Access to rural sanitation in Laos remains a major concern. Although rural areas have seen a tremendous increase in access to improved sanitation facilities, still only 48.2% of the rural population have access to improved sanitation compared to the urban population (91.3% of urban households).
In 2009, a Community-Led Total Sanitation approach was first piloted in Laos, which has now been adopted into the National Plan of Action of Rural WASH. The Water and Sanitation Programme is supporting the Government of Laos in scaling up rural sanitation and hygiene by supporting the enabling environment and the development of at-scale program implementation models. SNV and local partner PADETC have been contracted to support the provincial and district government in leading the scale-up of rural sanitation in Champassak and Sekong Province.
SNV is implementing this programme in two main ways:
- 1. Supporting provincial governments of Champasak and Sekong provinces, through their provincial health departments, and provincial Nam Saat in the planning, coordination, implementation, management and monitoring of a government-led rural sanitation program in ten districts through capacity building and hands-on coaching.
- 2. Consolidating the learning and developing tools, guidance and capacity building materials for the national level that allows scaling-up beyond the two provinces.
The overall goal of the project is to support local leadership (WASH governance) in up-scaling approaches for improved rural sanitation sustainably, while documenting the learning and critical success factors in accessible evidence-based tools and materials, which will aim to support further scaling up of government-led rural sanitation beyond Champasak and Sekong. Currently, 7 districts in Champasak Province and 3 districts in Sekong Province have been selected for this assignment.