A latrine is a utility, not a luxury.
In the Romeas Chhor village in Prey Veng, Cambodia, families farm for a living. Single mothers like Meng Retana, who juggles farming and caring for her four children, struggle to make ends meet. Her earnings are so meager that a latrine seemed like a luxury. Her family’s only toilet has always consisted of the bushes around their tiny home, or in secluded corners of the rice fields.
Through Australian government funding, Thrive Networks’ water and sanitation program is changing daily life for families like Meng’s. Using Output-Based Aid financing, Meng saw the immediate benefit of having part of her latrine construction costs reimbursed. Further, homes led by women, those with children under five, and residents with disabiities receive special assistance to make sure that sanitation at home is a reality.
With Thrive Network’s help, Meng invested 67.50 USD of her savings for a pour-flush latrine with an offset pit. She later received a 35 USD refund – over half of what she had originally spent.
East Meets West/Thrive Networks is energizing communities toward good health for better outcomes. Through critical collaborative efforts, Meng’s family is not only enjoying the comforts of a latrine without any financial burden, they are also now active participants in protecting their farmland and community from fecal contamination.