Communities in Eastern Equatoria State, South Sudan came together with MENTOR staff and ministry officials in October to celebrate a number of villages being declared Open Defecation Free (ODF).
So far 60 communities have been declared ODF, which is achieved after a year since Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) activities were implemented. This initiative is part of the Sustainable WASH for Resilience programme with UNICEF (Partnership for Resilience and Recovery) in Eastern Equatoria State.
CLTS focuses on the behaviour changes needed to ensure real and sustainable improvements to sanitation and hygiene. This approach facilitates and mobilises communities to identify and find solutions to their needs using local knowledge, technology and innovation. Stopping open defecation is essential to break the cycle of faecal-oral contamination that causes diseases.
CLTS facilitates communities to analyse their own sanitation practices and faecal-oral pathways. Called ‘Triggering’ this process aims to initiate the community’s desire for collective change and action. Encouraging mutual support and local solutions leads to greater ownership and sustainability.
CLTS in Northern Bahr el Ghazal State
Between 2018 and 2021, MENTOR and its partners provided access to handwashing facilities, safe water and latrines in Northern Bahr el Ghazal State. Almost 190,000 people gained access to handwashing from the installation of over 28,000 facilities. Over 200,000 people gained access to basic toilets.
CLTS was undertaken as part of this programme and over the three years 329 communities were declared open defecation free.