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The challenge of open defaecation (OD) and community-led total sanitation (CLTS) in Nigeria – A Review

Author Affiliations

  • 1College of Nursing and Midwifery Gombe (CONMG), Gombe State, Nigeria
  • 2Environmental Health Science Programme, School of Allied Health and Environmental Science, Kwara State University (KWASU), MaleteIlorin, Kwara State, Nigeria

Int. Res. J. Environment Sci., Volume 8, Issue (4), Pages 61-68, October,22 (2019)


Recent World Health Organization report ranked Nigeria as number two (2) nation in Open Defaecation (OD). This is affirmed as an environmental nuisance that has over time engaged the attention of both government and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). And as part of their social responsibility the academia and corporate organizations working within the purview of environmental and public health domains have exhibited no less concern. Amidst a number of responses from government and other stakeholders in Nigeria, is the adoption of Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) principle. The objective of this review paper aimed to examine this all-important subject matter, and to take a look at the enormity of the challenges and the efforts made so far in the country. Intense literature review was conducted on peer review journals and published work on OD in Nigeria. This aimed to assess (a) to what extent has OD been a public health risk in our communities? (b) What common practices within existing socio cultural norms in Nigeria constitute the prime drivers of OD? (c) What are the common impediments to combating OD in Nigeria? Conclusive review indicate that one of the proven strategies often deployed at community and programme level, Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) or the Community Approach for Total Sanitation (CATS) as examined in the Nigerian context – its adaptability, effectiveness or otherwise. A few models were critically examined and relevant recommendations were made.


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