King Srei Soryapor founded the new Khmer capital in what is now Odongk in 1601. Under the reign of King Angk Duong (1841-1850), canals, terraces and bridges were constructed and hundreds of pagodas erected in the region.
Nestled not so far from this former ancient capital is the village of Sdok Lpov, Khsem Khsant commune, Odongk district in Kampong Speu Province. On 13 March 2014, the local latrine supplier Mr Yum Yorm held a sales event in Sdok Lpov village. It was a lively affair with 24 people participating.
Mrs Im Leng lives in the village with her husband and two teenage children. Her husband has a casual laboring job at Golden Rice where he earns $4.5/day. When he has work, his job provides much-needed off-farm and non-seasonal income.
Mrs Leng tells of the time she and her family would go to defecate in the bush at the back of the house. Now there is no more bush. Mrs Leng says that finding places to defecate is now more difficult. “It’s about a 10 minute walk, and in total, including defecation, it’s about thirty minutes. Sometimes if I’m in a hurry I walk only five minutes”.
Recently, her husband decided to buy a latrine after he joined the sales event held in their village. “He discussed with me about purchasing the toilet. He told me the main reason we should get one is because it’s difficult to defecate without a toilet. We want to build a complete toilet that includes a concrete shelter”, she said. Her brother-in-law will construct the latrine for a small fee and he will finish in one week.
Mrs Leng and her husband decided to take a loan to make this purchase possible. The loan from VisionFund will be repaid over 18 months, with the family paying US$4.25 per month.
Mrs Leng further added that in the rainy season it is difficult to get to the bush as the rain causes local flooding. Mrs Leng exclaimed “my daughter will be very happy, because she doesn’t have to walk through the flooding rain water anymore”.
Seven other households purchased a latrine the same day. When installed the improved sanitation coverage in her village will increase from 54 percent to 62 percent, an increase of 8 percentage points.