National WASH Coalition
The Cambodia WASH Initiative was started in 2008, coordinated by the Department of Rural Health Care in the Ministry of Rural Development. It received strong support from UNICEF, and other partners include the World Bank’s Water and Sanitation Program (WSP), Plan Cambodia, Lien Aid, IDE and government departments concerned with youth, education and rural development.
The goal of the coalition is to contribute to advocacy and policy development through sharing and developing evidence and experience from partner programmes and projects.
Milestones and achievements
The school-community project started in 2008 in four children’s schools and 10 communities in two provinces. Its success has meant the approach is being replicated in six provinces with national budgetary support. The activities the coalition undertook included:
- providing information, education and communication materials for sanitation and hygiene education produced for training facilitators;
- running training sessions for provincial government departments on school and community WASH
- promoting improved sanitation and hygiene in schools and communities;
- establishing a self-monitoring system and introducing community planning on sanitation.
The coalition’s achievements were increased knowledge and improved sanitation and hygiene practices among students and teachers. These eventually spread to parents thanks to encouragement and continuous monitoring of latrine construction and use.
The colaition was as well vital in contributing to the development of the new Rural Sanitation and Hygiene Sector Strategy and the development of a sanition options and construction manual.
Related to CLTS, which has likewise gained momentum in Cambodia, a national implementation guide has been developped. WIth Sanitation Marketing activities beeing currently implemented by partners, it is envisaged to have a similar guideline soon.
Through these activities, the coalition has been able to start discussions around emerging issues and to foster stronger cooperation between the responsible ministries.