Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Latrine numbers up

Latrine numbers up

Latrine numbers up

The number of Cambodian rural households with access to latrines increased from 23 to 33 per cent in 2013, a Ministry of Rural Development report released yesterday says.

Chreay Pom, director of the ministry’s rural health care department, said that last year, the ministry constructed about 1,800 facilities in six provinces: Battambang, Preah Sihanouk, Koh Kong, Kampot, Svay Reing and Takeo.

A new latrine in Kampong Speu last year. According to UNICEF, Cambodia had the lowest toilet coverage in East Asia in 2012
A new latrine in Kampong Speu last year. According to UNICEF, Cambodia had the lowest toilet coverage in East Asia in 2012. SEN DAVID

“Although we noticed that the [latrine coverage] in rural areas has increased … we still have the challenge that most people in rural areas depend on agencies to build latrines. They do not [feel] responsible to build them by themselves, [and] our budget is limited,” said Pom.

Last year, sanitation funding from the Asian Development Bank and the national budget totalled $679,000, Pom added.

In 2012, Cambodia scored the lowest in toilet coverage out of all East Asian countries, according to UNICEF.

High child mortality rates in Cambodia, UNICEF says, are largely due to diseases caused by unsanitary conditions.

Battambang’s rural area department director Sok Van Eun said that sanitation improvement in his province would continue in 2014 after 250 toilets were built in 2013.

“But we hope [the population] is willing to build latrines by themselves. It [does not cost] much. We do need modern latrines in the city, [but] the cheap latrine also protects from viruses and diarrhea,” Van Eun said.

Ministry officials also educated more than 10,000 people throughout the country about health and sanitation related to latrines, as awareness of the benefits of such facilities tends to be low among rural populations, officials said.

“They refrain from building latrines because they think it costs too much money and is not important. [They leave] open defecation behind the house and [in the] wild. They have to change this idea, because it is very important for [their] health,” said Hok Boty, director of Svay Reing’s rural areas department.

Last year, Boty added, his department encouraged villagers to build new toilets for 100 families.

MOST VIEWED

  • Omicron patients can stay home: PM

    The Ministry of Health has issued a directive on the treatment of people who have tested positive for the highly transmissible Omicron coronavirus variant, following a suggestion from Prime Minister Hun Sen on the night of January 21. The directive permits home quarantine for those who

  • The effects of the USD interest rate hike on Cambodian economy

    Experts weigh in on the effect of a potential interest rate expansion by the US Federal Reserve on a highly dollarised Cambodia Anticipation of the US Federal Reserve’s interest rate hike in March is putting developing economies on edge, a recent blog post by

  • Cambodia’s first ever anime festival kicks off Jan 22 at capital’s F3 centre

    Phnom Penh's first ever Anime Festival will bring together fans, artists, shops and other local businesses with ties to the Japanese animation style for cosplay competitions, online games, pop-up shops and more on January 22, with Friends Futures Factory (F3) hosting. F3 is a project that

  • Hun Sen gets 4th Covid shot, urges compatriots to follow

    Prime Minister Hun Sen and his wife Bun Rany on January 14 received their fourth dose of Covid-19 vaccine and called on compatriots to follow suit as the Omicron coronavirus variant continues to spread in the community. This marks the launch of Cambodia's fourth-dose vaccination campaign,

  • Fourth dose Covid booster drive jabs 43K in two days

    In the first two days of the fourth-dose Covid-19 vaccination campaign, more than 43,000 people volunteered to get the jabs, while over 4.6 million people have received a third shot. Health ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said that fourth-dose vaccinations, which began on January 14 exclusively with the Pfizer

  • Singapore backs Cambodia's efforts on Myanmar

    Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong supports Cambodia in its efforts to seek a solution to the ongoing Myanmar crisis as the chair of ASEAN. Lee expressed his support during a meeting with Prime Minister Hun Sen via videoconference on January 14, with the talks focused