Community Led Total Sanitation Niger

Empowering self-help sanitation in rural and peri-urban communities

Posted on 20 October 2011

Community Led Total Sanitation Niger

In 2010 Plan launched a large regional Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) program in 8 countries in Africa in order to reduce infant and child morbidity and mortality. The program in Niger aims to improve the sanitation situation for 135.000 people in 103 rural communities and 8 schools in Niger.


• The rural and peri-urban communities and schools in the project areas have obtained the 100% Open Defecation Free (ODF) status.
• Adequate sanitation and hygiene practices are applied by the persons in the project areas.
• Empowered communities have effectively developed their own sanitation and hygiene systems and maintain them.
• Country specific models of the CLTS approach are developed.
• Local entrepreneurs are trained to construct and build affordable sanitation.


  • 135.000 people have attained access to sanitation
  • 8 schools have attained access to sanitation
  • CLTS is accepted as a national policy


When all households in a community have built their own toilet and improved their hygiene practices, the number of waterborne diseases and deaths will reduce, especially among children.

Technologies used

Community Led Total Sanitation
Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) is a sanitation promotion strategy that focuses on igniting a change in sanitation behaviour. CLTS focuses on the dangers of open defecation and emphasizes the sense of disgust about this practice. Social solidarity, help and cooperation among the households in the community are a common and vital element in CLTS.

Through the CLTS approach awareness is raised on sanitation and hygiene practices in rural communities, and the population is triggered into collective action to improve the hygiene situation by themselves. When communities reach the status “100% Open Defecation Free (ODF)”the community receives an official certificate and the occasion is celebrated.

The goal of CLTS is for communities to reach Open Defecation Free (ODF) status. The approach includes the following steps:
1. Organise a village meeting and discuss their current sanitation practices
2. Visit sites of open defecation by with community members and leaders.
3. Community members will map out the areas of open defecation.
4. The community members will work out how much human waste they produce in total per week, year etc.
5. The community draws up an action plan to tackle the situation.
6. Health and hygiene promotion sessions are carried out.
7. Construction of latrines
8. Community is awarded the ODF status and a sign is erected at the entrance of the village.

Plan was among the first organisations to introduce the CLTS approach in Africa. The approach is successful and other organisations like Unicef, WSP, WaterAid have also start using the approach in Africa.

In Ethiopia Plan mainly uses the School Led Total Sanitation (SLTS) Approach in which schools serve as centres of change within the communities. School children bring home the lessons learned on toilet use and hygiene behaviour and influence their families and other children in the community.

Project location

Project partners

  • Plan Nederland