IMPROVING ACCESS TO CLEAN WATER AND SANITATION FACILITIES
88% of households have access to working latrine compared to just 40% on average in rural Cambodia*
83% reduction in waterborne disease in the last 5 years
More than 7,000 Latrines built since 2010
Over 25,000 villagers now have access to a local well
TGF’s Water and Sanitation Programme focuses on well construction, subsidised water filters, rainwater tanks and latrines, to improve access to clean water and sanitation facilities. Sustainable access to clean water and improved sanitation facilities has been shown to be the single most cost-effective intervention to improve health and economic activity in low-income settings. We aim to promote and subsidise improved facilities, as well as improve sanitation and hygiene behaviours in communities. Communities provide volunteer labour, materials or funds, while TGF provides additional financial/technical support and materials to help communities achieve a successful outcome.
CLEAN WATER PROJECT
“Attention to rural water supply, as well as sanitation and hygiene will unquestionably deliver results—less child death, less disease, less health costs, more productive workers, and better learning at school,” – Rana Flowers (UNICEF), 2014. In 2010, the Ministry of Rural Development (MRD) published its ‘Rural Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene Strategy 2010–2025’. The first of 5 strategic objectives set out in the document was; “By 2015, 50% and by 2025, 100% of the rural population have sustainable access to improved water supply.” The results of the 2014 Cambodian Demographic Health Survey showed in 2014 only 40% of rural households had access to improved water sources. Since 2010, TGF has built more than 700 wells and provided over 2000 water filters to households in 59 villages; providing sustainable access to improved water sources to over 40,000 people. Since 2017, TGF has also been promoting and subsidising the construction of over 400 Rainwater Harvesting Systems (RHS) – 2,000 litre tanks which store rainwater safely and cleanly. This is all supplemented by community-based education, and has combined to reduce cases of water-borne diseases reported at the local health centres by 83%.
In Cambodia, poor sanitation has led to economic losses of $448 million per year, equivalent to 7.2% of Cambodia’s GDP in 2005. (World Bank, 2008). The In 2010, the Ministry of Rural Development (MRD) concluded that $1 spent on improving sanitation created $10 of economic return through reductions in water-borne disease and improved productivity. The 2014, CDHS found that only 40% of rural households had access to a latrine, compared to 83% of those in urban areas. When TGF began implementation of the latrine project in Chi Kraeng district in 2010, only 11% of households had access to a latrine, with most people practicing open defecation. Since that time, TGF has invested heavily in promoting a subsidised latrine project, using a low cost pour flush latrine. Households contribute labour and materials, while TGF provides $55 worth of technical materials for the latrine and tank. In 6 years, we have constructed over 7,000 latrines, providing improved sanitation for over 37,000 people. Latrine coverage in Chi Kraeng district is now at 88%, even higher than that of most urban areas in Cambodia.
WATER AND SANITATION EDUCATION
Improving water access and sanitation behaviour takes more than investment in infrastructure. A vital element of the TGF’s success been an integrated approach, which also tackles community behaviours and practices. This has been done by working with health workers, community members, school children, and key groups such as pregnant women and new mothers. Our Water & Sanitation Programme works with Community Assistants (CAs) and Village Health Support Groups (VHSGs) to ensure that as well as the necessary facilities, households also have the knowledge and understanding to realise the full benefits of their facilities. During promotion phases, CAs educate villagers of the health and economic benefits of improved water and sanitation facilities. After implementation, they run community-based education sessions on how to use and maintain facilities, and VHSGs conduct education sessions four times a year to keep communities up to speed.