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Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) was first implemented in Uganda in February 2007 by Plan Uganda as an approach to increase access to improved sanitation among rural communities. CLTS was spread with the support of Plan Kenya and NETWAS (a local networking organization in the water and sanitation sector in Uganda) in August/September 2007 through a national level training that targeted district local government staff, village health team volunteers and selected community members. The district political wings were briefed about the approach and they pledged their support to the initiative. However, more efforts were still needed to increase awareness on the new promising approach. National level stakeholders were further introduced to the approach through a learning journey in 2008 and a training of 50 participants in 2010, facilitated by Karmal Kar with support Plan international Uganda.

To date, other stakeholders such as World Vision Uganda   SNV,  Health through water & sanitation( HEWASA), Goal, Uganda Muslim Rural Development foundation(UMURDA), Joint Efforts to save the Environment( JESSE),Oxfam Uganda, UNICEF Uganda and Water and Sanitation Program (WSP), Water Aid Uganda, Lutheran World Federation, Action against Hunger (ACF Uganda), Network for water and Sanitation Uganda and some Uganda Water and Sanitation NGO network (UWASNET) members are working closely with local governments and Ministries of Health and Water to scale up CLTS. The District Technical Support Units (TSUs) of the Ministry of Water and Environment have been trained on CLTS by WSP and Plan International in collaboration with the focal point people in Ministry of Water and Environment and the Ministry of Health. It is envisaged that national level trainers will train district officials who in turn train their line local government officials and down to CLTS facilitators.

The 2009 Uganda Strategic Investment Plan for the Water and Sanitation sector cites the use of demand responsive approaches (one of which is CLTS) as one of the sub sector strategies. The National Integrated Hygiene and Sanitation strategy promotes incentive free approaches like CLTS at house hold level. In 2010, CLTS was recognized in the National Development Plan (NDP) as an effective low cost approach to promoting good sanitation. The challenge however, is still on having CLTS institutionalized with commitment by a focal/ lead ministry as the key approach for sanitation improvement and part of the national sanitation guidelines. A CLTS task force that coordinates CLTS interventions and enhances learning among stakeholders on a quarterly basis has been established, composed of the 2 line ministries, WaterAid Uganda, Plan International Uganda, SNV, and WSP.

Since 2011 Government is utilizing CLTS as an approach for creating demand for improved sanitation and has allocated funding through a conditional grant under Ministry of Water and Environment that supports 50 districts. In addition, the Global Sanitation Fund, working with the Ministry of Health, covers 30 districts. 80 districts out of a total of 111 have adopted CLTS as an approach for improved sanitation.

Country specific CLTS ToT manuals, facilitators’ guidelines and implementation references have been developed and over 1500 copies disseminated among CLTS practitioners. A pool of over 60 national level master trainers has been accumulated; over 3,000 CLTS facilitators have been trained and 3,969 villages have been declared ODF. The emerging issue is sustainability of ODF status as the approach utilizes local actors (VHTs, Natural leaders) for scalability and motivation of such volunteers continues to be a concern.

(September 2015)