The Global Sanitation Fund-supported programme in Togo

News
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In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, WSSCC has provided the country’s  partners with guidance about reprogramming, allowing funds to be directed to preventing, delaying and containing COVID-19 in line with government and advice from the World Health Organization (WHO). More detailed country information can be found here.     

Executing Agency:
UNICEF Togo
Programme duration:
2013-2020
Programme Coordinating Mechanism:
Chaired by the Ministry of Health and Social Protection

Highlights

In 2019, the GSF-supported programme in Togo continued to promote basic hygiene and sanitation at multiple levels, strengthening governance and financing mechanisms of the hygiene and sanitation sub-sector. Its overall objective is totally aligned with SDG target 6.2, which is to “achieve access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all, and end open defecation, paying special attention to the needs of women and girls and those in vulnerable situations.”

Results and sustainability: During the past six years, the programme has achieved significant results against its targets, as shown in annual reporting and the mid-term evaluation. The programme results are also reflected in the outcome survey (March 2020) which shows a sustained access to latrines of 94% and a minor slippage rate or return to Open Defecation of about 3%. Hence, there is a strong focus on sustaining those results and moving the communities up the sanitation ladder.

Overall, the programme has contributed to 80% of the national achievements in the sanitation and hygiene sector, emerging as a key contributor to the “Togo SANDAL” national movement.

Capacity development: Over the past years, the programme has invested in increasing capacities within the Ministry of Health and Public Hygiene, specifically in the “Direction de l’Hygiene et Assainissement de Base (DHAB)” by creating an “UGP” (Unité de Gestion du Programme). The UGP team is key in liaising with the PCM (Programme Coordinating Mechanism), hosted by the Ministry of Health and Public Hygiene, and will continue to be instrumental in further developing institutional and technical capacities for rural sanitation and hygiene within the Ministry. The programme also continues to invest in capacity building for the Implementing Partners for an effective inclusion of Menstrual Hygiene Health (MHH), Equality and Non-Discrimination (EQND) and Leave No One Behind (LNOB) principles across all the continuum of programming activities.

Challenges:

Despite the great progresses made with the support of GSF, open defecation remains a widely shared practice that is socially tolerated in most communities in Togo. In fact, at the household level, only 16% of the population has reached basic sanitation levels (JMP 2017: limited, basic and safely managed sanitation service levels) and 48% of the population still practices open defecation corresponding to 4 million people. Poor access to improved sanitation facilities and poor hygiene practices have enormous consequences for the health of the general population, in particular children.

Some of the main challenges in the sector include the need to mobilize internal resources for universal coverage and to develop adequate strategies for urban areas. The establishment of a functional monitoring system for the sub-sector and obtaining substantial government counterpart funds for the program, represent other challenges. To face those challenges, the programme will continue to advocate for increased government involvement at national and sub-national level, including more targeted technical efforts to set up the national monitoring system.

Another main challenge, and hence an important focus of the programme, is sustaining the large number of people that gained access to improved sanitation during the past six years. To achieve this, the programme will amplify its focus on increased community ownership through performance contracts between the government and the communities. The contracts will include responsibilities and actions from both the local government and the community members to sustain ODF (Open Defecation Free) status and improve the overall quality of the latrines. To support the local governments and the communities, the programme will work with Village Savings and Credit Associations for the development of income-generating activities. This will be done under the leadership of the “Prefect” and/or Mayor of each district municipality in accordance with their ODF plans.

Future direction

In 2020, the programme will continue to advocate for increased government involvement at national and sub-national level. To achieve its targets, the GSF-supported programme in Togo is working around four main strategic areas:

Working at scale to provide household sanitation and hygiene services in rural and urban areas: Most of the interventions will take place in rural areas, however, four urban centers will also be targeted with the objective of achieving the first ODF districts. The target for the programme in 2020 is to bring 520,403 people, of which nearly 70,000 people in urban areas, to be living in ODF environments.

Address Menstrual Health and Hygiene (MHH) gaps while promoting empowerment of women and girls: The programme will increase the capacity and knowledge around MHH through working with the Implementing Partners and local government staff by developing MHH communication and trainings materials. The objective is to train 3,242 schoolteachers in MHH related issues as part of the SLTS (School Led Total Sanitation) approach, and 4,400 women, through women’s associations, on MHH, including the production of sanitary napkins.

Increase basic sanitation, hygiene and MHH services in schools and health care facilities: The programme will accomplish the construction of 30 latrine blocks in 15 schools, (one for boys and one for girls), which will include handwashing and MHH facilities for 4,500 students. In addition, the programme will also construct 25 latrines blocks, gender separated with handwashing and MHH facilities, in 25 health care facilities. Sensitization (triggering on sanitation and hygiene behavior change) and information sessions (software component) will accompany the hardware component in both schools and health care facilities.

Support innovation towards safely managed sanitation: The programme will continue to work on the re-use of excreta through piloting bio-gas in schools and communities. In addition, the Implementing Partners will continue to promote the re-use of excreta for agricultural use where appropriate.