Ending Open Defecation - One community at a time: interview with Dr Kamal Kar on Think Globally Radio

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This Sunday, 7th June, 7pm Central European Time (CET), Think Globally Radio will broadcast Ending Open Defecation – One Community at a time, an interview with Dr. Kamal Kar.

The broadcast can be listened to live at www.thsradio.se. It can also be downloaded via i-tunes (usually a few days after the broadcast). (If you are in Stockholm, you can listen to the show at THS Radio 95.3FM)

Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) is one of today’s most promising approaches for ending open defecation by some 1.2 billion of the world’s inhabitants. CLTS is an innovative methodology for mobilising communities to completely eliminate open defecation (OD). Communities are facilitated to conduct their own appraisal and analysis of open defecation (OD) and take their own action to become ODF (open defecation free).
At the heart of CLTS lies the recognition that merely providing toilets does not guarantee their use, nor result in improved sanitation and hygiene. Earlier approaches to sanitation prescribed high initial standards and offered subsidies as an incentive. But this often led to uneven adoption, problems with long-term sustainability and only partial use. It also created a culture of dependence on subsidies. Open defecation and the cycle of fecal–oral contamination continued to spread disease.
CLTS has a great potential for contributing towards meeting the Millennium Development Goals, both directly on water and sanitation (goal 7) and indirectly through the knock-on impacts of improved sanitation on combating major diseases, particularly diarrhoea (goal 6), improving maternal health (goal 5) and reducing child mortality (goal 4).
On this week’s programme, Think Globally Radio interviews CLTS pioneer Kamal Kar, a development consultant from India. Dr. Kar advocates change in institutional attitude and the need to draw on intense local mobilisation and facilitation to enable villagers to analyse their sanitation and waste situation and bring about collective decision-making to stop open defecation. Think Globally Radio caught up with Dr. Kar during his recent visit to Geneva, Switzerland.

Date: 4 June 2009