If you cannot go to toilet, toilet can come to you - A Cambodian village decides to bring sanitation closer to home

  • F H Mughal
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If you cannot go to toilet, toilet can come to you

If you cannot go to toilet, toilet can come to you

Villagers in Slaeng, 60 kilometres southwest of Phnom Penh, have made a commitment almost unique in rural Cambodia. They have decided to do away with open defecation. The 452 inhabitants have built toilets and have resolved to use them.

The reason of this change has been attributed to 2 reasons: local leadership and an approach built on encouragement and motivation. A striking feature of the approach, a joint government and UNICEF venture, was the lack of material subsidies.

Provision of subsidies in sanitation is debatable. Some advocate subsidies, while others do not. For example, in rural Sindh, Pakistan, people are way too poor to build toilets. For them, subsidies are an important aspect. But one thing is certain, behaviour change, instead of building toilets, is the key factor that can promote use of toilets.

More details can be seen at: www.unicef.org/wash/files/5_case_study_CAMBODIA_final_web.pdf

F H Mughal

F H Mughal (Mr.)
Karachi, Pakistan
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