RLDO, which stands for Rural Lives Development Organization, envisions the Cambodia country where each and every household lives in a clean and pure environment, have access to good sanitation and hygiene, healthy food and water.
By 2012 the rate of rural households that do not use latrine in Cambodia is still high as much as more than 60%. Without a toilet, each household lives uncomfortably, outside bathing, and facing some other risks of open and free defecation. There are several NGOs working on health sector in Cambodia, some NGOs provide financially supports from donors to help build latrines for households poor level1 and 2, but not every poor household get financially supports from NGOs; a few NGOs work by supporting and collaborating with local business owners to sell under-ground latrines to general rural households. We see that all types of activities above are good but not sufficient.
There are thousand poor households and thousand under-ground latrines buyers who bought this type of latrine and haven’t built. Having seen these challenges and the difficulties of open defecation and to contribute to the policy of Royal Government of Cambodia to eradicate the free and open defecation by 2025 , RLDO has been operating its project without any financially and technical supports from donors or charities.
RLDO does the development works by using market based principles, focusing mainly on rural people who make the incomes more than the poor level 1 and 2 but less than the rich; those are poor and well-off people who cannot have access to the fully information regarding health and hygiene, and environmental risks. RLDO treats the promotions and encouragement of community people to be aware of health and hygiene risks are important, but not adequate. providing service from relevant entities and making something done for them by their own inputs are necessary and to ensure the sustainability of development, and to response to any immediate risks that may occur to their family. RLDO works in collaboration with micro finance to loan people with the low interest rate, and provides construction services to build the finished toilets for the community people.
There are several NGOs that work and focus on the poor level 1 and 2, and seems to forget the medium income generation households while they have enough capacity to build toilet by themselves when they understand and get enough information.
Within 2 years, RLDO built more than 2,000 modern toilets for the households in the rural areas of Takeo and Kampong Speu province.More than 10,000 people are direct beneficiaries, and around 50,200 people and authorities are aware and participated in the village general meetings and commune workshops on health and sanitation issues in their community.