213982 Cambodia: Successful and Cost-effective Rural School Water and Sanitation Program

Tuesday, November 9, 2010 : 12:30 PM - 12:50 PM

Syvibola Oun , Water and Sanitation, Plan International, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Luis Tam, MD DrPH , Plan USA, Arlington, VA
BACKGROUND. Currently, 34.8 percent of primary and secondary schools in rural Cambodia do not have water and 22.4 percent do not have latrines. Few schools have hand washing facilities and the existing latrines are either not functioning or not properly used. Apart from an increased burden of diarrheal and skin diseases, this situation especially contributes to the high drop out rate of girls when their menstruation begins (as schools lack sanitation facilities to ensure privacy). THE PROJECT. Since 2004, Plan International, a child-centered humanitarian organization, has improved water and sanitation services in 88 rural primary and secondary schools in the provinces of Kampong Cham and Siem Reap, benefiting 26,400 students (including 13,728 girls). Clean water was provided through ceramic water filters, two filters per classroom. Separate toilet facilities were built for boys and girls, both accessible for disabled students. Plan Cambodia also trained students, teachers and a community committee on the operation and maintenance of these facilities. RESULTS. 1,877 ceramic water filters were distributed and latrines were built in the 88 participating schools. Teachers and Plan Cambodia staff have reported less absenteeism and less sickness among students. Latrine construction costs are $2400/school and water supply costs are $1700/school, plus costs of the training and education activities. The total cost for 88 schools was $420,864. CONSEQUENCES. Students were less sick and less absent from school due to improved water and sanitation facilities. The government of Cambodia is analyzing the methods and results of this project for potential scale-up in the country.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Environmental health sciences
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Protection of the public in relation to communicable diseases including prevention or control

Learning Objectives:
Discuss the opportunities and challenges of developing water and sanitation services at rural schools in developing countries.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I directed the project described in the abstract
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.