Lessons in Urban Community Led Total Sanitation from Nakuru, Kenya

The experiences of the project – Realising the Right to Total Sanitation Project in Nakuru Low Incomes Settlements – implemented by Practical Action and Umande Trust in collaboration with County Government of Nakuru, health services department

Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) is an innovative methodology for mobilising communities to completely eliminate open defecation (OD). It has been applied in many rural areas in countries across the developing world. However, experience in urban settings has been limited. Practical Action and Umande Trust have implemented a project Realising Rights to Total Sanitation in two low income settlements in the city of Nakuru, Kenya, adapting the CLTS methodology to meet the challenges of the urban context. This has involved devising a triggering exercise with landlords as well as tenants and using theatre to attract and sustain interest during community triggering. Working in an urban area has required considerable attention to designing, through a participatory process, low cost toilets that meet urban public health and building regulations. The project has taken steps to address wider issues of faecal sludge management, solid waste management, access to clean water, and waste water management. It has worked with lending institutions to assist landlords in accessing the necessary finance to upgrade their facilities. It has also trained and supported government staff to ensure that the processes carried out in this project can be replicated and taken to scale within the county of Nakuru. The project has achieved much of its success through effective coordination and collaboration not only with the County Government Health Department, but with a range of other stakeholders at the local, county and national level.

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