Sann is a 44 year old farmer who lives with his wife Im. They have six children and live in Samnak Cheung Village in Baray Commune, Prey Chlor district.
Samnak Cheung has a population of 563. There are 117 households who share 12 toilets. There are six wells and seven hand pumped wells. 56% of the population is categorised as "poor" and 90% of the working population are farmers.
Sann's family is very poor and he often finds that he does not have enough rice to eat for the entire year, so he plants vegetables and finds extra work.
When we met Sann in 2012 he said that his family had often suffered from diarrhea, stomach ache and fever but had always been careless about their daily hygiene and sanitation.
They had never thought about whether the water they were using for drinking, cooking, bathing and washing dishes or clothes was clean or not, and they had never washed their hands before eating or after defecating.
Each time a family member became sick he needed to spend around 300,000 Riels (US$75) to 400,000 Riels (US$100) for both medical treatment and travel and he was unable to attend healthcare meetings or training as he was too busy providing for his family.
Sann told us that it was only when he participated in the training in March 2012 on hygiene promotion undertaken by NAS that he understood that he needed to make some changes. The training covered using a toilet, keeping the yard clean, and washing hands before eating or handling food and after defecating. After the training he decided to build a toilet with some help from other villagers, but he could only afford only 185,000 Riels (US$46), so his brother donated him some material and he borrowed another 58,000 Riels (US$9.5) from his relative to set up a proper toilet for his household.
Sann and his family are now so happy to have a toilet to use in the family. They no longer need to go into the woods during the daytime or to their yard at night and this makes the place much more hygienic.
Following the Community-Led Total Sanitation event run by NAS and sponsored by Plan International, 70% of the villagers said that they were much more aware of the importance of good hygiene and sanitation, keeping food safe, drinking safe water, and cleaning vegetables. Three additional households have committed to build their own toilet and others have changed their hygeine behaviours.
Sann told us that he represented the villagers in giving his thanks to NAS and Plan International for choosing Samnak Cheung as a target village. It has become a healthier and happier place. He said he would continue to promote the change in behaviours to others in the community and persuade those families who have not yet been able to afford a toilet to find a way to build one.