The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 611
“An announcement about a clean water and sanitation program of the World Bank yesterday read, ‘In Cambodia, less than one person among four, that is actually 22% of the total population, is satisfied to have a toilet built at their home – among them about 16% are in rural areas and about 56% are in more densely populated areas. That means that nearly three fourth, that is 70% of the Cambodian population (more than 10 million), still do not discharge feces in toilets.
“According to a study of the World Bank, it is assessed that the economic loss derived from a lack of sanitation in Cambodia is about US$450 million per year, which is around 7% of the GDP in 2005. That means that on average, each person loses approximately US$30 because of a lack of sanitation.
“It went on to say that the economic loss from the impact on health, resulting from the lack of sanitation, is approximately US$190 million of the total loss. The loss caused by dirty water is approximately US$150 million. The loss in the area of tourism is approximately US$75 million. And the loss because of the waste of time resulting from a lack of sanitation is approximately US$40 million.
“The announcement added that many diseases result from infection through human feces and low sanitation, which result in diarrhea, insects in the intestine, and eye and skin diseases. The infection for some diseases are transmitted through dirty hands, flies, contaminated water, and food. Many diseases occur among undernourished children. About 30% of Cambodian children are malnourished, and this reduces the possibilities for their normal daily activities.
“Per year, there are at least ten million cases of disease caused by a lack of sanitation in Cambodia, leading to about 10,000 deaths. Children under the age of 5 suffer on average at least four cases of diarrhea each year, from water for domestic use that is not clean.
“Diseases lead to many expenses, especially when parents do not seek proper treatment from doctors or buy medicines prepared by unqualified sellers of medicine.
“The poor lack money, or even have to borrow money from other people, to cover the expenses for treatments. Also, diseases make children to be away from normal everyday activities and from school. The wasted expenses related to health care caused by a lack of sanitation amount to approximately US$20 million. Cambodia has achieved a reduction of the death rate of children in recent years, but the rate is still the highest in Asia. Deaths at an early age because of a lack of sanitation cause families great loss, and about 10,000 people die before a normal age, leading to a loss of income of about US170 million per year.”Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #177, 6.5.2009