East African Medical Journal

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Assessment of community led total sanitation uptake in rural Kenya

K.N. Ogendo, A.B. Kihara, R.J. Kosgei, H Tweya, W Kizito, B Murkomen, Omondi Ogutu


Background: Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) is an innovative community led drive to set up pit latrines in rural Kenya with an aim of promoting sustainable sanitation through behaviour change. It’s a behaviour change approach based on social capital that triggers households to build pit latrines without subsidy. The Ministry of Health introduced the CLTS campaign in 2007 and the first road map to ODF ended in 2013. Since the commencement of the CLTS Programme in, there is little documentation on assessment of its uptake from triggering to the certification of open defecation free villages.

Objective: To assess the magnitude of Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) triggering to certification of Open Defecation free (ODF) villages in rural Kenya.

Design: A retrospective descriptive study.

Setting: The 47 counties in Kenya. Kenya is projected to have a population of 46 million people with the majority as rural populace. The study unit were Villages across the 47 counties from the data generated in the CLTS monitoring and evaluation dataset.

Results: The number of triggered villages (11641) compared to those that reached certification stage (3131) reduced significantly. Busia County achieved the 100% target for triggering. There was a significant decline of the proportions per county in the process of claiming, verifying and certifying ODF villages however Busia, Siaya and Vihiga were leading across the counties. The proportion of CLTS facilitators and CLTS certified villages per county were incongruent.

Conclusion: There was low uptake of CLTS from the triggering phase to the certification phase due to plausible factors such as inadequate monitoring of the CLTS process, inadequate funding of CLTS programmeming and conflicting work demands on the CLTS facilitators leading to reduced momentum as observed in Uganda.

AJOL African Journals Online