SSH4A in Cambodia
Phase III of a multi-donor SNV rural sanitation programme in Cambodia, this Stone Foundation-funded project contributes to Government of Cambodia's development of its National Action Plan for Rural Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene 2019-23.
Cambodia has achieved rapid economic growth over the past decade, but sanitation coverage and inequalities in access remain major public health issues. Approximately 51% of the rural population continues to practise open defecation, contributing to stunting, malnutrition and disease. In Cambodia, equal access to sanitation remains a priority for the Royal Government of Cambodia. Led by national level strategies and plans implemented by the Ministry of Rural Development (MRD) and its partners, access to sanitation facilities has been steadily increasing.
SNV’s Sustainable Sanitation and Hygiene for All (SSH4A) programme has directly contributed to these gains and was central to the declaration of Bantaey Meas, Kampot Province, as the first open defecation free (ODF) district in Cambodia in November 2016. Collaborating with the MRD and sub-national government agencies, SNV has been implementing the SSH4A approach in Cambodia since 2012, in Kampot and Kampong Speu provinces. SSH4A is essentially a capacity building approach, supporting local governments to lead and accelerate progress towards improved sanitation coverage with a focus on institutional sustainability and learning. The SSH4A approach uses an integrated model that combines sanitation demand creation, sanitation supply chain strengthening, hygiene behavioural change communication, and WASH governance strengthening.
Since its inception in Cambodia, remarkable progress has been achieved, with rapid decreases in open defecation. Aside from declaring the country’s first ever ODF district in Banteay Meas, Kampot Province, SSH4A has also built a knowledge base for enhanced sanitation and service delivery. In the SSH4A districts of Basedth and Chumkiri in Kampong Speu and Kampot provinces, prevalence of open defecation has fallen to 15% in only a few years, respectively (compared to 70-80%).
SSH4A Phase III - Beyond the Finish Line
SSH4A Beyond the Finish Line Phase strengthens the capacity of governments of the three districts and communes to perform their responsibility as duty bearers for realising area-wide safe sanitation and hygiene access and usage that leaves no one behind. Phase III is closely and comprehensively aligned with the aims of the Sustainable Development Goals, while continuing to feed into the Government of Cambodia’s aim to broaden its decentralisation mandate, and to prepare for National Action Plan for Rural Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene 2019-23 implementation.
The objectives of the third phase of the SSH4A programme are to:
improve the health and quality of life for a further 75,000 rural people through the continued elimination of open defecation (in Chumkiri and Basedth), and increase the proportion of households using their own improved latrine (in Banteay Meas);
achieve greater equity in and sustained access to improved sanitation and hygiene facilities by co-developing and implementing a pro-poor strategy;
find and demonstrate innovative solutions to safely managed sanitation and faecal sludge management – on both supply and demand sides –to reduce public health risks and ensure sustainable outcomes; and
support targeted knowledge building and learning processes.
SSH4A Beyond the Finish Line Phase is supported by the Stone Family Foundation from March 2018 until September 2019.
In photo: Alternating twin pit installation (by Tan Bunleng)