The Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) approach currently used to promote sanitation will help Nigeria to achieve the 75 per cent MDGs target in the sector by 2015 according to an assessment report on the initiative.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that the CLTS approach was an integrated approach towards achieving and sustaining Open Defecation Free (ODF) status.
The report, made available to NAN in Abuja by the National Task Group on Sanitation (NTGS), stated that since the implementation of CLTS programme in Nigeria, it had proven to be a positive option for achieving total sanitation.
“There is no doubt that if CLTS process is properly conducted, funded and supported, achieving sanitation promotion and meeting the relevant MDGs will not be a problem.
“The study has revealed that a lot of progress has been made by some states with respect to CLTS achievement.
“While some states are very enthusiastic about progress, some have not really appreciated the benefits of CLTS.
“Communities are also willing and enthusiastic since they have realised the benefits of good sanitation which promotes the approach,” the report said.
The report, however, stated that the critical challenges in implementing the approach had to do with inadequate funding of the process, inadequate personnel, putting in place relevant institutional structure, inadequate capacity as well as the absence of effective monitoring and evaluation of the process.
To address these challenges, it stated that it was imperative that CLTS approach be given the necessary attention and support it deserved in the interest of peoples’ welfare and the nation’s economic development.
According to the report, the assessment, jointly carried out by the Federal Government and UNICEF in the 30 states of the federation, observed that there are no sanitation policies, relevant guidelines for monitoring and evaluation as well as certification of the ODF communities.
However, the report recommended that that state governments should be encouraged and supported to come up with relevant environment and sanitation policies which have CLTS components.
It further recommended that sanitation–related programmes should be implemented in the states before the introduction of CLTS and that adequate training and understanding of CLTS principles should be encouraged.
In addition, state Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agencies (RUWASSAs) should adhere strictly to the selection criteria for Local Government Areas (LGAs) and communities in order to enhance the success of the CLTS implementation.