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) (JMP, 2017, data collected in 2015).
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. It is complemented by other resources available at www.communityledtotalsanitation.org/regional-africa-sharing-andlearning-workshops-2018.