BACKGOUND INFORMATION MHAA under the guidance of UNICEF has been implementing “Promotion of Sanitation and Hygiene Practices” through Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) in Myanmar since 2012.

It has gained its experience and skill and facilitating community members this approach. As observed it was difficult to attain the said targets at the start of the project. Being new approach with no support for subsidy, people have been aid dependent looking forward to receive latrine pans when sanitation projects are implemented.But slowly the approach has been taken up by the community as seen in Pantanaw Township despite the difficult terrain with many rivulets and heavy rainfall leading to flood; the communities have gained momentum and achieved their said targets.

As the CLTS approach ignores the previous methods of provision of commodities and pushing communities to build latrines, this habit still needs to be smashed up and to empower communities to handle their health care business and organizations working as their guide in making their plans work. This will prevent aid dependency as we are observing in many villages where people look out for having latrine pans whenever sanitation project is implemented. This CLTS approach does not support subsidies to the communities with latrine pans for building household latrines or for renovation. It provides community’s commitment for creation of Open Defecation Free (ODF) villages through recruitment of natural leaders working hand in hand with village leaders.

We do need to advocate the Government and scale up the approach nationally so that Myanmar citizens enjoy the safe clean environment and diminish the occurrences of infectious diseases through the feacal-oral transmission and reduce the Under 5 Mortality rates. MHAA experiences in CLTS implementation

STATES OF CLTS PROJECT ACTIVITIES (A)Pre triggering state Advocacy Meeting Staff orientation training and Baseline data collection (B)Triggering state (C)Post triggering state Routine monitoring on latrine status ODF verification process and Review and lesson learn meeting (A) Pre triggering states (Advocacy Meeting, staff orientation training and baseline data collection) An advocacy meeting is held in the Township at an appropriate venue inviting local leaders of all targeted villages and all Basic Health Staffs in the township. The invitees also include officials from other departments like Department of Rural Development, Municipal Department, and General Administrative Department including personnel from Education Department. A baseline data on sanitation status of the village is taken before the project activities are implemented.

The source of data for population, household numbers and age groups categorized by gender are from Township Health Department reference to their Township Health Profile. The results of sanitation status of the targeted villages will be based on this baseline data. Before baseline data collection the MHAA project staffs called “Hygiene Promoter” are provided with refresher training. (B) Triggering States CLTS approach The Community Led Total Sanitation is based on the concept that the community mobilization involved in this process has a dynamic, deep impact that transcends the outcome on sanitation and hygiene, changing people’s perception of their own capacity to act and improving their collective ability to solve social dilemmas within their own community, without reliance on external assistance.

At the triggering session the communities are facilitated to conduct their own participatory appraisal of open defecation, to analyze the risks associated with this behavior, and to develop a collective plan for achieving the open defecation free status. The approach uses shame, pride, disgust and the spirit of competition as key drivers of change. CLTS facilitators register villagers’ public commitments and conduct follow-up visits over the ensuing weeks. (C) Post triggering states (Routine Monitoring on latrine status, ODF verification process and review meeting) After triggering phase a follow up to the village is done regularly every month. The natural leaders (volunteer ) can be categorized into three types:- one not interested in the CLTS; another not interested but would accompany when MHAA staffs come for follow-up visits and last and least who takes interest and make follow-up visits before or without MHAA staff, visits the village, encouraging and witnessing the progress in the activities.

Natural leaders (volunteer) in the village have their own difficulties when they encourage and push people to build latrines for the village to be certified as ODF village. People hate them for pushing them and also gossip at the back to say “he/she is no person to be asking us to do this and that” while some have difficulty for their own survival and could not participate in all the activities throughout the project period. ODF Verification process ODF Verification process is done in all targeted villages according to the ODF checklist to look for any evidence of open defecation. Only about 25% of the households in the village to be verified will be sampled randomly for verification. If one house has practicing OD then the whole village is discredited to be ODF village. And then, a ceremony is done for the purpose of project review, lesson learn and rewarding to some villages which actively participate in the MHAA-CLTS activities. ISSUES FOR CONSIDERATION In Pantanaw Township as expected in Ayeyarwaddy Region difficulty in building latrine because of flood and stagnant water in some households was observed.

While in Wetlet Township of Sagaing Region known to be partly dry zone has issues when digging pit for latrine in some households where water gush out after digging for 5-10 feet depth. Natural leaders (volunteer selected in community meeting that is also called triggering session) in the village have their own difficulties when they encourage and push people to build latrines9 for the village to be certified as ODF village. People hate them for pushing them and also gossip at the back to say “he/she is no person to be asking us to do this and that” while some have difficulty for their own survival and could not participate in all the activities throughout the project period.