iDE Cambodia hits 100,000 toilet sales in 2 years

ide Infographic

ide Infographic

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.

Yi Wei

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.

Waste management

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.





4 responses to “iDE Cambodia hits 100,000 toilet sales in 2 years

  1. Very interesting, all the aspects! With respect to the waste disinfection with lime – while look forward to hearing on the outcomes of the ongoing work; was wondering what would be the effect of lime on the normal composting process, particularly on the reduction of waste volume ..
    Thanks, Laxman

  2. There is currently an in-depth discussion about the issue of lime treatment and faecal sludge management from these latrines in Cambodia taking place here on the SuSanA Discussion Forum:

    Laxman, and others, please join us there.

  3. Pingback: Champions of the Toilet | The CSR Journal

  4. Pingback: Champions Of The Toilet | CSRLive

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