by Mom Chantara Soleil
To mark 2013 rural sanitation commemoration, Plan International Cambodia in cooperation with the Ministry of Rural Development is proud to highlight a push to 43% of improved basic sanitation in almost one third of Cambodia they are covering, thanks to the funding assistance from the Global Sanitation Fund.
The 15% increase since 2011 (with only 28%) when we started our intervention means beyond the fact that 27,000 families (139,600 people) in those areas are consuming safe drinking water, using latrines and washing hands with soap.
The rise gives optimism that at least 185,600 children (around 47% are female) are safe from water-borne diseases and can better invest their time and concentration on their study. Their families can reduce unnecessary expenses accordingly – the expenses estimated to be around 448 million US dollars annually, according to the recent keynotes by Cambodian premiere during the 4th national rural sanitation event.
There are, however, more works to do, still.
As part of various efforts to enable lasting latrine and clean water access among 60% of Cambodian population, especially the most marginalised and vulnerable, by early 2016 Plan Cambodia joins hands with line departments of the Ministry of Rural Development to dedicate November 2013 to stage grassroots campaign to promote hand washing, the sustained use of latrine and safe water consumption, in addition to our contribution to similar events targeting the national level.
Some 11,000 villagers from Kampong Cham, Svay Rieng, Kandal, Takeo, Kampong Speu, Rakanakiri and Siem Reap provinces, where access to basic sanitation remains challenging, have been part of the awareness raising events.
“November is the right time as the flood water is residing. The floods to some degree damaged sanitation community and household facilities. Without appropriate attention, we may end up with our community people resuming unsanitary practice. So, what we are doing is not only to prevent the said issue, but also to expand awareness on water, sanitation and hygiene practice among other population,” said Hang Hybunna, Plan Cambodia’s national WASH Specialist.
Cambodia wide, the rural sanitation has increased to 32 percent from 8.6 percent in 1996.
Plan Cambodia and partners are carefully executing the assistance from the Global Sanitation Fund and looking forwards to seeing more progress in another half of the five-year support.