A National level Training of Trainers (ToT) entitled ‘Sharing and Learning Community Led Total Sanitation’ was organized by SNV, Cambodia and CLTS Foundation in the Pursat province from the 5th to 9th February 2018. This workshop saw the participation of over 70 trainers from both the Government and Non-Governmental agencies and it focussed on increasing the capacity of the Master Trainers and facilitators from the major institutions to strengthen, institutionalize and scale up CLTS initiatives nation-wide. The participants underwent intensive training both in the classroom and on field to sharpen their knowledge, skills and understanding to be able to fast track the access to sanitation across Cambodia. One of the most important achievements of this ToT was that the Deputy Governor of Pursat Province could be triggered during the workshop who made public commitment to extend all kinds of support to make it the first ODF province in the country.
Following the successful training in Pursat, a meeting with the Minister of Rural Development was held on the 12th of February. The meeting also witnessed the presence of Mr. Chreay Pom ( Director of Department of Rural Health Care of MRD), Sam Treglown (UNICEF WASH Chief of Cambodia), Andrew Hill (Deputy Country Director of Plan Cambodia), James Dumpert (Representative from WaterAid) and Ms. Sophornn Khaim (Representative from SNV Cambodia). The meeting was very encouraging and the Minister stated that making Cambodia ODF is one of the major agendas of the Ministry. During the meeting, Dr. Kar insisted that it is crucial to mobilize resources in taking up few provinces and making sincere efforts to make them ODF, thereby setting an example for the other provinces and officials to follow, paving the way towards an ODF Cambodia. It is important to focus on sanitation and shift from the traditional idea of toilet construction towards behaviour change which will lead to fast tracking access to sanitation. It was very reassuring to note that sanitation is a major national priority of H.E. Dr. Ouk Rabun, the Minister of Rural Development and H.E. Dr. Him Chhay Ly, Deputy Prime Minister. It is important to further strengthen and empower the Provincial Governor and District Governors to enable them to independently spearhead initiatives to make their respective provinces ODF. It is important for the larger units to be taken into consideration, as simultaneous movement of districts will create a rippling effect and the areas will perform better than if they are sporadically chosen and worked on. The Minister agreed that this strategy of considering the province as a unit and moving in both directions will be in tandem with the National Sanitation Campaign.
Participants at the meeting agreed that this strategy to scale up the unit for eradication of OD. Triggering at the sub national level will enable the Provincial Governor and District Governors to lead, support and develop ODF Provinces. This will also allow innovations and involvement of actors in a cross cutting manner. Therefore, an action plan involving all the different stakeholders across all the levels should be developed. Another important insight which emerged from the meeting was the overlapping of different development partners and how the resources and ways of all can be utilized in an optimal manner, rather than providing more to some areas while others receive less attention.
The meeting ended with closing remarks by H.E. Ouk Rabun who said that all the partners and the Ministry should combine their efforts and work towards educating and building capacity through a roadmap involving larger geographical units which will be the way towards making the country ODF.