Cambodia Sanitation Conference tackles way forward for Open Defecation Free South-East Asia

Date: 13th November 2017

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  • The conference will be looking at ways to fast-track the attainment of Open Defecation Free communities in South-East Asia
  • WSSCC’s Global Sanitation Fund (GSF) will present its recent work in Cambodia
  • The three-day event will gather experts from the Water, Hygiene, and Sanitation (WASH) sector from South-East Asia and from international organizations like the World Bank, UNICEF, WaterAid, SNV and World Vision

The Royal Government of Cambodia and the CLTS Foundation in cooperation with Plan International will be hosting an international conference in Phnom Penh from 15-17 November on Community-Led Total Sanitation. The event is themed ‘From Communities to Open Defecation Free Nations: Fast tracking an ODF South-East Asia’.

The Deputy Prime Minister of Cambodia, H.E. Dr. Yim Chhay Ly will inaugurate the three-day event which will gather experts from the Water, Hygiene, and Sanitation (WASH) sector from South-East Asia and from international organizations like the World Bank, UNICEF, WaterAid, SNV and World Vision. Last month, Dr. Ly participated in a high level field visit with WSSCC Executive Director Chris Williams and highlighted the role of ministries and local governments to reduce poverty and achieve sanitation and hygiene.

“Community Led Total Sanitation has contributed significantly to improving our rural sanitation particularly in reducing open defecation practice which is a major problem for our country. However, accelerating progress to enable the complete eradication of open defecation and sustaining our ODF achievements to date require more synergy with different initiatives. I am therefore hopeful that this conference will bring good outcomes that could support us in our continuing efforts to achieve our rural sanitation and hygiene vision,” said Mr. Chreay Pom, Director, Department of Rural Health Care, Ministry of Rural Development, Royal Government of Cambodia.

WSSCC is engaged in the conference through a presentation from Global Sanitation Fund (GSF) Programme Officer Simon Msukwa on sustaining Open Defecation Free (ODF) Status drawing on both policy and practice experiences in the Cambodia Rural Sanitation and Hygiene Improvement Programme (CRSHIP), and other GSF experiences globally.

GSF global, national and sub-national level interventions continue to work with people in communities towards achieving and maintaining ODF status but also to improve on sanitation and hygiene services with a focus on reducing inequalities.

“WSSCC will continue to share learning across countries and influence partners to improve on the universal access to sanitation and hygiene services for all, building more partnerships to have a critical number of people and institutions consciously engaged in sanitation and hygiene,” said Mr. Msukwa.

The conference aims to draw from experiences and good practices from the region and address the critical questions towards meeting Sustainable Development Goal target 6.2 on universal sanitation. Discussions will contribute to developing a roadmap and action plan for the South-East Asia region towards achieving ODF nations in the coming years.

WSSCC is supporting CRSHIP via its Global Sanitation Fund. CRSHIP has invested over USD 10 million since 2010 on behaviour change activities in 11 provinces across Cambodia. CRSHIP actively supports national WASH sector objectives and partner capacity building, placing learning at the centre of all of its work with a strong emphasis on equality and non-discrimination. The programme is managed and implemented by Plan International Cambodia and works through local and international NGOs, with the Ministry of Rural Development leading the Programme Coordinating Mechanism.

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