Tales of Shit – Triggering: Community-Led Total Sanitation in Africa
Traditional approaches to rural sanitation assume that if people are educated about hygiene and sanitation and they are given assistance to build toilets they will use them. WRONG!
That is why the Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) uses a participatory approach called ‘triggering’ that rises awareness and mobilizes communities for change. The success of the approach is measured by creating ‘open defecation free’ communities.
Triggering encourages people to break the silence about shit by using crude and explicit language.
Communities are invited to analyze their hygienic practices and take an active role to sanitize their environment. Triggering creates changes in mindsets and behavior at all levels: not only communities but also organizations, governments and other stakeholders involved are invited and challenged to think an alternative way.
Lessons learned are the innovative possible forms of triggering, the importance of language building to understand local taboos and the potential of CLTS to involve children and youth and transform with their participation their hygienic habits.