CHI Nigeria has executed many projects on sanitation, hygiene promotion, immunization promotion and health education on HIV/AIDS/STI prevention that only a few can be highlighted on this page. Detailed reports on these projects will in future be posted on this page with permission from our funders.

Community–Led Total Sanitation (CLTS)

CHI Nigeria in collaboration with WaterAid in Nigeria have successfully implemented community-led-Total Sanitation (CLTS) projects in 15 communities across 4 WaterAid target LGAs of Enugu State since 2012. That is outside the activities on sanitation the organisation has carried out in over 24 communities across Enugu state in collaboration with UNICEF and Enugu state Rural Water and Sanitation Agency (EN-RUWASSA) since 2007.

CLTS is a new concept is sanitation approach in which communities are triggered in such a way that they see the problems of open defaecation and make their collective resolve to find their own solution to eradicating it in their area. It is on record that Millions of people have still not been adequately informed about the link between faeces and disease – or about the hygiene imperatives that could do so much to protect their own and their families’ health. Access to basic sanitation is just about 31% in Nigeria. Millions of the citizens of the country still practice open defaecation which exposes the shits in the open. In turn these shits attract flies which contaminate food and water.

During rainy season shits are washed into the only community water sources and as people drink the polluted water episodes of typhoid fever, diarrhea, dysentery, cholera and worm infestation remain endemic in the area. Shit left in the open is a menace to humanity as each gram of faeces can contain 10 million viruses, 1 million bacteria, 1 thousand parasite cysts, and a hundred worm eggs. That’s what makes the safe disposal of faeces the most important of all public health priorities. Still today, the majority of illness in the world is caused by the fact that faecal matter enters the human body because of lack of safe sanitation and lack of hygiene.  To prevent this huge burden of illness, safe water and sanitation are only half of the answer. The other half is getting people to use them wisely and well.

open defecation
A mound of shit passed in the open (Open defaecation-OD)

Open defecation is still widely practiced by 2.6 billion people in the world. It is not only an eye sore but very dangerous to health as flies, wind, rain, dogs; pigs and other rodents become agents of the dispersal of the germs such faeces contain.

The main aim of CLTS intervention is the eradication of open defaecation in the community; inculcate good hygiene practice which will in the long run enhance the health and wealth of the citizens.

simple latrine
A Simple Clean Latrine

In collaboration with WaterAid in Nigeria, communities for intervention are selected and advocacy carried out by CHI Nigeria to each community. The idea is to obtain their approval/commitment and support. The traditional rulers, their cabinets, opinion leaders, town union executives, women and youth group executives; school heads and church ministers in the community are sensitized in a meeting on the strategies for the project.

Efforts are made during advocacy visits to communities to obtain baseline information on population, total number of villages or hamlets; total number of households in the community, those with latrines and the number of households without latrines; water sources and the prevailing diseases in the area. The community baseline information helps the facilitator to determine how to plan for the triggering process and follow up in the community.

Jacob Ugwu

Community Leaders
Hon Jacob Ugwu addressing community leaders of Igugu community during advocacy visit

The community fixes a date for the triggering and agrees with CHI Nigeria facilitators on how many clusters the exercise will be conducted in, the venues, time and selects the community members who will lead the facilitators to the venues.

Triggering is better facilitated at village or cluster levels to ensure that many citizens participate in the exercise. It involves getting the citizens to draw their own village/cluster map which is first drawn on the ground before being transferred to cardboard sheets. It involves the use of PRA tools which consist of transect walk, community defaecation mapping, identification and selection of natural leaders and artisans who are expected to drive the process and the development of an action plan for implementing decisions reached. Materials needed during the triggering process include cardboard sheets, pieces of papers, markers, prepared round papers, sawdust, biro pens; masking tapes and other writing materials.

CHI Facilitator

Community Mapping
CHI Nigeria staff facilitating community mapping in Ama Okwefu in Ezi Ukehe community

The map shows the important land marks such as roads, schools, churches, rivers/streams and boreholes if any. Those citizens present are asked to identify the location of their households on the map with the pieces of papers provided. They use the markers to write the household name. Those with latrines show by raising up their hands while those who do not have household latrine are asked to come out and indicate on the map where they pass shits using the sawdust provided. The exercise becomes an eye opener on the situation in the community those without latrines fill the map with sawdust. Community defaecation mapping often trigger many community members to realize that they are eating one another’s shits unknowingly. Transect walk or walk of shame across the community may trigger the citizens to take action against open defaecation in their area as shown hereunder.

Walk of Shame

Transect/walk of shame in Ikolo community  and scattered shits discovered during the exercise

Hygiene promotion is a vital part of community led total sanitation to encourage citizens on behaviour change communication. Citizens are encouraged to keep their surroundings, food and water clean. They should wash their hands with soap or ash and water at critical times.

Hygiene Promotion 1

Hygiene Promotion 2
CHI Nigeria staff facilitating hygiene promotion in Ikolo community of Igbo Etiti LGA

Natural Leaders are community members who emerge during the triggering process and are identified as individuals who are willing to offer their services to their communities to stop open defaecation as the community work towards achieving open defaecation free status within a few months. They are a very important group for not only the achievement but the sustainability the new status achieved. They are vigorously trained on strategies for monitoring, hygiene promotion, data collection; report writing and follow up.  Community artisans are also identified and engaged on the strategies to build affordable innovative household latrines using locally available materials in the community to improve the supply side in view of possible increase in demand for latrine products.

The Natural leaders, volunteer hygiene promoters and the artisans constitute each Community Sanitation committee that work assiduously for the achievement of ODF by the community.


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