Reflecting Rural Sanitation Work Progress

Rural Development Secretary of State H.E. Try Meng today chaired the opening of a reflection workshop on Cambodia Rural Sanitation and Hygiene Improvement Programme phase 2 - known in short as CRSHIP2, organised at Himawari Hotel here in Phnom Penh.

"The workshop will allow us to see the progress of our work as well as the challenges, so that we together can address and get going on the right track to further ensure improved sanitation in our target provinces," addressed H.E. Try Meng.

Globally, diarrheal disease is the second leading cause of death among children under five years old. One fifth of Cambodia's child mortality is caused by diarrheal infections mainly driven by poor sanitation and the practice of open defecation. Diarrhea affects small children most.

Sanitation contributes positively to child nutrition as well as their physical growth and cognitive development. According to the Cambodia Demographic and Health Survey 2014, in Cambodia more than 32 percent of children under five years old are stunted, 24 percent underweight, and 10 percent wasted.

Executed by Plan International Cambodia and partners in close cooperation with Ministry and Departments of Rural Development, both the first and second phases of CRSHIP have been funded by the Global Sanitation Fund and the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council since 2011.

According to the Country Director of Plan International Cambodia Mr. Jan Jaap Kleinrensink, during the first phrase of CRSHIP implementation from 2011-2015, over 600,000 people (about 50 percent of them are children) especially those poverty stricken and live remote communities, have successfully adopted the use of latrines.

The programme freed 734 villages in Takeo, Kandal, Kampong Speu, Kampong Cham and Svay Rieng from open defecation and villagers habituated better personal hygiene.

In its second phase, so-called CRSHIP2, the programme is on the threshold of phasing in five other provinces, namely Kampot, Prey Veng, Kampong Chhnang, Kampong Thom, and Kratie, which are most deprived of sanitation access. It will run until December 2018.

"In one of my recent field visits, I am so inspired by smiles of community children and their impression. Several of them told me how happy they are to have latrine at home so that they don't need to go to the bush to answer the call of nature, especially in the rains. Like some of you here, being a parent I cannot imagine risking my kids' security with something as simple as answering the call of nature, let alone other implications of the absence of sanitation facilities," added Mr. Jan Jaap Kleinrensink.

H.E. Try Meng expressed his appreciation with the result of the phase one CRSHIP and repeated his support for the implementation of CRSHIP2.

The Royal Government of Cambodia through the Ministry of Rural Development along with development partners has made remarkable progress in the area. As a result, nearly half of rural Cambodians are now having access to improved sanitation, compared to only 11 percent in 1990.

CRSHIP2 is committed to join hands with the government to reach its goal of ensuring 60 percent of Cambodians with access to improved sanitation across the country by 2018.

The three-day reflection workshop, from Aug. 9-11, is attended by over 50 officials from the Ministry of Rural Department and its line departments relevant and representatives from like-minded nongovernmental organisations.

Source: Agence Kampuchea Press