The Global Water Initiative (GWI) was an action-research and advocacy programme that ran from 2008-17. The project is now closed. This site is no longer being updated, but allows access to GWI outputs until 1 October 2020 when it will also close. After that date, information about the project and core GWI technical publications will continue to be available from the IIED website and Publications Library.

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From demonstration latrines to Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS)

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In 2008 GWI began a sustainable sanitation project in Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mali, Niger and Senegal. We focused primarily on implementing ‘demonstration latrines’ in rural areas, where the culture of open defecation (OD) and non-hygienic disposal of children’s faeces was widespread. However, demonstration latrines (particularly the government promoted Ventilated Improved Pit latrine) proved ineffective in terms of cost, sustainability and replication. We therefore stopped constructing demonstration latrines in June 2010, took stock of how to address sanitation and our critical review led us to adopt an alternative approach: Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS).  This document examines the encouraging first year of using CLTS and signposts its potential for the future in rural West Africa.


October 2011