Nigeria: community-led total sanitation pays off
Katsina state, Nigeria, September 2011 - Dadin Sarki is the name of a Northern Nigerian community of 150 households or nearly 1700 people where open defecation was practiced indiscriminately until very recently. Today, thanks to the introduction of the Community-led Total Sanitation (CLTS) approach, Dadin Sarki is a much cleaner community.
Members of the local water and sanitation committee (WASHCOM) state that health among the villagers in Dadin Sarki has improved. Although there is still not a toilet in every household, members of the community recognize the important benefits of using toilets.
In some households, latrines have been built, and neighbours are sharing the existing facilities so far. In Dadin Sarki, the community plans to reach Open Defecation Free (ODF) status by the end of September 2011.
Mallam Yusuf Husseini, a senior community health extension worker in charge of Maikoni A ward health clinic in Mai’Adua LGA in Katsina State shares the health records.
‘The cases of diarrhoea we have date back to the past two to three months. Over the past month, the cases of diarrhoea fell to a very low level’.
Health records testify to the success of CLTS in reducing sanitation and water-related diseases. The burden of diarrhoeal diseases had dropped to almost zero after just one month of engaging the communities in leading efforts to end open defecation. The few two cases of diarrhoea recorded within the period had occurred in communities where CLTS interventions had not taken place.
Since 2010, UNICEF has helped to promote the Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) approach in Nigeria, aiming to accelerate access to sanitation in poor, rural communities.
Under the UK Aid supported ‘Sanitation, Hygiene and Water in Nigeria’ or SHAWN project, UNICEF is supporting nearly two million people gain sustainable access to sanitation, water and hygiene over a five-year period covering 2010-2014. Under the SHAWN project, two wards (out of 10 wards) in Mai’Adua LGA have been prioritised for CLTS interventions by Katsina State Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency (KTRUWASA), Bakori LGA WASH Department along with UNICEF.
So far, the CLTS approach has been introduced in 18 communities in Maikoni A ward by a team comprising CLTS practitioners from the LGA WASH Department, NGO (Women Economic Empowerment Organisation) and KTRUWASA. Efforts are underway to have all the communities under Maikoni A ward in Bakori LGA in Katsina state achieve ODF status by early 2012.