The Ratanakkiri Provincial Administration expresses its commitment to promote rural development through comprehensive enhancement of the clean water and sanitation sector throughout the province, noting that over 70 per cent of residents now have access to clean water.

At an April 4 press conference on the provincial administration’s achievements of the past five years, governor Nhem Sam Oeun said its priority is to reduce poverty and improve the wellbeing of the people.

“So far, in relation to rural development, access to clean water has now hit 71.76 per cent, an increase of 14.16 per cent since 2018. Rural sanitation rates across the province reached 60 per cent, a 21 per cent jump. And 51.86 per cent of people have toilets in their homes,” he said.

Sam Oeun added that his administration is focusing on rural development, in line with the government’s vision of all people in rural communities having access to a clean water supply and adequate sanitation by 2025.

“To this end, we are trying to attract investment in the water sector while increasing public awareness of sanitation. We are also working to improve other infrastructure in rural areas to promote development,” he said.

Eam Oeun, director of the provincial Department of Rural Development, said officials have created action plans at the provincial level on clean water and sanitation.

“We are encouraging people to understand the importance of good hygiene practices, including the use of clean drinking water and keeping their homes clean,” he said.

“We are building relationships with relevant state institutions, philanthropists, investors and development partners so we can improve development across the province,” he added.

According to the provincial administration, 55 villages, seven communes and one district have earned open defecation free (ODF) status.