IMPROVING ACCESS TO CLEAN DRINKING WATER AND SANITATION
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 providing well construction, subsidised water filters, water tanks and latrines to improve access to clean drinking water and sanitation. 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 provide more wells, water tanks and filters; increase latrine production and improve sanitation and hygiene practices. Communities provide volunteer labour and some of the construction materials, while TGF provides additional support and materials to help communities achieve a successful outcome.
CLEAN WATER PROJECT
“Attention to rural water supply, sanitation, and hygiene will unquestionably deliver results—less child deaths, better learning at school, less disease, more productive workers, less health costs for the people and the system,” – 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 Democratic 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 housholds in 59 villages; providing sustainable access to improved water sources to over 40,000 people. This is 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 US$448 million per year, equivalent to 7.2% of Cambodia’s GDP in 2005. (World Bank, 2008). The Ministry of Rural Development (MRD) in 2010 concluded that $1 spent on improving sanitation created $10 of economic return through reductions in water-borne diseases 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 our latrine project in Chi Kraeng district in 2010, only 11% of housholds 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 US$55 of technical materials for the latrine and tank. In 6 years we have constructed over 7000 latrines providing improved sanitation for over 37,000 people. Latrine coverage in Chi Kraeng district is now at 88%, higher than that of most urban areas in Cambodia.
WATER AND SANITATION EDUCATION
Improving water use and sanitation behaviours takes more than investments in infrastructure. A vital element of the success TGF has had in this area has been an integrated approach also tackling 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 econimic benefits of improved water and sanitation facilities. After implementation they run community-based education sessions on how to use and maintain faciltities and VHSGs conduct education sessions 4 times per year to reenforce this information.