Some demand-creation innovations supported by SNV, such as Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS), provide an unprecedented opportunity to start changing the hygiene behaviour of rural people. Recent evidence shows that 63,304 people have improved their sanitation from this initiative in Atsaphon, Phin and Xonnabouli districts in Savannakhet province, Lao PDR.
SNV in Laos has been operating the Sustainable Sanitation and Hygiene for All programme in these areas since 2010, together with the Provincial Rural Development and Poverty Reduction Office (PRDO) and its subordinate offices in the three districts. The programme aims to improve the health and quality of life of rural people in the districts. In these areas, 84% of new toilets have been constructed during this programme implementation period, with 95% of new toilets self-supported by community members.
In February 2015, SNV joined government partners Namsaat Central, the Department of Hygiene and Health Promotion of the Ministry of Health, and the Provincial and District Rural Development and Poverty Reduction Office (P/DRDO) to celebrate the Open Defecation-Free (ODF) Declaration in Atsaphon District, Savannakhet Province.
Seven villages in Atsaphon district - Haddokkeo, Nakoutchan, Phakkhaya, Nongdeurn, Nadeu, Koutsong and Kouthin - were officially declared Total Sanitation Villages or Open Defecation-Free Villages by the provincial and district government, with more than 7,847 people in these areas (from 1,245 households) having improved their sanitation situations. Six villages in the district had already been declared ODF in 2012, while another 12 villages are expected to be declared ODF in the month ahead.