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The Regional East and Southern Africa (RESA) office of Plan International and Plan Tanzania jointly organized a five day training workshop on Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania between the 12th and 16th February 2007. This was initiated after the successes with CLTS which Plan had experienced in Bangladesh where they had started to use this approach in 2001.

The training in Tanzania can be seen as the first step towards actualising Plan RESA’s intention to scale up sanitation programmes in the region. Plan RESA’s interest in CLTS stems from a concern that the growing sanitation challenge in Eastern and Southern Africa may make it impossible to achieve the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) for sanitation. Recently, Plan programme countries in Eastern and Southern Africa have increased their budget and have been implementing integrated WATSAN initiatives using an approach they call Participatory Hygiene and Sanitation Transformation (PHAST). However, there are doubts from within Plan as to whether this approach is able to promote sanitation and hygiene at a scale that achieves reasonable impact and significantly contributes to achieving the MDGs. Plan RESA, in their search for alternative innovative ideas and approaches that could be used in scaling-up sanitation and hygiene in all the RESA Program Countries, learnt about Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) and its well documented positive impact in South and South East Asian Counties. RESA’s interest in engaging in CLTS is founded on the belief that CLTS has the potential for scaling up sanitation initiatives and contributing to reaching the MDGs that previous approaches have lacked.

The workshop was attended by 42 participants from six Plan Countries: Kenya, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Malawi and Egypt. During the workshop, the participants had at least two opportunities to visit villages and interact with the local communities. In total, workshop participants in five subgroups facilitated CLTS in ten villages in two districts of Tanzania in two days field visit.

As a result of the workshop, plans of action were devised by all participants for their respective countries.