Progress continues as third Cambodian commune declared open defecation free

Progress continues as third Cambodian commune declared open defecation free

With support from SNV and the Sustainable Sanitation and Hygiene for All (SSH4A) programme, Samraong Leu is now the third open-defecation-free (ODF) commune in Cambodia.

Before the SSH4A programme, only 22% of households in Samraong Leu had access to toilets. Now all 1,269 households (covering 6,465 people) have access and are using the toilets, and the practice of open defecation has been eliminated.

Samraong Leu commune spans five target villages – Boriveas, Damnak Chambak, Damnak Trayueng, Tram Sasar and Praphong – who came together to mark the milestone with a ceremony on 29 April. Ms. Som Sophy, Deputy Director of the Department of Rural Health Care at the Ministry of Rural Development, complimented the commune, local authorities and partner organisations for providing a good model for others to follow. “I would like all provinces to take the initiative to design and develop plans to improve rural sanitation in Cambodia,” she added, “and to scale-up access to latrines for every household across the whole country.”

Banteay Meas is the target area for SNV's 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. Just two years ago, only 16% of the households in Banteay Meas district had access to sanitation. Since then remarkable progress has been made with 68% of households having access to and using a toilet by the end of April 2014.

Key speakers at the declaration event were: Her Excellency Ms. Teng Youky, Hygiene Promotion Advisor at the Ministry of Rural Development (MRD); Mr. Seng Chhaung, Director of the Kampot Provincial Department of Rural Development; Ms. Petra Rautavuoma, WASH Sector Leader at SNV; Ms. So Sovannara, Deputy District Governor; and Mr. Hun Mann, Commune Chief of Samraong Leu.