December 4, 2015

Can you imagine having to walk miles to relieve yourself every time you need the toilet? Fortunately, many of us do not have the need to even think about something like that; unfortunately though, large numbers of people in Cambodia continue to face this challenge every single day.

More than 7 million people do not have access to proper sanitation in Cambodia. According to the Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) report of 2015, 60% of people in rural Cambodia still practice open defecation – the highest rate in East Asia and the Pacific.

You can help change this by supporting our Changing Lives with Clean and Safe Toilets’ Fundraiser.

Cambodia’s turbulent past under the Khmer Rouge has left the nation grappling to provide for the most basic needs of its people. Many rural households lack basic sanitation facilities and awareness of good hygiene practices is severely limited. There is often no toilet or any soap for handwashing at home or in schools.

Children are more likely than adults to touch unclean surfaces and are particularly vulnerable to unhealthy environments. Poor sanitation and hygiene leads to the transmission of numerous water-bourne diseases including diarrhoea, dysentery, typhoid, cholera, and hepatitis A. Having the lowest sanitation coverage and second lowest water supply in the region, Cambodia continues to lose over 1,000 children each year to these diseases.

But this can change.

Since 2009, the World Toilet Organization (WTO) has slowly introduced and gradually expanded its SaniShop social enterprise model to address the lack of improved sanitation in rural areas of Cambodia.

What is SaniShop?
SaniShop is a model that has a participatory approach, focusing not just on rural households as potential customers, but also simultaneously engaging them as part of the solution. The model thrives on entrepreneurship – focusing on the people who have the drive, energy, motivation, local connections and understanding to change perceptions and behaviours around sanitation, thereby facilitating demand creation.

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This market-based approach helps local entrepreneurs set up simple open-air factories casting cement components that assemble into full toilets, which are then sold at very affordable prices to the local community.

In addition, SaniShop improves the livelihood of these people through job creation by creating a workforce through the hiring of local masons, production, sales manager and agents. The products are made using materials that are locally available. This thus plays a key role in keeping the money within the local economy.

Since its inception in 2009, SaniShop has sold over 12,000 toilets and trained over 550 sales entrepreneurs in Asia. In 2013, the SaniShop model was revamped with a particular focus on the province of Kampong Chhnang, with great success.

You can help to ensure the continued success of SaniShop by supporting our fundraising campaign.

SaniShop Siem Reap
SaniShop is now on the verge of starting in Siem Reap, Cambodia. In order to get the program going in Siem Reap, WTO has launched an online fundraising campaign. Your support will fund early stages of implementation, production and training costs of the project. Every small donation would go a long way in materialising the accessibility to safe and clean toilet facilities for people in Siem Reap.

The situation is urgent. We have to raise at least S$38,000 by 15th of January 2016. And this target will not be feasible without your support.

You can be a part of this movement, you can be a part of actual change. This is your chance to invest in improved sanitation for Cambodia and help WTO improve lives of the millions of people who still face the indignity of defecating in the open.

You can help by pledging a small amount to have a huge impact.

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