From amazzi to amazi: it’s not a water problem (PLA 61)

Journal (part) article
PDF (255.09 KB)
Published: November 2010
Participatory Learning and Action
Product code:G02799
Source publication:
Participatory Learning and Action 61 Tales of Shit: Community-Led Total Sanitation in Africa

The authors were initially invited to Uganda to assist a team of American volunteers on a safe water project. But they eventually came to understand the problem and solution quite differently. Their realisation? It’s not a water problem, it’s a shit problem. This article documents their transition from using an externally-subsidised, technology-based approach that focused on safe water to working with local Ugandan colleagues to implement a more participative, grassroots, information-based approach centred on Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS). The authors describe the effects of the CLTS intervention on multiple relationships within and between communities, community leaders and the sponsoring NGO.

Participatory Learning and Action (PLA, formerly PLA Notes) is the world's leading series on participatory learning and action approaches and methods. PLA publishes articles on participation aimed at practitioners, researchers, academics and activists. All articles are peer-reviewed by an international editorial board. See:

Article in: PLA 61. Guest-edited by: Petra Bongartz, Samuel Musembi Musyoki, Angela Milligan and Holly Ashley.

Keywords: CLTS, Community-Led Total Sanitation, water, hygiene, Kamal Kar, health, PRA, scaling up, policy, triggering, training, facilitation.

To read the full table of contents or download whole issue please click on More information above.

Cite this publication

, . and , . (2010). From amazzi to amazi: it’s not a water problem (PLA 61). .
Available at