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Paper written for the Asia regional sanitation and hygiene practition...

TitleReaching the poor and vulnerable community in rural Afghanistan through CLTS
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsBekele, A
Pagination7 p.; 1 fig.; 2 photographs
Date Published01/2012
Place PublishedDhaka, Bangladesh
Publication LanguageEnglish
Keywordsaccess to sanitation, afghanistan, community-led total sanitation, open defecation, rural areas

In rural Afghanistan, sanitation coverage is low: half of rural Afghans use unimproved toilets and 20% have no toilets at all.  Behind these national averages are stark disparities between rich and poor, but also between regions in the country.  Four out of five people in the Central Highland region, four million people, defecate in the open or in sahrahis (area for defecation in the house compound, without a toilet pit), making this region one with the worst sanitation status in the country.


CLTS (community-led total sanitation) engages everyone in a community in problem diagnosis, problem analysis, and coming up with appropriate solutions.  Its aim is to enthuse the entire community and build their resolve to end open defecation, using local resources. CLTS has shown success as a community mobilization strategy, resulting in improved sanitation behaviours and ending open defecation practices. Up to now, more than 150 villages have become open defecation free (ODF). The new Afghanistan National Rural Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) Policy, also proposed CLTS as an approach and method to be used in the country.  This paper describes a pilot intervention in the Central Highland region, with follow-up research among 23 communities that achieved ODF status.  Elements of the pilot project included: pre-project baseline data collection, formation and activities of the voluntary hygiene committees in each village, triggering with participatory activities in each village, repeated follow-up household visits to each home by the NGO staff of SSDA, a post-project KAP survey of 41 households selected at random among the 23 target villages. The post-project sample survey showed a high coverage (96%) with latrines which were being used and a similarly high level of knowledge about sanitation behaviours. [authors abstract]


With 2 footnotes

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