Water-borne diseases are the greatest threat to human health in Siem Reap province. According to the United Nations, lack of access to clean drinking water and sanitation, along with the absence of good hygiene practices, are among the underlying causes of poor nutrition. In Cambodia, a country of fifteen million people, there are more than nine million cases of diarrheal disease annually. This costs Cambodia an estimated $448 million a year.
One of the best ways to improve sanitation and hygiene in poor rural villages is to build latrines. Trailblazer works with our partner villages to build new latrines each year. We provide the basic set-up for new latrines (septic tanks, porcelain toilet and a concrete latrine floor), and trains the villagers on the proper use and care of their latrine. In 2018, Trailblazer will construct 100 latrines, directly benefiting 500 people (one latrine per family, and a provincial average of 5 people).
Clean water and latrines tie Trailblazer Foundation directly into a worldwide health strategy known as WASH. WASH stands for "Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene," WASH programs are widely considered to hold great potential for improving health, life expectancy, student learning, gender equality, and other key benefits in developing countries. For Trailblazer, WASH is a complementary framework to our focus on using water projects to advance sustainable community development as a whole.