Minister of Rural Development Chhay Rithisen has reiterated that by 2025, the residents of all of Cambodia’s rural communities will have access to an adequate clean water supply and sanitation services, as well as live in a clean and sustainable environment.

He made the statement on September 13, while addressing the opening ceremony of a workshop on “Completion of studying of Development Programme Planning and Improving Sustainable Rural Clean Water Supply and Sanitation Phase 4”, supported by the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

A ministry social media post cited Rithisen as saying that government policy on the supply of clean water and sanitation to rural areas 2014-25 targets nine provinces.

Oddar Meanchey, Banteay Meanchey, Preah Vihear, Pailin, Battambang, Kampong Speu, Kampot, Kratie and Stung Treng are the designated provinces.

“The national policy sets out the vision that by 2025, people in rural communities must have adequate clean water supply and sanitation services and live in a clean and sustainable environment,” he said.

PLAN International (Cambodia) deputy country director Yi Kimthan said that in line with the ministry’s most recent plans and policies, his organisation is implementing a clean water and sanitation project that considers nutrition at the national level.

He said the project will strengthen the capacity of national and sub-national leaders to implement the organisation’s executive principles on nutrition and sanitation interventions.

“If other ministries and institutions are working on nutrition or clean water and sanitation issues then they should consider using our operating principles to organise activities.

This will ensure that clean water and sanitation are implemented in accordance with state policy,” he added.

Acording to government reports, in the last five years from 2017 to 2022, basic access to a clean water supply increased significantly, from 58.7 to 82.7 per cent of the population.

Access to sanitation rose from 71 to 83.7 per cent, while open defecation dropped sharply, from 43 per cent in 2015 to 16 per cent in 2022.