Rural Arrangements


Institutional arrangements for sanitation promotion and management in rural areas are almost always weak. As with urban sanitation, there is a tradition that on-site sanitation is the responsibility of the household, and that hard-pressed local government should not be involved in household affairs except in a regulatory role (e.g. control of “nuisance” discharges or smells).

This is changing in South Asia as local communities are mobilizing around total sanitation campaigns, and local government may become actively involved in the promotion of sanitation. One of the premises of Community-led Total Sanitation (CLTS), however, remains that the government is not to be involved in the direct finance of sanitation hardware, but may become involved in the support of promotion efforts, and in the management of rewards for achieving “defecation free” status.

Apart from CLTS schemes, most rural sanitation promotion consists of ad hoc efforts by CBOs, NGOs, municipal or rural health departments, community health workers, religious organizations, etc. There is merit in establishing national or local policies or guidelines for such efforts, particularly on such troublesome issues as the degree of subsidy.

See also Further Resources for Promotion.