Siem Reap province’s Banteay Srei district is now the third district of the province to be declared open defecation free (ODF), with 100 per cent of the community able to access toilets, while Angkor Thom district will be declared ODF soon.
The Banteay Srei district administration held a March 21 ceremony to declare the district ODF in collaboration with the provincial department of rural development. The event was attended by nearly 250 people, including representatives from the provincial administration, partner organisations and local authorities from the six communes of the district.
The district administration said that the district was the third of Siem Reap’s 12 district-level regions (including Siem Reap town) to be formally declared ODF after Angkor Chum and Srei Snam districts.
Touch Mala, director of the provincial Department of Rural Development, said that in addition to these three districts, people in Siem Reap town and Prasat Bakong district had achieved 85.1 per cent and 97 per cent access to toilets respectively.
“As of December 2022, Siem Reap had achieved over 80 per cent ODF status. Siem Reap town consists of a total of 248,490 households of which 36,118 do not yet have toilets,” he said.
Yi Kim Than, Plan International Cambodia’s (PIC) deputy country director for programmes, said that the status was reached after relevant sides cooperated to increase people’s understanding of the importance of using toilets while work crews constructed toilets for poor families in the district.
“Banteay Srei district is the third district to reach ODF status – one of the four districts under the plan of PIC. The fourth district will be Angkor Thom district, which will achieve ODF status next year,” he said.
Than said that the organisation has set the goal of making the entire province ODF in 2024. They are now in talks to speed up the work in the province, although some districts near the Tonle Sap Lake are experiencing challenges like flooding.