The lack of global sanitation facilities is astounding — more than 2 billion people do not have access to a decent toilet. This global lack of services exposes people to easily preventable diseases, and it deprives them of their dignity. Clean water with sanitation access is key to children’s survival, development and growth. Sanitation solutions and support are critical to the WATERisLIFE integrated long-term approach to save lives and transform communities.

WATERisLIFE helps support total elimination of open defecation. This begins with collective community decisions

and local action. WATERisLIFE’s sanitation approach provides self and local empowerment, as the community analysis comes from within. WATERisLIFE employs the Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) approach pioneered by Dr. Kamal Kar. Through local participation and facilitation, communities are empowered to analyze their sanitation and waste situation and make collective change without relying on subsidies. CLTS allows communities to gradually move up the sanitation ladder and create sustainable behavior change.

The CLTS Approach includes


Pre Triggering WiL visits the community numerous times to build rapport and relationships over a several-month period. During the initial visits, WiL learns more about the community, and together we plan for successful triggering.


Triggering The WATERisLIFE Field Team (trained CLTS leaders) sets a specific time to visit with materials. They walk the community areas and ask questions to help identify poor sanitation and hygiene behaviors. These discussions trigger the community to acknowledge their challenges, which is the first step to creating change from within.


Post Triggering WiL monitors and encourages the community members until they achieve Basic Open Defecation Free (ODF) status for up to one year.


Community Self Assessment The first step in the Basic ODF Certification process is the Community Self-Assessment. The community has been triggered and is now determined to create change. This is a valuable planning stage. This is when an action plan is created.


Open Defecation Free Status Once the community has achieved Basic ODF Certification, they can create their Community Action Plan. In this stage, natural leaders emerge, training and digging of pit latrines/soak aways begins, “dig and bury” and proper hand washing are practiced, and latrines are created for every household, providing a sustainable sanitation solution.


In addition to helping the community reach Basic ODF Certification, WiL provides a unique approach to latrine building through latrine artisan training. The training includes business start-up materials, giving the community an opportunity to move up the sanitation ladder by starting their own latrine-building businesses, based on a tiered level

of market offerings. WATERisLIFE also encourages and supports a sanitation credit system that allows individual households to borrow and invest in a revolving fund for the construction of private latrines, with the end goal of achieving full community latrine coverage.

For more information on the WATERisLIFE sanitation program, training materials or how you can be involved, contact