Since June 2010, SNV has been providing capacity building and technical assistance for the Provincial Department of Rural Development in Kampot province in planning, implementation, and monitoring of the sanitation and hygiene activities. The pilot phase of the Sustainable Sanitation & Hygiene for All (SSH4A) programme was implemented in 5 villages and in January 2012 the programme was scaled up to cover the entire Banteay Meas district, including 15 communes and 88 villages.
The main objective of the SSH4A programme is to improve the health and quality of life for the households in Bantheay Meas district, through enhanced access to improved sanitation and hygiene practices. Mrs. So Sovannara, Deputy Governor of Banteay Meas district, says that “the improved sanitation and hygiene situation has also contributed significantly to the government’s goal to reduce poverty in Banteay Meas district by 1% annually.”
When the SSH4A programme started in Trapeang Sala Khang Lech commune, only 24% of the households had access to a toilet. Based on the latest monitoring results in October 2013, all the households living in the 5 villages in Trapeang Sala Khang Lech commune have access and are using toilets. This has successfully eliminated the practice of open defecation. Currently, 98% of the households in the commune have constructed a toilet and the remaining 2% currently share a toilet with neighbours or relatives. All the remaining households have committed to build their own toilet and have already bought the rings and materials for the constructions of sanitary toilets.
As stated by Mrs So Sovannara, “The results in Trapeang Sala Khang Lech commune have been achieved because of the hard work and good cooperation of all the relevant stakeholders and strong commitment of PDRD, district authorities, commune council, village chiefs, and school principles.”
In October 2013, the first full commune open defecation free (ODF) ceremony was organized by the SSH4A programme in the target area of Banteay Meas district in Kampot province. During the ceremony, 15 primary schools were provided certificates for their significant achievements in improving sanitation and hygiene. All of these schools have an adequate number of sanitary toilets for both boys and girls and all the students know how to use the toilets hygienically. These schools also have adequate handwashing facilities with soap and have improved student knowledge about handwashing. Moreover, all of these teachers and school students have access and use toilets at home.
SNV Cambodia and the Provincial Department of Rural Development have reconfirmed the joint commitment to continue to support all the other communes in Banteay Meas district to become ODF and scale up the SSH4A programme to the other districts in Kampot province.
The ceremony was attended by the representatives from the Ministry of Rural Development, Department of Rural Development of Kampot Province and Banteay Meas, district department of education, deputy governor of Banteay Meas district, commune councils, village chiefs, monks, schools directors and teachers, and development partners in the WASH sector.