Kandal has demonstrated its “unwavering” commitment to become Cambodia’s first “open defecation free plus”, or ODF Plus, province.

In December 2022, the province successfully achieved ODF status. This significant milestone was announced by Nuth Puth Dara, Kandal deputy governor and chairman of the Provincial Working Group on Water Supply, Cleaning, and Rural Sanitation, during a recent meeting on progress in the clean water supply sector and rural sanitation.

Dara called upon the 13 district administrations, provincial rural development departments, partner organisations, and all stakeholders to share this commitment and work towards making Kandal the first ODF Plus province in the country. ODF Plus signifies a focus on hygiene and improved living conditions in addition to the provision of toilets in every household.

“Our aim is to make it the first ODF Plus province by engaging in continuous activities to promote health education, fostering regular participation in maintaining a clean environment, and ensuring the sustainable use of pour-flush toilets in every household,” he said.

When Kandal achieved the ODF status from the Ministry of Rural Development in December last year, Dara emphasised that the province will not rest on its laurels. Kandal remains dedicated to educating people about health, promoting the use of flush toilets and sustaining an enhanced living environment to address any existing shortcomings.

As per the ministry’s report, all 11 districts in Kandal have attained full ODF status, encompassing a total of 260,000 households with improved toilets.

Chi Thavy, director of the provincial rural development department, expressed great pride and honour for Kandal becoming an ODF province. She emphasised the ongoing commitment to achieve ODF Plus, aiming to enhance the wellbeing, health, and dignity of the people and the community.

Thavy noted that the criteria for assessing the ODF Plus status closely resemble those used for ODF measurement. However, there is an added focus on specific aspects including augmenting the proportion of households equipped with individual toilets; guaranteeing that at least 95 per cent of households practise hand washing with soap; implementing effective rubbish disposal practices, enabling at least 85 per cent of households to access potable water; and ensuring that institutions or service providers sustain sanitation facilities at least at an 85 per cent compliance rate.

The Kandal Provincial Administration’s report highlights the continuous improvement in the sanitation situation in 2023. With a total of 266,763 households and an actual count of 264,255 households, the report confirms all households in Kandal now possess toilets, achieving 100 per cent coverage.