EU, UNICEF To Partner On Elimination Of Open Defecation In Niger Delta

The European Union (EU) and UNICEF, in an effort to eliminate open defecation and institutionalise good hygienic culture in the Niger Delta region, have a partnership to train 35 facilitators on Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) in Delta State.

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The programme, which is expected to begin in Delta State, in the Local Government Areas of Isoko South and Ndokwa, has two pilot schemes with potential for scaling to the remaining 23 local government areas.

The organisations also would sponsor a ”WASH Programme” as part of the Niger Delta Support Programme in the state.

Implementation here started with Capacity Building i.e. the training of 35 Facilitators on Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS). Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) is an innovative methodology for mobilising communities to completely eliminate open defecation (OD).

”Communities are facilitated to conduct their own appraisal and analysis of open defecation (OD) and take their own action to become ODF (open defecation free). At the heart of CLTS lies the recognition that merely providing toilets does not guarantee their use, nor result in improved sanitation and hygiene,” the statement said.

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It, however, said that CLTS focuses on the behavioural change needed to ensure real and sustainable improvements, investing in community mobilisation instead of hardware and shifting the focus from toilet construction for individual households to the creation of open defecation-free villages.

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‘As at today, 58 communities have been triggered to take action on on CLTS in Isoko South LGA with 6 certified Open Defecation Free (ODF).

26 others are being reviewed by the State Task Group on Sanitation (STGS). In meeting the special sanitation needs of schools, the programme is providing 13 new toilets as well as 25 special pumps i.e. Forcelift hand Pumps for existing toilets,” it said.

It further stated, ”CLTS triggers the community’s desire for collective change, propels people into action and encourages innovation, mutual support and appropriate local solutions, thus leading to greater ownership and sustainability.”

The statement also said the WASH Programme has two major components; water and sanitation/hygiene.

The WASH Programme sponsored by the EU/UNICEF is part of the Niger Delta Support Programme which is a programme initiated in response to developmental issues of the Niger Delta, and especially the devastating floods in the area in 2013,” it said.

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