The iDE Sanitation Marketing Scale Up (SMSU) project operates in seven Cambodian provinces. It started with a pilot project in 2009 and scaling-up began in September 2011. So far total latrine sales including the pilot is 118,000.
The average latrine coverage in the seven provinces where the project is taking place inceased by 11% to 40% over the two years since scale up began. Coverage for the poor increased 6% overall. In Kandal province alone, 18% of project-linked sales went to poor households, nearly doubling poor coverage in that province from 15% to 29%.
The three-year SMSU project is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Stone Family Foundation, and technically supported by the Water and Sanitation Program (WSP) of the World Bank. The project is supported by the Ministry of Rural Development.
For every latrine sold through a small business trained by iDE, another latrine is sold through a non-connected business, creating a ripple effect. The average latrine sells for US$ 41.50.
Sanitation Updates asked iDE Cambodia’s WASH Innovation Manager Yi Wei to tell us more about project monitoring and how they plan to deal with faecal sludge management (FSM). Her answers are summarised below.
High use of latrines
The SMSU project tracks use and installation of latrines in annual surveys. Based on self-reporting, over 95% of households report consistent use of latrines by adults. iDE is exploring other more objective monitoring methods like observation by research assistants.
Overcoming delays in installation and use
Currently, installation definitely lags sales: in 2013, 58% of all latrines purchased were installed within 6 months. This is in line with iDE’s findings in the Pilot Project, where after 100 days (3 months), about 50% of all latrines that had been purchased up to that time had been installed. At 450 days (15 months) the rate rose to 95% with a continuing upward trend. Since the latrine cost is a significant cash outlay for a rural household, one can expect the vast majority are eventually installed and unlikely to be abandoned. This was confirmed in the most recent household survey, which found that only 0.15% of households had abandoned their latrines.
Even when latrines are installed, they are often not used immediately. Cambodian households prefer a concrete superstructure and will wait until they have all the materials and labour ready to install it before the latrine is used. iDE is currently working on a packaged shelter product to encourage faster installation.
iDE doesn’t track maintenance/cleanliness in surveys, but anecdotal evidence shows that the vast majority of latrines are well-maintained and quite clean. This indicates that households genuinely value their latrines.
While iDE’s projects initially focused only on enabling access to sanitation, they have now started to design a handwashing product.
iDE is currently working on a project funded by Grand Challenges Canada to explore using lime as a disinfectant of waste at the household level. Early technical results of the project are written up in a paper that will be presented at the WEDC Conference in Viet Nam.