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In 2008, the Community Approaches to Sanitation (CATS) approach was introduced in Mozambique as a pilot initiative within the framework of the One Million Initiative WASH Programme. The One Million Initiative is a partnership among the Government of Mozambique, the Government of the Netherlands and UNICEF that aims to provide access to safe water and sanitation to one million people living in 3 provinces in central Mozambique (Tete, Manica and Sofala) by 2013.

Although CATS encapsulates various approaches of community based sanitation, in the case of Mozambique, the strategy used has been a combination of CLTS (Community-led Total Sanitation) with a system of awards/prizes for Open Defecation Free Communities (ODF). The success of this experience has been remarkable: 466 villages have been declared ODF in the three National ODF Assessment Campaigns carried out in 2008, 2009 and 2010, respectively, and about 1,200,000 people have gained access to safe sanitation and hygiene practices in Mozambique.

In 2008 and 2009, all the assessed villages were part of the One Million Initiative, but by 2010 the CLTS approach was becoming widespread in Mozambique and villages from other agencies’ programmes participated in the ODF assessment (4 of them were certified ODF). Other NGOs/international agencies involved in the promotion include ADB, CARE, World Vision, Oxfam Australia and LWF.

Good practice drawn from this experience has been a key input in the development of the SWAP for Rural Water Supply and Sanitation (PRONASAR) that is currently being implemented in the country and considers CLTS one of the main approaches to sanitation.

In 2010, the National Directorate of Water (DNA) organized four regional Training of Trainers workshops on CLTS. The workshops were facilitated jointly by DNA and UNICEF and targeted water and sanitation, health and education officials from local governments and staff from COBs active in the WASH sector. 147 participants were trained as CLTS facilitators.

Currently 13 NGOs and COBs are implementing the CLTS approach within the One Million Initiative and 9 organizations are using CLTS approach as part of their own development or emergency response water and sanitation programmes in Nampula, Cabo Delgado, Gaza and Zambézia provinces.

In recognition of the leadership taken by both the Ministry of Public Works and Housing and Ministry of Health to scale up the CATS approach in the country, the Government of Mozambique was awarded an AFRICA-SAN award from the African Council of Ministers for Water (AMCOW) during the 3rd Africa Water Week in Addis Ababa in November 2010.