Looking to promote positive social and environmental change, French bathroom fixture company SFA worked with World Toilet Organization to address an issue close to their heart — improving access to sanitation in the developing world.
The project has brought sustainable sanitation to some of the poorest people of Prey Kaoh village in Kampong Chhnang province, Cambodia. The project was implemented by SaniShop Cambodia, World Toilet Organization’s sanitation social enterprise based in Kampong Chhnang.
The SaniShop team built and installed 18 toilets, and educated the beneficiaries on how to use and maintain their toilets properly over the course of two months. The sustainable sanitation project was a collective effort from start to finish, with the team working hand-in-hand with the local community to improve sanitation coverage in Prey Kaoh. The village chief was actively engaged in the selection and education of beneficiaries, while the beneficiaries co-contributed through a small installation fee and providing time and labour to dig the pits for their latrines.
The community’s personal stake in the project ensured that that they would use their toilets the right way and keep them well-maintained for years to come, enhancing the sustainability of the sanitation solution. Armed with the knowledge of how to properly look after their toilets, the families were able to reap the full benefits of receiving a toilet and were excited to share their new knowledge on sanitation with their neighbours.
In order to maximise our impact, we selected households that were designated as ‘Poor Level 1’ or ‘Poor Level 2’ under the Cambodian government’s Identification of Poor Households (ID Poor) Programme to be the immediate beneficiaries. This meant that the toilets would be built specifically for families who would typically have been unable to afford one, making a powerful difference in their lives.
The project was completed in April 2015, with 18 families gaining access to a clean, safe toilet. These families now no longer need to defecate in the open, reducing the risk of disease and death due to inadequate sanitation. They also enjoy greater dignity, safety and privacy.
In the project’s aftermath, the toilet has evolved into an aspirational product of priority for the entire local community. Neighbours who did not receive a toilet have since expressed a desire for toilets in their own homes after witnessing the beneficiaries using their toilets. The project has not only been successful in reaching its direct beneficiaries, but has further empowered the wider community to take responsibility for their personal health and hygiene by investing in sanitation and purchasing toilets for themselves.