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In Mali, only 25% of the population use improved sanitation facilities, and 10% of the population practice open defecation representing nearly 1, 5 million people (JMP 2015).

In order to strengthen efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, Mali adopted in 2009 CLTS (Community Led Total Sanitation) to allow more people living in rural areas to have access to improved sanitation and eradicate open defecation that is a threat to public health.

In just six years, Mali made remarkable progress in rural sanitation to classify the country among the most advanced in terms of CLTS in Africa. In June 2015, 1,780 villages have been certified open defecation free allowing to a population of 1,373,510 inhabitants to live in a healthy environment, almost 60 000 new latrines constructed, and 1,822 people were trained in CLTS.

Currently, CLTS covers five regions out of eight, namely those of Kayes, Koulikoro, Sikasso, Segou and Mopti. Pilot projects are underway in the region of Timbuktu and Gao that have Saharan climatic context with a nomadic population.

Institutionally, the main achievements are: a CLTS handbook adapted to the Malian context validated in 2014; development and adoption of a post ODF strategy in 2014; adoption of CLTS development Plan (2015- 2024); national platform for exchanges on rural sanitation with CLTS as the main subject of discussion that gather once a year all stakeholders.

In addition to the low cost, the factors that have facilitated the success of CLTS in the country include:

  • The pride of the poor to improve their own living conditions;
  • The ownership of the approach by rural people who are the main agents of change in their communities;
  • The leadership of the National Directorate of Sanitation that has managed to prioritize the management of liquid waste and established an operational strategy for CLTS that is simple and precise;
  • Advanced decentralization of health structures and municipalities who are also key players of the approach.
  • All these institutional actors and civil society work together for scalability and expansion of CLTS in Mali.

(September 2015)