Field Notes

CLTS: Paving the Way for Water in Liberia

by: Meredith Maines
September 04, 2013


We're seeing lives saved and entire communities transformed before we even drill a well! Community-Led Total Sanitation engages communities months before a drill rig arrives on the scene, fostering real transformation. In Liberia, Living Water’s approach to Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) looks like this:

 

STAGE 1: TRIGGERING

Our hygiene promoters work with a community for six months to a year, asking triggering questions to identify poor sanitation and hygiene behaviors. Coupled with life-saving lessons, these conversations help community members acknowledge their own challenges—the first step toward change.

STAGE 2: COMMUNITY ACTION

After local leaders recognize dangerous behaviors, they can begin building life-saving solutions from local materials: latrines, showers, clotheslines and dish racks. If a community successfully eradicates unsanitary behavior, the Liberian government awards it an official status, open-defecation free (ODF).

STAGE 3: WATER PROVISION

This ODF achievement proves a community is dedicated to change—something worth celebrating! Once we’ve seen a community develop safe behaviors that will safeguard a well, we send in our drilling crew.

STAGE 4: SUSTAINABILITY

As a well is installed, community members assume new roles as a water committee, responsible for protecting the well, logging its use and alerting local service providers when it needs maintenance. We monitor as they progress toward self-sufficiency, our ultimate goal!

Want to see it in action?



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