In 2015 an estimated 38 per cent of the rural population of West and Central Africa practised open defecation (OD) while 31 per cent were reliant on unimproved sanitation facilities. Furthermore, 71 per cent of rural households had no handwashing facility, with an additional 23 per cent having a limited facility (one without water or soap) (JMP, 2017, data collected in 2015). Since then, progress has been made through Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) and other rural sanitation approaches that should be celebrated. However, some countries in the region have witnessed an increase in rural OD over the Millennium Development Goal period. In order to achieve universal safely managed sanitation in the region by 2030 the scale and pace will need to increase drastically.
The CLTS Knowledge Hub, based at the Institute of Development Studies, WaterAid, WSSCC and UNICEF co-convened a regional workshop in Saly, Senegal, 25th-28th June 2018 with support from AGETIP. The event brought together those engaged in rural WASH programming from 14 countries across the region (Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Democratic Republic Congo (DRC), Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, and Togo) alongside experts working at regional and global levels. Over the course of four days participants shared latest experiences, innovations, challenges and research, mapped knowledge gaps and discussed ways forward with the aim of improving capacity and knowledge.
This learning brief presents the common challenges identified across the region, summarises some of the discussions held, highlights some promising practices and considers priority actions moving forward.