By Karen Delfau
Kea Pheng is the Executive Director of RainWater Cambodia (RWC), local NGO established in 2004, working mainly in communities to ensure equitable access to water and sanitation services. They currently work in 15 provinces on 45 development, water & sanitation and climate change adaptation projects.
He has been working in the development sector for five years and has worked on rural development projects before working on water and sanitation projects. Kea has an MBA and a development studies degree from Switzerland.
In this interview with Karen Delfau, Pheng Kea talks about RainWater Cambodia, the projects they are presently working on including sanitation and climate change programs as well as CLTS, behaviour change communication, and the need for better sanitation in Cambodia.
Read the full interview, or listen below.
Introducing RainWater Cambodia
- RWC works collaboratively with other NGOs present in Cambodia like Engineers Without Borders ( EWB), and UNICEF Cambodia.
- RWC not only works just on rain water harvesting but has two other main parts to their interventions – Water & Sanitation Facility Designs Prototyping & Construction Management and WaSH, Behaviour Change Communication. They are also working on a feasibility study on access to water & sanitation.
- Kea talks about a sanitation project that RWC worked on for Global Sanitation Fund through PLAN International Cambodia that ran from 2012 -2016.
Implementing Sanitation Projects in Communities
- Kea says that their way of implementing a sanitation project in communities is through Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) and Behaviour Change Communication (BCC). These are complimented by sanitation marketing (SM) and hygiene promotion (HP). Listen to the interview to listen to Kea explain the CLTS process.
- Kea reveals that as part of their sanitation projects they do a lot of community engagement activities and support the local authority in project implementation.
- Kea talks about the National Development Program on Water & Sanitation and how they are engaging with local authorities to add it to the community development plan in the country.
- Kea mentions the Food for Education project that links to water & sanitation in terms of installing systems and training.
CLTS and Open Defecation Free Communities – the RWC Approach
- Kea talks about the importance of declaring a village open defecation free to inspire others to follow their example.
- He adds that it takes at least 6 to 8 months from step 1 to step 3 of CLTS process. Some villages also take 12-18 months.
- Kea also explains how sanitation marketing is incorporated into CLTS at the post triggering stage and how it is used to engage with communities.
- He also reveals that waste treatment is not done on a large scale in Cambodia and that RWC is working on a project that is still in the early stages.
- Kea gives an example of houses built for labourers next to his house without proper sewage facilities and the roads are often flooded with sewerage.
- Talking about subsidized and non-subsidized sanitation facilities, Kea says that it is mostly project and community based. Some communities that have been displaced do get subsidized sanitation facilities.
- Kea hopes that in the next 5-10 years RWC becomes rainwater harvesting experts in Cambodia. They also hope to continue their behaviour change communication, sanitation facilities designs for challenging environments, and waste management systems. They worked on decentralized wastewater treatment in schools that they will look at for future projects.
Kini, Malaysian for ‘current’, signifying the views of leading water practitioners in regards to current trends related to their respective areas of expertise, seeks to expand the dialogue about solving water problems more broadly throughout Australia and the Asia-Pacific. It is about providing opportunities for those who are unable to take part in the more concerted, ‘project’-style AWP activities, to connect with one another and share knowledge. Learn more and join the community here.