Target: Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen
Goal: Denounce the building of a $40,000 outdoor toilet for a visiting dignitary in one of the poorest regions of Cambodia.
A luxury toilet has been constructed on the banks of a lake in Cambodia for a visiting Thai princess that will be demolished the day after she leaves. The outdoor toilet cost at least $40,000 and has been built in one of the poorest regions of the country.
Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn will visit Cambodia for three days, one of which will be spent visiting Lake Yeak Laom in the Ratanakkiri province. The toilet will be reserved exclusively for her use, and when she has left the area it will be disassembled. Local officials conservatively estimate the cost of the 8-metre square building at $40,000, considering the labor and materials involved. It took Thai construction company SCG 19 days to build.
The director of the Cambodian Rural Development Team said that the bathroom cost roughly 130 times the price of a standard public toilet. He suggested the money would have been better spent on a cheaper toilet and then the rest given to the local communities. In fact, for the price of the luxury toilet that will be used only once, whole Cambodian villages could have been provided proper sanitation.
This is an extravagant and gross misuse of funds in order to satisfy the whims of a visiting dignitary, and is an insult to the people struggling financially in the region and across Cambodia. Denounce this flagrant overspending by the Cambodian government.
Dear Prime Minister Sen,
The recent construction of a luxury toilet on the banks of Lake Yeak Laom is an outrage. Cost estimates for the building of this white-tiled outhouse in Ratanakkiri are upwards of $40,000, and it will only be used once by the visiting Thai princess, Maha Chakri Sirindhorn. This is a slap in the face to the people of the Ratanakkiri province and the Cambodian people who struggle to make ends meet every day.
With the money that was spent on this single use toilet, sanitation could have been provided for entire villages, and communities could have been much improved. The fact that Princess Sirindhorn is royalty should not mean that Cambodians should throw their money down the drain, so to speak.
This extravagance is cause for embarrassment and an insult to Cambodian people who live in poor conditions. Shame on the people who allowed this waste of money to occur.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Ethan Crowley