The government has committed to eradicating the practice of open defecation by 2025, according to a Ministry of Rural Development statement published yesterday.The statement said more than half of rural areas in the country now have access to proper sanitation, compared to only 11 percent in 1990.
Cambodia yesterday played host to an international conference on community-led sanitation, attended by 100 experts from Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, Indonesia, Timor Leste and India.
Chreay Pom, director of the department of rural health care at the Ministry of Rural Development, said community-led sanitation has contributed significantly to reducing open defecation.
“Cambodia needs continuing efforts to achieve our rural sanitation and hygiene vision so we can declare the nation open defecation free by 2025,” he said.
Hang Bunna, a representative of Plan International, said the organisation has supported more than eight million people in 17,000 communities to become open defecation free over the past decade.
The charity has also enabled community-led sanitation implementation in almost 2,500 villages.
“Plan International is confident in community-led sanitation as a strategic approach toward sanitation improvement,” he said.
According to a Ministry of Rural development report, the government supported rural communities to build 520 new toilets in Kampong Cham, Kandal, Svay Rieng and Oddar Meanchey in the first nine months of the year, plus provided 270 new toilets to people in rural areas in Sihanoukville and Svay Rieng provinces.