Community Led Total Sanitation (Seba Jagat with support of Knowledge Link and DFID)

The basic objective of CLTS approach is to eradicate open defecation through local empowerment processes, including addressing the sanitation needs of the marginalized and discriminated women and men. The CLTS approach is different from conventional sanitation interventions in its systematic design of a 'hands-off' approach that guides women and men from various socio-economic backgrounds to collectively work towards an open defecation free environment. The approach attempts to build capacities of women and men to analyze, decide and devise locally appropriate methods to confine human excreta and clean up their community. In other words, a small intervention is aimed to bring about a large difference.

Basic Principles of CLTS approaches

  • The CLTS approach focuses on collective behavioral change as against mobilizing individual households. A collective behavioural change is expected to sustain the changed sanitation practices that will lead to: (i) achieving total sanitation that includes solid and liquid waste management, and (ii) demand generation for toilets.
  • The CLTS approach provide for a variety of technological options for people to climb.
  • Up the sanitation ladder.
  • Provide opportunity for private suppliers/entrepreneurs to enter into the Sanitation.
  • Domain to respond to demands of people in terms of material requirement.
  • Build locally suitable appropriate institutional frameworks to achieve scale and sustainability.
  • Outcome-based approach which includes focusing on health and livelihood.

Differences between the Conventional Approaches and the CLTS approach

Elements Conventional Approach CLTS Approach
Focus Latrine construction Stopping open defecation
Technology One fixed model Menu of Options
Motivation Individual subsidy Igniting behavior change though self-realization of harmful effects of open defecation
Financial Individual upfront hardware subsidy given Subsidy as incentive routed through collectives
Monitoring Focus on number of toilets constructed Focus on meeting ODF outcomes at community level
Outcome Increase in number of latrines Sustained behavior change and open defecation free villages
Impact Negligible - High cost High - at lower cost

The objective of Open Defecation Free status using CLTS approach is obtained by adopting the following broad but specific steps. The NGO/ Agency may also use their own innovative ideas to improvise on the following steps within the framework of this proposal.

Triggering CLTS with Communities

"Triggering" is a technique employed to compel the community to decide to stop open defecation through a joint process of recognizing the ill effects of open defecation. The process includes enabling the community to make use of participatory methods of CLTS and undertake collective analysis of its own sanitation condition and sanitation profile. Triggering exercises are facilitated separately for the adults, children and in some contexts separately for women.

Defecation Area Mapping

Following the triggering, in this activity, the members of the community join together to draw a map on the ground in the village/neighborhood using coloured powders, chalk, saw dust, ash, rice husk or other locally available materials.

Mapping the faecal-oral contamination route

Sequentially, this analysis could either be facilitated after OD area mapping or after an OD area transect walk. CLTS facilitators use their own judgment to decide this drawing attention to the large amounts of shit produced and spread in the open on a daily basis.

Defecation Area Transect

During this exercise, members of the community are asked to identify the defecation areas mapped already. They are then requested to guide the visitors to those places used for open defecation. Children are taken for transect walks separately. One of the main objectives of facilitating this exercise is to provoke an element of disgust, and fear of contamination and disease.

Calculation of Shit

Through interactive process, the amount of shit generated per day per family is calculated, and further estimated for a year. Then, the quantum generated by the entire village population is computed, and visualized how it is spread across the village, directly and indirectly, taking into consideration the areas of defecation already mapped. The idea here is to generate shame and disgust among the community members towards open defecation practice.

Food and Shit

This technique focuses on demonstrating how flies move from food to shit and vice versa transferring diseases. These reactions often lead to women spit or even vomit. An extreme level of disgust is generated at this point, which results in triggering and desire to change one's own sanitation behavior.

Water and Shit

The route of transfer of shit by water is sought to be demonstrated in this technique. Open defecation spread especially during monsoon season is focused, wherein the spread of diseases and fatalities is higher.

Calculation of Household Medical Expenses

Communities do this analysis in the same way as they do the calculation of shit described below. The discussion helps communities visualize the amount and spread of the shit, and its impact on the community's health, assessed through recollection of money spent on treatment. The community is asked questions that trigger their imagination and motivate them to committo ODF, such as: Is the practice of open defecation making them richer or poorer? (This analysisis not generally done with the children's groups.)

Triggering Moment

The triggering moment is the time when the analyzing community collectively realises the danger of OD and feels disgusted about continuing the practice of open defecation for even aday. The village now quickly moves on to a collective decision to stop open defecation right away.

Planning for ODF

Immediately after triggering, some members of the community spring up and decide to start digging a pit on the same day or the next morning. Many others join the discussion and look for various options. At this stage, CLTS facilitators encourage early starters and appreciate their urgent action against OD. Facilitators ask the entire community if anyone would be interested to see the technique of construction of a latrine by their fellow villagers or would be interested to start construction in their own house. Outsiders facilitate the process of planning by the community for achieving ODF status. This includes a week-by week listing of families willing to start constructing latrines on their own, listing households which may require assistance (elderly widows who cannot dig a pit, physically challenged persons, etc.) and persons who volunteer to help them with the digging of pits, provisions of materials (bamboo, etc.), the formation of a Sanitation Committee or strengthening of an existing one, the identification and invitation of Natural Leaders for presentation of their plans in the next day/after two days, and a decision on the final date of declaration of the ODF village, followed by a celebration.

Under the DFID Odisha CLTS project, M. Rampur block in Kalahandi have been selected to demonstrate open defecation free villages using community led total sanitation (CLTS) approach. The Project has been implemented by Seba Jagat in 8 Grampanchayats of M. Rampur Block with the support of Knowledge Links. CLTS approach being used on the project is different from the conventional CLTS approach that is open to starting with simple toilets as the starting point of a sanitation ladder. As per the adopted CLTS approach and strategy on the project, people in rural communities are triggered to analyze and undertake collective local action to construct only safe and improved sanitary latrines using their own resources and money. Triggered communities are facilitated to abandon the practice of open defecation and to achieve an open defecation free (ODF) living environment in their village.

To begin with, orientation and training events were organized to create appreciation and capacity at the level of key government officials, CLTS field staff of Seba Jagat for implementing the project as intended on the ground. Seba Jag at completed 1-day orientation/sensitization on CLTS tools and processes for PRI members and 5-day CLTS trainings for facilitators at our Rangapadar Campus and started implementation.

A total of 120 villages, 46 schools and 86 Anganwadi centre have been triggered so far. So far, 2 villages i.e Tukuda of Madampur G.P and Nakjhari of Urladani GP have already declared them Open Defecation Free village. 5 villages are on the way to becoming ODF and are expected to achieve the very soon.

CLTS Progress in the Block:-

Name of the Block No. of G.P. No. of villages triggered No. of Village Sanitation Committees formed No. of schools triggered No. of AWCs triggered ODF Village ODF Hamlets Near ODF Villages
M. M.Rampur 08 120 120 46 86 08 10 20

A story of a Open Defecation Free Village Tukuda

Madanpur- Tukuda village in M. Rampur Block of Kalahandi district is inhabited by a scheduled tribe called "Gond". The village comprises of 26 households; most of the villagers are daily wage earners or agricultural labourers. Most of the residents of this village are illiterate and depend on village forest products in some way or the other.

As per a pre-fixed schedule, the staff of Seba Jagat visited Tukuda village on 28th April, 2014 for pre-triggering. On this day, they met the local self-help group leaders, Sarapancha, Samiti Sabhya, Disari (village priest), other village leaders/important persons of the village and requested them to fix a date for meeting in the village. They agreed to organize a meeting on 29th April, 2014 at 1.00 pm. Mrs. Mamata Patra Sarapancha and Mrs. Lalita Patra Samiti Sabhya of the Madanpur G.P are residing in Tukuda village. Both of them were already oriented about Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) approach, as they had attended the block level PRI sensitization workshop held at the M.Rampur block conference hall on 25th Januaray, 2014, organized by Knowledge Links and partner organization Seba Jagat. As they were active and supportive from the very beginning, it was relatively easier to start the work in Tukuda village.

As scheduled, Seba Jagat's staff organized a meeting at Tukuda village on 29th April, 2014 in the presence of villagers in which at least one representative from each and every household participated. The CLTS team used some of the trigger tools such as calculation of medical expenses, calculation of shit, transect walk, water and shit and village mapping, which were done by the people with active support of all community leaders. All the community members agreed to end open defecation. They decided to start digging toilet pits from 1st May, complete toilet construction before 18th May and start to use the toilets before 20th May, 2014.

On the day of triggering, they formed sanitation committee called "Brudabati Parimala Committe"which consisted of 10 members. Damarudhar Patra and Jata Patra were elected as president and vice-president of the committee respectively.

A number of follow-up visits were made by CLTS staff of Seba Jagat and Rathod Raju, from Knowledge Links to provide technical help and encourage community members in their endeavor. DFID and Knowledge Link staff also visited this village and interacted with the communities regarding the progress of the work, issues and challenges and provided feedback to them for improvements.

A film titled "Kaha to Kiya Bhi" was screened during one of the follow-up visits. This film narrates the story a village called Ranamtia (in Rajnandgaon district of Chhatisgarh) which became ODF using CLTS approach within a couple of months. It created big impact on the community members and they reiterated their commitment to make their ODF as soon as possible.

A collective loca l action was started. All the community members including the older people started digging pits. Toilet pits were completed in all the households by 10th May, 2014. The community members then collected money (each household Rs.1,000/-) to purchase the non-local material such as pan, pipe, cement etc. On 12th May, 2014, three community leaders came to M.Rampur and purchased the materials from the market and transported it to their village by a hired vehicle. Though they wanted to purchase the rural pans, but as these were not available in M. Rampur, they had no option but to purchase the urban pans. They were happy that they could get pan, pipe, cement etc for all the 26 HHs in the village.

On 12th May, 2014, a demonstration of toilet construction was initiated at Pitambar Patra's house in the presence of all community members of the village. Some of the CLTS staff of Seba Jagat and Rathod Raju from KL was present on this occasion. They provided required technical support regarding construction of toilet. There are 3 master masons in the village and some others also have basic masonry skills. It was, therefore, easier for the CLTS team to make them learn construction of leach pit toilets.

When the work was progressing fast, an event posed a challenge to the facilitation team. An influential person of the area visited the village and told the villagers that "Government has provision to provide Rs.10, 000/- for each toilet and this is going to start very soon. So, why are you making the toilets on your own without any support?." This de-motivated the community and dampened the community spirit. The community leaders immediately consulted the CLTS staff and informed this matter to Seba Jagat. So immediately, Seba Jagat organized a meeting in the presence of community members, CLTS staff. S.N.Pat tanayak, Secretary of Seba Jagat also attended this meeting and discussed this matter in the presence of all. The community members were reminded of their decision to end open defecation by constructing and using toilets. The Government provision and support about the sanitation program was also discussed. After motivation the people agreed to construct and use toilets as soon as possible without waiting for government help. They are committed that they will not listen to outsiders in this regard and make their village Tukda ODF.

Some people were not having bricks for construction of superstructure. Damaru Patra, the President of the sanitation committee provided 200-250 bricks to 18 families. Others either had bricks with them or they were able to purchase from the kiln. A vigilance team of children, women and men was formed at village and they started monitoring in the village during 5 am to 7 am in the morning as also in the evening to catch defaulters, if any. Tukuda then declared itself ODF on 23rd June- 2014 in a function organized for the purpose and celebrated their success. Representatives of DFID, RWSS, Knowledge Links along with BDO, M. Rampur, PRI members and local invited guest attended the function. Vigilance by the teams is still being continued in morning and evening.

Nagjhari Village of Urladani GP declared ODF :

CLTS approach being used at Nagjhari Village of Urladani GP. The communities of the village are triggered and they understand about the important of use of toilets and undertake collective local action to construct only safe and improved sanitary latrines using their own resources and money. Triggered communities are facilitated to abandon the practice of open defecation and to achieve an open defecation free (ODF) living environment in their village.

All 63 Families were made the toilets by their own resources and used. Nagjhari then declared itself ODF on 23rd June- 2014 in a function organized for the purpose and celebrated their success. Representatives of DFID, RWSS, Knowledge Links along with BDO, M. Rampur, PRI members and local invited guest attended the function. Vigilance by the teams is still being continued in morning and evening.