Cambodia
Capital:
Phnom Penh
Population:
16 million
Area:
181,035
km2

More than 50 percent of people in Cambodia don’t have access to a decent toilet. While the country boasts large natural water resources, they are under increasing pressure due to climate change, industry and regional development.

Despite a growing tourism industry, Cambodia remains one of the poorest nations in Southeast Asia. And while average standards of living are rising, the benefits of progress are not enjoyed by everyone. Many people still live in extreme poverty, with no access to basic services like clean water and decent toilets.

What's more, the devastating legacy of the Khmer Rouge regime means there’s an entire lost generation of professionals, creating major shortages of skilled engineers, technicians and health professionals. Post-conflict graduates are now emerging and there is an excellent opportunity to support these young people to build skills and drive their country's development.

Change happens quickly in Cambodia. We’re tapping in to this momentum to fuel our work. We’re working together with NGOs and the government to deliver The Royal Government of Cambodia’s National Action Plan set to make sure every Cambodian has access to water, sanitation and hygiene by 2025. We’ve already helped develop innovative water, sanitation and hygiene solutions by working with local partners. From floating toilets to specially designed handwashing stations in hospitals, together we’re helping to change normal daily life for the better.

people don't have clean water.

That's 1 in 4 people.

 lack a decent toilet.

8 million people live without this basic essential.

 people living in cities have a decent toilet.

But only 2 in 5 people living in rural areas do.

Clean water, greener gardens

WaterAid/Tom Greenwood
"Now I can grow vegetables to cook and to sell at market. I did grow some vegetables before but they died because I could not give them enough water."
Krowh Phong, 75

In Prek Bei, around 900 people struggle to make a living from small-scale farming. Lack of water services and toilets has added greatly to local poverty.

Until recently, the only way to get regular water here was to order it by the bottle from a travelling truck. Quality was questionable, and prices were high. 

The water deliveries were also less than punctual. “Sometimes the truck didn't come for two days,” says Krowh Phong, 75.

The expense and difficulty of living this way put a limit on what people could achieve.

This changed dramatically when, together with our local partners DDSP – who focus on helping people with disabilities in Cambodia – we installed a community well.

Phong is delighted: “Now I have water, I can grow vegetables to cook and sell at market, like pumpkin and lemongrass and others.” 

Innovation in floating villages

For the 100,000 people who live on Tonlé Sap, the lake is their lifeblood. We helped to trial the Handypod, which filters toilet waste through a floating hyacinth garden before it goes back to the lake - keeping the water clean for other uses like cleaning and fishing.

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