World Toilet Day: Growing momentum for sanitation in Cambodia

Cambodia has been badly affected by people going to the toilet out in the open.

A lack of toilets in rural areas has been causing significant harm to the development of children. It is estimated that a third of under-five-year-olds suffer from stunted growth.

However, Cambodia is one of the most successful countries in getting people to install and use toilets – due to a market-based approach by a number of non-governmental organisations (NGOs). Villagers now pay local businesses to install their toilets, which has proven to be more successful than previous programmes, when NGOs would go to a village and give toilets away for free.

Instead of being offered a donated toilet, the strategy has been to create a sense of ownership. In addition, there is an aspirational aspect to the approach. If one's neighbour has a toilet, it carries some prestige, especially if a family can offer guests a sanitary place to relieve themselves. The pride factor is a key element, sanitation experts say.

Al Jazeera's Rob McBride reports from Kampong Speu province, Cambodia.

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