Sanitation workers are critical to keeping vital sanitation services going. Yet they work in a confined space, a dirty and smelly environment. They do not have enough knowledge on how to protect themselves from hazardous substances that can harm their lives. They are key workers who shall be treated with respect, recognition, appreciation and support from local government and citizens. This is the foundation to stop stigmatization and enable safe and dignified working conditions for all sanitation workers.

With the support of Who Gives A Crap, our client WaterAid Cambodia and the sewage system team of the Provincial Department of Public Works and Transport in Battambang, we helped sanitation workers to build their capacity to tell their own stories through photography, videography and art. We collaborated with our mother NGO Phare Ponleu Selpak to offer sanitation workers a painting workshop, an exhibition and made short movies to document the whole process and the challenges of sanitation work.

On 24th March, 2022, the photos, paintings and videos that were made were exhibited at Phare Ponleu Selpak in Battambang to raise public awareness and strengthen collaboration on sewage care and hygiene. The sanitation workers who participated in the project also expressed their need for better social services and recognition from the authorities and the community.

Watch them commenting on their paintings HERE.