What is CLTS?

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Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) is an innovative approach for empowering communities to completely eliminate open defecation (OD). 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.

Community Led Total Sanitation is based on the premise that a community can become open defecation free (ODF) only when all its members genuinely feel a need for sanitary toilets. In other words, sanitation cannot be forced from the outside but must evolve from the within. CLTS is a participatory, bottom-up approach that prompts self-realization among community members that open defecation is the primary cause of many diseases and health hazards.

CLTS has established the point firmly that no human being, rich or poor, wants to live in shit. Once understood through their own visual analysis, communities stop the practice of open defecation and with the available resources and skills they do their best to become open defecation free (ODF).

For more information see the Resources Section.