Cambodia's second commune declared open defecation free

Cambodia's second commune declared open defecation free

Tann Kroeun, 64, has one daughter and three grandchildren. Her family helped build a toilet in 2013 to improve general hygiene in the household, and to give them some comfort and privacy too. Kroeun flushes the toilet with water brought over from a household well, and stores more water during the rainy season.

Her village, Rumpeun, is one of the five villages in Sdach Kong Khang Lech commune, Banteay Meas district, Kampot province. Back in 2012, only 10% of households there were using toilets. But by early 2014, all households there had access to and were using toilets.

On 14 March 2014, Sdach Kong Khang Lech commune, comprising Rumpeun and four other villages, was officially declared Cambodia's second Open Defecation Free (ODF) commune. The commune belongs in turn to Banteay Meas district, which about two years ago had some of the poorest sanitation coverage in Cambodia. Open defecation was common practice, and only 19% of households had access to sanitary toilets.

Banteay Meas is the target area for SNV's Sustainable Sanitation and Hygiene for All (SSH4A) programme in Cambodia. This programme aims to improve people’s health and quality of life through enhanced access to improved sanitation and hygiene practices. Remarkable progress has been made with 64% of households having access to and using a toilet by March 2014.