The Ministry of Rural Development yesterday praised its work on providing nearly 50,000 communal toilets in rural areas.
According to a ministry report, officials provided a total of 41,989 private latrines, 56 public latrines, distributed toilet bowls in 1,600 locations and provided sinks to about 13,000 schools.
It also said 1,626 wells were dug, 2,768 were repaired and 374 community ponds were restored. It noted the rate of access to communal toilets is now 71.2 percent.
Rural Development Minister Ouk Rabun last year during an annual meeting said the ministry was aiming to “promote better living and sanitation for people in rural areas”.
Srin Pouthy, director of the ministry’s water supply department, said in order to reduce poverty and promote public health in rural areas, the government has set a target to improve access to better sanitation by 2025.
“People in 1,789 villages have stopped defecating in public,” Mr Pouthy said. “The villagers now understand how to build and use latrines at home.”
Better sanitation in rural areas is part of the ministry’s 2019-2023 strategic framework. The strategy includes promoting access to clean water and provide information on public health awareness.
The strategy also aims to teach rural residents on how to repair, construct and upgrade infrastructure. At the same time, the ministry is also aiming to create employment and a sense of entrepreneurship in order to solve economic woes.
The ministry plans to build a vocational training centre in every village in order to inspire rural residents to be active participants in the local business community.
Pich Sambo, director of Pailin province’s rural development department, said his department helped build 300 latrines for the poor, adding that it also helped promote sanitary living among residents.
“The department has achieved many things – people now understand a lot about using a latrine at home and in public,” Mr Sambo said. “They no longer defecate everywhere, which negatively affected public health.”