Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) Intervention Triggers Community Action to Eradicate Open Defecation

Success Story

Kitachoni village is a communities situated in Lontolio in Laisamis Sub County, Marsabit County with serious health problems. It has no latrines for about 55 households. Consequently, they indulge in unsafe sanitary practices such as open defecation in around their houses, bushes including streams and the nearest water sources. The water sources are mostly polluted during the rainy season but continue to serve various purposes like drinking for people and livestock, laundry, bathing and cleaning of utensils.

Women fetching water from a shallow well in Kargi. Photo by: Wilfred Letawa

This practice thus plagues the community and its neighbors with multiple diseases such as parasitic infections, cholera, diarrhea, typhoid fever and other related diseases.

The combined impact of these diseases further impoverishes the people. As a means of seeking medical care for their sick family members, the people often put undue pressure on their livestock and Natural resources through logging, firewood gathering, among others which negatively impacts on biodiversity conservation and by extension, the environment.

Community Health Facilitators holding focus group discussion during a training in Kargi. Photo by: Wilfred Letawa

In a bid to help the people overcome these problems in Marsabit County, the Caritas Marsabit Intervened with its integrated WASH component to help Marsabit community adopt good sanitation practices and good hygiene. In November 2016, the Program Trained Community Health Facilitators in Marsabit, drawn from various communities in the business of triggering community led total sanitation (CLTS).

After the training, the facilitators with the help of Caritas Marsabit field officers proceeded to trigger the approach in target communities across Marsabit County, this places included Laisamis, Lontolio, Merille, Lenkima, Kurkum, Korr, Arapal, Elmollo, Idido, Funan Qumbi, Ellebor, Golole, Balesa and also some part of Isiolo County.

Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) triggering in Kurkum. Photo by: Wilfred Letawa

During the exercise, natural leaders were identified by each village to monitor the approach in the respective communities in order to quickly make decisions and change people’s behaviors.

Following this exercise in the aforementioned month, about 80% of households have started to build their own latrines. Through close monitoring, it is evident that Kitashoni village has gone ahead of their counterparts in implementing the initiative. The community uses the Knowledge and advice from Caritas Marsabit Trainers that provide solutions to members to help them build their own latrines. Currently, 8 latrines have been completed and 10 are under construction in the community

In the construction of pit latrines, Caritas Marsabit ensures environmental compliance with regards to minimum distance and location relative to existing drinking water sources and the pit latrines are covered and effectively separates feces from human contact hygienically.

Story by: Wilfred Letawa. Caritas Marsabit, Communication Intern