Bringing the Phnom Sanitation Project forward
It has almost been a year since the completion of five latrines in Phnom Village in the Tboung Khmum Province, Cambodia. In collaboration with the Neakpoan Organisation for Development (NOD), WISE – WASH in Southeast Asia had successfully delivered the pilot latrine construction subsidy project, providing latrines to five households in the village.
Following the Activity Report dated July 2018, WISE and NOD had continued “to visit every recipient household monthly to collect the repayments, check on the use and maintenance of the latrines and gather information on the financial situation of the household.” Mrs. Hom Nean, for example, had been one of the first to repay the entire sum of her contribution to the latrine construction. Presently, all recipients have completed their repayments. Concurrently, team members have duly shared the recipients and their family members on proper maintenance of the latrines so as to ensure that not only are the latrines well-kept, but also that hygienic practices are carried out regularly to avoid illness.
Most households have expressed satisfaction with the completed latrines. However, in the case of Sina, for example, she had reported that her roof had been leaking and that the door handle had been installed poorly. However, the project had faced a few challenges with the original builder. Fortunately, Mr. Bong Seng, Mrs. Hom Nean’s husband and fellow latrine recipient, agreed to help out and fix Sina’s leaking roof. To date, no major issues have arisen.
A post-evaluation of the pilot project including analysis of the post-construction data findings is scheduled to be undertaken upon the completion of the repayment and monitoring period. According to WISE Core team member Mr. Lim Sojiwin, a community meeting is also scheduled to take place in June of this year as a means to obtain feedback from the five recipients of the latrines as well as from the non-recipients in the village. Dr. Thye Yoke Pean, co-founder of WISE, added that feedback will include the possibility of implementing activities that would complement the latrine subsidy scheme, such as handwashing promotion.
The residents are looking forward to the expansion of the latrine subsidy project. It was observed that during the monitoring period, some residents had already approached members of the team and had asked when other latrines would be provided to the other houses in the village. “Moving on, we will expand the project to provide latrines for other households,” Mr. Sojiwin said.
The Phnom Village pilot subsidy scheme was enabled by the National Youth Council Singapore’s Singapore-ASEAN Youth Fund. If you would like to take part and make a donation towards WISE and NOD’s commitment to improve the sanitation and hygiene conditions of Phnom Village, please visit https://chuffed.org/project/phnom-pilot-subsidy.
Carla Cruz is a writer who was mobilised through UNV’s Online Volunteering Service.
✍️ Carla Cruz