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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Rural communities require a half million new loos

Rural communities require a half million new loos

The Ministry of Rural Development estimated that 500,000 toilets per year need to

be built in Cambodia for deserving people in rural areas and it is introducing a

toilet that costs $10 to build.

Speaking at the 1st National Sanitation Forum at the Government Palace on November

13, MoRD Secretary of State Yim Chhai Ly said Cambodia's hygiene facilitation is

far behind its neighbors. Only 16% of rural Cambodians have access to the latrines;

Thailand has 99 % access; Vietnam has 61% and Lao has 30%.

"More than 10 million Cambodian people have no access to latrines," said

Chhai Ly, who co-chairs of the Technical Working Group for Rural Water Supply, Sanitation

and Hygiene. "I hope that by the year 2015, 30 % of rural people will have access

to household latrine."

The MoRD study found that 47 % of the people cannot afford to construct a toilet

for their families.

Chea Samnang, director of rural health care department at MoRD, said the ministry

has selected a toilet that costs $10 to build. "There are many kinds of toilets

but we tried to promote the cheap one that is parallel to their standard of living,"

Samnang said. "They can upgrade their toilet when they understand about its

usefulness."

Samnang said it is not easy to change people's hygiene habits.

Isabelle Austin, with the UN Children's Fund, said 17 % of children under age five

die from diarrhea due to the lack of hygiene and clean water.

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