Guyana: Using CLTS to achieve Open Garbage Disposal Free communities


CSOs group from workshop

The South American country of Guyana has been struggling with a serious solid waste management problem, despite several attempts at various levels to solve it over the past few years. Now, the Mayor and Councillors of the City of Georgetown are collaborating with Pan American Health Organization/ World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) to roll out a Cleanliness & Citizenship Community-Led Total Sanitation (C&C-CLTS) Programme in the city and hopefully it will be extended throughout the country.


Participants from the Mayor and City Councillors of Georgetown(M&CC) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on a transect walk exercise in the Section ‘K’, Campbellville, Community, in the city of Georgetown, as a part of the field trip for the workshop for the M&CC staff
The C&C-CLTS initiative is designed to support other programmes on proper management of domestic, special and harmful waste in order to prevent diseases and ensure the cleanliness in communities across Guyana.
The Cleanliness and Citizenship – Community-Led Total Sanitation (C&C-CLTS) approach, borrows largely from the Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) approach pioneered in Bangladesh by Dr. Kamal Kar, Chairman and Founder of CLTS Foundation. CLTS is an innovative approach for empowering communities to completely eliminate open defecation. It focuses on collective hygiene behaviour change stimulated by facilitators from within or outside the community. CLTS involves no hardware subsidy and does not prescribe latrine models.
Hence, the C&C-CLTS programme focuses on igniting change in sanitation behaviour with the community taking the lead in the processes involved. This is done through a process of social awakening that is stimulated by facilitators from within or outside of the community. In keeping with the core philosophy of CLTS, it concentrates on the whole community rather than on individual behaviour and emphasies on the collective benefit accruing from stopping Open Garbage Disposal (OGD).


Participants from the CSOs workshop in a group session
A M&CC Public Relations Department statement outlined that “social solidarity help and cooperation among the households in the community are a common and vital element in C&C-CLTS.” The statement outlined that “another key factor is the emergence of Natural Leaders (NL), as a community proceeds to become open garbage disposal free, C&C-CLTS encourages the community to take responsibility and to take its own action, hence community-innovated systems of rewards, penalty, spread and scaling-up.”
Additionally, this programme will be implemented and sustained through two major activities; residents’ monthly clean-up exercises and sanitation services provided by Civil Society Organisations (CSOs). This will be done through a series of systematic processes, such as pre-triggering, triggering and post-triggering follow-up. Consequently, representatives of the CSOs are expected to go through training under the C&C-CLTS initiative.


Participant Maryam Bacchus from the CSOs workshop receiving her certificate from Dr. Mariano Bonet from the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organisation (PAHO/WHO)

On August 26, 2015, a three-day training C&C-CLTS programme for staff members of the M&CC and CSOs was held at the Regency Suites, Georgetown and from 2 -4 September, 2015 another training was organized for CSOs at the same venue. The training is one activity as a part of a more comprehensive programme to roll-out the C&C-CLTS initiative throughout all the regions of Guyana. This specific activity will build the capacity of staff members of the M&CC and representatives from Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) as the first batch of C&C-CLTS Facilitators to motivate mobilize and organise communities around cleaning up their localities and keeping them clean to produce the first set of ‘Open Garbage Disposal Free’ (OGDF) Communities. Facilitators of the programme are hopeful that C&C-CLTS will be sustained as the ‘community component’ in Guyana’s Solid Waste Master Plan.
Inputs from: Audreyanna Thomas, Development Consultant, PAHO/WHO


Ministry of Communities 

Dr Kamal Kar

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