Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Access to sanitation, piped water lowest in the region

Access to sanitation, piped water lowest in the region

Access to sanitation, piped water lowest in the region

Cambodia is one of the least water-secure of the 49 countries in the Asia-Pacific — in the bottom of five tiers alongside Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Kiribati, Nauru, Pakistan and Tuvalu, a study published by the Asian Development Bank has found.

After weighing a broad range of factors, including water availability, sanitation and the capacity to cope with water-related natural disasters such as droughts and floods, ADB’s Asian Water Development Outlook 2013 identifies the state of water security in Cambodia as “hazardous”.

According to the report, access to piped water is available to only 17 per cent of Cambodian households — a rate lower than all but six     other countries in the study.

Access to piped water is higher for all of Cambodia’s neighbours, at 48 per cent of Thai households, 23 per cent of Vietnamese households and 20 per cent of Lao households, the study says.

Meanwhile, only Micronesia has lower access to sanitation. In Cambodia, just 31 per cent of households have access to toilets and waste-disposal systems that prevent contact with human excrement, the study indicates.

Noting that 88 per cent of diarrhoea cases worldwide have been attributed to lack of adequate access to water and sanitation, the report finds that only Afghanistan is more affected by diarrhoea than Cambodia, where it seriously affects, or contributes to the loss of life of, about 2,200 among every 100,000 people each year.

“For the countries with the highest urban growth rates — including Cambodia, Myanmar and Nepal — the chall-enges of extending piped water supply, waste-water treatment, and flood management infrastructure for their city populations are substantial,” the report says, noting that disparities between rich and poor communities’ access to sanitation are particularly high in Cambodia.

“Municipal authorities in rapidly urbanising towns and small cities often do not have the capacity to meet the demand for housing, leading to a proliferation of slums without, or at best with very poor, public services.”

Urging more government action towards clean water supply and management, the report praises the Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority for exemplary water services but finds that even among urban areas more generally, access to piped water in Cambodia is still relatively low.

MOST VIEWED

  • Temi tourism project approved by the CDC

    The $500.4 million Tourism, Ecological, Marine and International (Temi) tourism project has been approved by the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC), according to a notice on its Facebook page on Monday. The project is part of Chinese-owned Union City Development Group Co Ltd’s (

  • Rainsy will return at ‘favourable time’

    Opposition figure Sam Rainsy on Saturday suggested he would not return to Cambodia as he had previously promised, saying that like liberators King Father Norodom Sihanouk and Charles de Gaulle, he would only do so at a “favourable time”. “I will go back to Cambodia

  • US Embassy urged to stop ‘disrespecting sovereignty’

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation called on the US Embassy in Phnom Penh on Saturday to respect the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations after it called former opposition leader Kem Sokha “an innocent man” – a move deemed to be “disrespecting Cambodia’s

  • NagaWorld casino sees net profit of more than $390M last year

    Phnom Penh’s NagaWorld casino posted a 53 per cent net profit increase last year at $390.6 million, a sum which is almost equal to the combined net profit of all Cambodian commercial banks in 2017. NagaWorld’s parent company, NagaCorp Ltd, is listed on the Hong Kong