iDE Cambodia has facilitated the sale of 100,000 Easy Latrines in two years through sanitation marketing, reaching an estimated 470,000 people, according to a June 14 press release.
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 marketing in Cambodia. Photo: WaterSHED
At the current rate of 1.3% increase in latrine coverage per year it will take Cambodia 60 years to become Open Defecation Free (ODF). Using market-based approaches, the WaterSHED programme has manged to achieve a 7% annual increase in coverage in the districts where it is active, according to IRIN.
WaterSHED has helped to bring down the price of toilets from between US$ 250 and US$ 400 to a much more affordable US$ 45. This has resulted in the sale of 75,000 toilets in 59 of Cambodia’s 171 districts over the past four years.
Rath Chan Thin, a toilet salesperson in Kompong Chhnang province said in the past she would sell no more than 25 toilets a year.
“Now people buy the toilets. In the last year, I have sold 650 toilets,” she said, pointing to her dip in price and community sales events that bring suppliers and local residents together for toilet product demonstrations.
WaterSHED regional program manager Geoff Revell says that fair prices and access to credit in combination with targeted subsidies for the very poor, is the way forward to scale-up toilet construction.
But what happens when the toilet pits are full? The WaterSHED programme does not appear to deal the full sanitation chain. Developing market-based approaches for faecal sludge management services in Cambodia and Viet Nam, where WaterSHED is also active, would seem a logical next step.
Source: Market solutions to Cambodia’s toilet troubles, IRIN, 5 Jun 2014
Microfinance boosts latrine purchases in rural Cambodia | Source: WaterSHED, Sept 27, 2013 |
An innovative way to integrate micro-finance and sanitation marketing is resulting in a truly Hands-Off success story and helping to scale up access to safe toilets by the rural poor.
Many proponents of market-based sanitation programs around the world are keen to explore financing as a way to make toilets more accessible to the rural poor. The most repeated complaint by rural villagers when discussing toilet adoption in Cambodia, like elsewhere, is aut louy or “no money”.
Cost is also one of the major roadblocks in offering sanitation financing: loan assessment, disbursement, and payment collections are expensive activities. Because loans for toilets are relatively small, the interest (even at high rates) is not likely to offset the operating costs of the micro-finance institution (MFI). Furthermore, MFIs typically prefer to offer ‘productive’ loans as a opposed to ‘consumptive’ ones because of their lower risk of delinquency or default (a loan to buy a sewing machine for a small business that will generate revenue to make payments as opposed to a loan to repair the roof of a house). Loans to purchase toilets and water filters are considered consumptive.
Cash Rewards Spur Poor Communities to Pay for Sanitation Projects | Source: by Nicole Wallace, Philanthropy.com – Sept 11, 2012
An international aid charity is taking an unorthodox approach to helping people in Cambodia and Vietnam improve sanitation and hygiene: It asks beneficiaries to help pay for the construction of latrines and hand-washing stations, but then gives them cash rewards when they get results. The effort will now spread, thanks to a $10.9-million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Children try out a new hand-washing station. (Photograph by East Meets West Foundation)
The East Meets West Foundation, in Oakland, Calif., works with local groups to provide hygiene education, train masons to build high-quality latrines, and broker low-cost loans that families can use to install latrines and hand-washing devices. Families receive a $10 rebate to help offset construction costs after an independent group has verified that the latrine is in place.
Communities also get incentives: They receive cash awards to be put toward public-works projects, such as roads and sanitation facilities in schools, when the percentage of households that have latrines and hand-washing devices hits 30 percent, and the communities receive more money when those rates reach 95 percent.
Live & Learn Environmental Education Receives Grand Challenges Explorations Funding
- Contact: Rob Hughes, Project Manager & Lead Engineer, Live & Learn Environmental Education Cambodia, and Volunteer with Engineers Without Borders Australia, E: firstname.lastname@example.org
November 17, 2011, Phnom Penh – Live & Learn Environmental Education announced that it will receive funding through Grand Challenges Explorations, an initiative created by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation that enables researchers worldwide to test unorthodox ideas that address persistent health and development challenges. Rob Hughes and colleagues, together with the Ministry of Rural Development, will pursue an innovative global health research project, titled “Energy Recovery & Waste Treatment with Floating Biodigesters”.
Grand Challenges Explorations funds scientists and researchers worldwide to explore ideas that can break the mold in how we solve persistent global health and development challenges. Mr Hughes’s project is one of 110 Grand Challenges Explorations grants.
WaterSHED’s sanitation marketing program takes a “Hands-Off” approach to sanitation marketing. Pioneered in Cambodia, the Hands-Off approach recognizes that with creative social marketing, targeted support to local enterprises and the brokering of effective public-private partnerships, sanitation markets can grow without on-going external intervention. The Hands-Off program plays the role of catalyzing facilitator, using in-depth research into demand and supply to inform simple but effective strategies aimed at linking consumers to suppliers, and then staying out of their way.
WaterSHED is a Global Development Alliance led by the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health and supported by USAID’s Regional Development Mission-Asia (RDMA).
WaterSHED, which stands for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Enterprise Development, is a public-private partnership designed to bring effective, affordable water and sanitation products to market in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam.