Despite rapid economic growth in Kenya, inadequate sanitation and hygiene remains a significant problem in most rural and urban slum areas. Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) is a community-wide behaviour change approach that mobilises communities to undertake their own appraisal and analysis of sanitation issues and take their own actions to become open defecation free (ODF).
Plan International Kenya in collaboration with the Ministry of Health implemented Community-Led Total Sanitation programme in Homa Bay, Kilifi, Kwale and Nairobi’s Mathare informal settlement.
One key project result is to empower communities to effectively own sanitation and hygiene systems as well as maintain them. Local artisans are trained on how to produce low cost blocks while Village Loans and Savings Associations are integrated into community trainings to support households move up the sanitation ladder by ensuring access to resources and technical support.
I can’t really tell the source but the need for a permanent latrine compelled me to put up the structure expeditiously.
Nyevu Wanje, a peasant farmer, a widow, and a mother of 10 is one of the beneficiaries of the improved low cost latrines under our Pan African Community Led Total Sanitation programme.
Their first latrine was constructed using poles, mud and thatched with palm leaves making their durability and comfort questionable as these latrines are prone to collapse during the rainy seasons and are easily infested with termites leading to frequent rehabilitation.
When Plan International Kenya at the request of the community members bought an interlocking block-making machine for building low cost latrines, Nyevu was among the first to utilise it. She received overwhelming support from her family and community members in making the blocks and digging a pit to 20ft. The rocky nature of the ground produced pebbles that were used in casting a slab with concrete. Nyevu estimates the total cost for her latrine to be around 25,000Ks. When asked about her source of funding, Nyevu replied ‘I can’t really tell the source but the need for a permanent latrine compelled me to put up the structure expeditiously’.
Kaembeni Sub Location is now open defecation free, meaning households have access to durable latrines and no longer use the open areas to relieve themselves.