Bakan Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (BWASH) Project

21 August 2013 to 19 February 2017 *Bakan district, Pursat Province
* Primary beneficiaries: 2,000 poor households including a focus on 1,000 ID Poor 1 and 2 households
(at least 4,000 people)
* Secondary beneficiaries: 8,000 people
* Budget: TOTAL USD $570,348
Donor/s: MFAT, ADRA New Zealand, ADRA Norway

With a third of Cambodia’s population in some of form of poverty, the vast majority of people depend on agriculture for their primary livelihood. However, household well-being is severely affected by limited basic education, exorbitant health care costs, and uncertain food security. Worsening this situation is the high 72%1 rate of open defecation which costs the country over 400 million USD in losses annually2, despite studies describing a 200% rate of return upon a USD 1 investment3 .

Sanitation and safe drinking water are priorities for households, yet are generally perceived as being beyond their financial reach since the preferred choice of toilet is quoted at prices between $450 and $800 NZD. In addition, local water supply and sanitation suppliers need to improve their marketing and production skills while gaining access to the households that demand their services.

In response, ADRA’s Bakan Water, Sanitation and Hygiene project works to improve public health, wellbeing, and economic security for community households in the Bakan District of Pursat Province. It contributes to improved drinking water quality, increased safe sanitation and hygiene practices, and increased utilisation of disaster risk reduction principles and plans in managing water and sanitation. The Project works in 30 villages across three communes in Bakan District of Pursat Province: Boeung Bat Kandaol, Khnar Toteung and Rumlech.

The Bakan Water, Sanitation and Hygiene project mobilises local community members who take part in a Community Hygiene Promotion Programme. This programme works with gender segregated support groups to analyse their own finances and other resources and identify their preferred water supply and sanitation solutions. After analysing, they make plans to achieve these solutions. This programme includes Disaster Risk Reduction analysis and planning so that all installations are designed to reduce the effects of any natural hazards, such as flooding, that may affect the target area. Households are assessed for their level of poverty and if they meet are included in the Royal Government of Cambodia’s system as ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’, a range of support is offered. All structures are built to a quality that ensures sustainability of the facility long after the project’s phase-out.


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1UNICEF 2012 Joint Monitoring Program Estimates
2World Bank, WSP – Economic Impacts of Sanitation in Cambodia, 2008
3World Bank, WSP – Economic Returns of Sanitation Interventions in Cambodia, 2011
4Using REFLECT (Regenerated Freirean Literacy through Empowering Community Techniques)