as coordinator in rural sanitation, explore new options for sanitation financing, and pave the way for the adoption of CLTS approaches for nationwide sanitation promotion.

Organized by the National Center for Environmental Health and Water Supply (Nam Saat) with support from WSP, a workshop on January 28 brought together stakeholders that included representatives from the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Public Works and Transport, international organizations, and civil society. Main issues agreed at the workshop included the potential of sanitation marketing involving the private sector, the use of different CLTS approaches for remote areas, and the ruling-out of upfront hardware subsidies for sanitation scaling-up. The discussions led to agreement among stakeholders that private sector participation will lead to innovative latrine designs and lower costs. The lessons learned also showed that several elements in the CLTS approach – such as the naming of open defecators -could be adjusted to fit with the cultural aspects of villagers living in remote areas.

Following a CLTS piloting in six villages, the first ever declaration of an open defecation-free village in Lao took place in May 2010, marking the implementation of CLTS in the country. The pilot project was led by Nam Saat with technical support from WSP.

Source: WSP ACCESS Newsletter April 2011

Date: 15 April 2011