Kandal province will organise a December 22 ceremony to celebrate the announcement that the province had been declared open defecation free (ODF).

Kandal provincial governor Kong Sophorn chaired a December 19 meeting to prepare the ceremony.

At the meeting, provincial rural development department director Chi Thavy said that all 11 towns and districts and the 1,010 villages of the province’s 127 communes had achieved ODF status.

“Among the total number of 263,963 houses, 251,952 – 95.4 per cent – have personal toilets, with the remainder sharing access to communal facilities,” she said.

Sophorn emphasised the three major factors that contributed to the achievement.

“Peace and win-win politics, security and social order, and the implementation of the safe village-commune-district policy have enabled the provincial administration to maintain hygiene, beauty and a good environment,” he said.

Kandal province is the third province to reach ODF status this year.

In April, the Ministry of Rural Development awarded Svay Rieng s the first province in the Kingdom to be declared 100 per cent ODF.

According to the 2019-2020 Cambodia Socio-Economic Survey Report, by 2022, 80 per cent of the population would have accessed to improved water sources and toilets, and 89 per cent would have hand washing facilities in their houses.

Ouk Rabun, Minister of Rural Development, said that the government had established a national strategic plan to achieve the goal of sustainable national development by 2025. This meant that all people in rural communities would have access to a clean water supply and live in a hygienic and sustainable environment.