Kandal province announced that four of the province’s 11 districts have achieved Open Defecation Free (ODF) status. Authorities called on the other districts to join in with efforts to achieve ODF status by year’s end.
The four districts that qualified are Ang Snuol, Kandal Stung, Khsach Kandal and Loeuk Dek. The announcement was made on February 2 in the presence of Rural Development Minister Ouk Rabun in Takhmao town. The four districts have 53 communes and 445 villages.
“The government set the Rural Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene Perspective, with the goal that every resident of every rural community will have access to an adequate water supply and sanitation services by 2025,” Rabun said.
He added that in order to achieve the goal, the ministry has been implementing the National Action Plan on Rural Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene Phase II 2019-2023, which aims for 90 per cent coverage by 2023.
“We have also identified five provinces where we can end open defecation in 2023 – Kampong Speu, Kampong Chhnang, Kep, Prey Veng and Svay Rieng,” he said.
Rabun called on all relevant parties to cooperate in improving rural sanitation activities through the implementation of the national action plan, in order to achieve the 100 per cent target.
Kandal provincial governor Kong Sophorn said the rural development ministry’s promotion of a clean rural water supply and sanitation had helped the rural population. Access to toilets and improved sanitation had reduced infectious diseases, which improved people’s productivity and saved money that would have been spent on treatment.
“I am taking this opportunity to ask the governors and commune chiefs of the remaining seven districts to fully implement this plan. We urge village leaders to promote it among the population, so that they will cooperate to help Kandal achieve ODF status by year’s end.”
Sophorn commended the working groups in the fields of rural water supply and sanitation at the provincial level and their partner organisations for working hard to support and contribute to the programme.
Rural development department director Chi Thavy said 84.1 per cent of households had access to clean water and 94.7 per cent had the habit of drinking clean water.
She added that 95 per cent of households had access to toilets, while 4.5 per cent had access to shared toilets, leaving just 0.5 per cent of households with no access.
Svay Rieng was the first province in Cambodia to be declared entirely ODF, thanks to the efforts of its local and provincial authorities and the support of partner organisations.