West and Central Africa Regional Rural Sanitation Workshop

SLH Learning Briefs
September 2018

Key recommendations from the workshop include, amongst others, the need to urgently advocate to increase domestic resource allocation and to create specific country-level strategies for reaching the ‘last mile’.

In 2015 an estimated 38 per cent of the rural population of West and Central Africa practised open defecation (OD) while 31 per cent were reliant on unimproved sanitation facilities. Furthermore, 71 per cent of rural households had no handwashing facility, with an additional 23 per cent having a limited facility (one without water or soap).

Since then, progress has been made through Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) and other rural sanitation approaches that should be celebrated. However, some countries in the region have witnessed an increase in rural OD over the Millennium Development Goal period. In order to achieve universal safely managed sanitation in the region by 2030 the scale and pace will need to increase drastically.

This learning brief presents the common challenges identified across the region, summarises some of the discussions held, highlights some promising practices and considers priority actions moving forward.

Additional details

PublisherInstitute of Development Studies
RegionCentral Africa, Western Africa
CountryBenin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Togo
ThemesBehaviour change, Challenging contexts, Climbing the sanitation ladder, Fragile contexts, Leave no one behind, Slippage, Social marginalisation, Social norms, Sustainability and safely managed sanitation, Tough physical environments
ApproachesCommunity-led approaches

Institute of Development Studies (2018) ‘West and Central Africa Regional Rural Sanitation Workshop’, CLTS Knowledge Hub Learning Brief 5, Brighton: IDS


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