Cambodia leads the way on dealing with hygiene–The shame game! (Easy Latrine and the sales techniques)

easy toilet concrete form

Out here in the Philippines flooding seems to be getting worse and when you look at newspapers showing the aftermath its normally waste that’s clogging the waterways everything from plastic to human waste enters the water systems.

In Cambodia its reached a point where 4 in 5 people don’t have access to toilet use and literally go wherever they can which is creating a mountain of human waste around where people live. This causes the rise of disease which puts the costs on the families, the same people that will say they “cannot” afford a toilet. Truth is building these basic toilets not only saves lives its creating jobs and reducing peoples general cost of living by reducing illness. Like the Philippines the majority of the dying are children currently around 10,000 Cambodians every year and most deaths can be prevented.

Asian Development bank says around 7% of Cambodian GDP is lost due to poor sanitation. Going NGO (Non Government Organisation) which everyone who know’s me is a bad word in my house they found that giving away toilets they would come back a few months later to see the people taking a dump outside while the toilet is used for storage or an animal shelter. The truth is nothing given freely is appreciated and its the main problem that comes with trying to help others is that because it isn’t earned they don’t care.

What is happening now is enterprise has moved in and in a positive way. Presentations are given to villages where people give the numbers of estimated waste as well as a small map where people put where they go and it quickly shows with some dirt/sand that they are quite literally living in a mountain of human waste. The shaming has had a very positive affect where after the presentations people rush to place an order. The village mentioned by the BBC had 2 toilets for 40 houses previously but now the presentation was made this is obviously a trend that is changing rapidly.

The original “easy Latrine” comes in at around $30 for a villager which may seem a lot initially but as time goes on the local population see the costs reduce as sanitation improves so does people’s health. On top of that due to the success of the venture other copycat businesses have opened up using the technology. Big advantage with this sort of thing though is competition is good as its improving lives that are the main goal not profit and if a few local businesses earn along the way all the better for everyone as the changes will happen faster.

easy latrine