Poor access to adequate sanitation, resulting in the practice of widespread open defecation, has negative health and social impacts on communities, particularly in terms of diseases such as diarrhoea and cholera.
Community-led total sanitation (CLTS) involves facilitating a process to inspire and empower rural communities to stop open defecation and to build and use latrines, without offering external subsidies to purchase hardware such as pans and pipes. Through the use of PRA methods community members analyse their own sanitation profile including the extent of open defecation and the spread of faecal-oral contamination that detrimentally affects every one of them. The CLTS approach ignites a sense of disgust and shame among the community. They collectively realise the terrible impact of open defecation: that they quite literally will be ingesting one another’s ‘shit’ so long open defecation continues.