Cambodia: Singaporean group introduces “floating” toilets

In rural Cambodia, only 16 per cent of residents have a proper toilet — the lowest rate in Southeast Asia.

Floating house with outside toilet. Photo:

[…] On Cambodia’s great lake, Tonle Sap […] homes are floating platforms and must move seasonally, and outhouses are simply a wooden plank over the open water. People have no choice but to contaminate the very same water they use for drinking and washing.

[The “River of Life” project launched by Singaporean NGO Lien Aid and the Lien Institute For the Environment (LIFE)], aims to make a difference in this community of about 10,000 people [by] introducing the concept of “floating” toilets which are affordable, locally-made, and therefore sustainable.

“It is actually a simple system… We’re going to use locally available buckets where they can collect the faeces. We are going to use some locally available agent to dry the faeces, that is, using ashes and other local material,” said the CEO of Lien Aid, Sahari Ani.

One key to the project is that locals will have to source and build their own toilets, to ensure that all parts of the community are involved.

“The toilet that we introduce to the community — they are very happy to get that one and they try to find their own resources to contribute to the project,” said the director of the Department of Rural Health Care, Ministry of Rural Development, Chea Samnang.

Lien Aid was set up in 2006 to address the water and sanitation crisis in developing countries around Asia. A Singapore based non-governmental organisation, it was established as an independent entity through the Lien Foundation – Nanyang Technological University Environmental Endeavour.

Source: Anasuya Sanyal,, 13 Dec 2008 ; Lien Aid

One response to “Cambodia: Singaporean group introduces “floating” toilets

  1. Mr. Waled Mahmud

    I’m really impressed to see the “Floating Toilet” photographs and the concept. The design might also be useful in Bangladesh, especially in urban slums as a significant slum dwellers live besides different rivers, canals etc. However, we prefer low cost and use friendly technology. So, have to think about the cost first. Thanks for sharing information of such an useful innovative sanitation option.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s