Rural Development Minister Ouk Rabun has claimed all rural people would have clean water and sanitation in just seven years.
“In 2025, all rural people will have sufficient clean water and sanitation and they will live in a good environment,” Mr Rabun said while presiding over his ministry’s annual conference in Phnom Penh on Wednesday.
He said the goal for century development was that 50 percent of rural people would have access to clean water and 30 percent would have access to toilets by 2015.
However, according to observation results of the Cambodian economy and society in 2015, 52.4 percent of rural people had access to a clean water supply and 53.7 percent had improved sanitation.
“To help the above vision, the Ministry of Rural Development has pushed and encouraged the private sector to help bring clean water and sanitation to rural areas,” said Mr Rabun.
Chreay Pom, director of the Rural Development Ministry’s department of rural healthcare, said that those numbers had increased further by 2017.
“In 2017, rural people had a clean water and sanitation supply of about 60 percent,” he said.
“We have a plan for 2025 and we will work hard to achieve it so all rural people will have access to clean water and sanitation.”
In November, Mr Pom said community-led sanitation had 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.
Earlier this month, the Cambodian government and the Asian Development Bank signed a cooperation financing agreement worth $180 million on Tonle Sap poverty reduction, a small holder development project, a road network improvement project and a provincial water supply and sanitation project.
The agreement was signed by Economy Minister Aun Pornmoniroth with Samiuela Tukuafu, the country director of ADB’s Cambodia Resident Mission.
The provincial water supply and sanitation project will receive about $119 million, of which the Japanese government granted about $10 million to enhance the water supply services and sanitation to people in urban areas and cities in Battambang, Kampong Cham, Preah Sihanouk and Siem Reap provinces.
This is part of the national strategy on the water supply and rural sanitation sector for 2014-2025.