Building government capacity to scale up rural sanitation


Together with government and development organisation partners, SNV in Lao PDR’s Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene sector has celebrated the closing of the Support to Government-Led Rural Sanitation (SURS) Programme. This programme, in partnership with local non-profit association PADETC, was implemented in 10 districts (7 in Champassack province and 3 in Sekong province), and has been supported by WSP from 1 June 2014 until 31 December 2015.

The goals of the SURS programme during this 16-month period were to support the Provincial Authorities in those two provinces in planning, coordination, implementation, management and monitoring of their rural sanitation scaling up programs. The main activities involved capacity building of government partners, hands on coaching and developing learning and implementation tools for scaling up beyond these two provinces in the future.

During the project’s closing workshop, staff and partners looked back on some of the key achievements over the past 16 months. Some of the main accomplishments include:

  1. 184 triggered villages for Community-Led Total Sanitation (equivalent to 46% of the total 400 target villages).

  2. Most villagers in triggered villages changed their sanitation behaviours, decided to construct latrines using their own funds, and began to practice handwashing with soap. The number of new latrines in the ten target districts increased 6,098 households  (equivalent to 24% of the total households without latrines in 400 target villages).

  3. There are 58 villages certified as Open Defecation-Free villages, equivalent to 14.5% of the total 400 target villages (48 villages in six districts had declaration ceremonies and 10 villages in two districts are awaiting ceremonies).

  4. The provincial and district CLTS team members increased their skills and knowledge.  469 officers (of which 125 were women) attended various trainings about the CLTS process.

These accomplishments were celebrated at the program’s closing event at the Champassack Provincial Health department. Co-chairs of the event were Mr Boualinh Vongphachanh, Vice Governor of Champassak Province; Mr Thavone Phommalayloun, Vice Governor of Sekong Province; Mrs Kaisone Chounlamany, Vice Director of Hygiene Promotion Department of MoH; Mr Somkiet Voralath, Director of Champassak Provincial Health Department; Mr Aftab Opel, Sector Leader for WASH at SNV in Lao PDR, and Mr Viengsamai Vongkhamxao, Country Coordinator of WSP at the World Bank. More than 60 programme counterparts from central, provincial and district levels attended.