UNICEF, NGOs In West Africa Work To Encourage Better Sanitation In Rural Areas

UNICEF and non-governmental organizations “operating in West Africa say the main barrier to more pit latrines in rural areas is not poverty or lack of resources, but a lack of understanding about costs and benefits,” IRIN reports. “Plan International, WaterAid and UNICEF programs all encourage communities to recognize the need for better sanitation, and to build latrines themselves,” the news service writes, adding, “Building and using latrines is one of the most effective ways to combat diarrhea, which kills 1.5 million under-five children globally each year.”

The news agency outlines six steps in a “community-led total sanitation (CLTS) approach which aims to change social norms about sanitation,” including shifting attitudes about latrine use, making latrine building affordable, developing a community plan, building the latrines, certifying and celebrating villages that have built latrines and monitoring sanitation in those communities (8/31).