Accelerating access to sanitation in challenging environments in Cambodia

Image: WaterAid/ Remissa Mak

Thousands of Cambodian families, including some of the poorest and most marginalised, live in challenging environments which make it complex and expensive to ensure they have sanitation services. Our new report analyses the approaches taken to improving access to sanitation in challenging areas in Cambodia, and provides valuable recommendations for those working in similar contexts.

WaterAid and the Sanitation Learning Hub brought representatives from Cambodia’s sanitation sector together to reflect on their experiences supporting equitable and sustainable sanitation for families in challenging environments – floating communities, flood-affected areas, areas with high groundwater or hard rocky ground and water-scarce environments.

This report provides an analysis of approaches and challenges, case studies and recommendations to accelerate sanitation coverage in these areas. Recommendations from Cambodia’s experience that may be relevant in other countries include:

  • Defining and regularly updating regulations and guiding principles to encourage consistent sector approaches for sanitation in challenging environments
  • Undertaking research and studies to fill the knowledge gap through mapping and data collection
  • Establishing and using technical working groups to develop more tailored sanitation approaches for challenging environments and reinforce concrete collaboration among key actors
  • Setting sector-wide priorities and implementation strategies to reinforce the urgency of working on challenging environments in order to achieve universal sanitation services and achieve role clarity
  • Fostering regular communication among key stakeholders and among national and sub-national level

Top image: Si Deu Rano, 30, and Sokha, 10, carry water home from a dirty water source in Sambour District, Kratie Province, Cambodia.