From Fish Farms to Filters: Clean water for Cambodia

Children with bananas, CambodiaJust a Drop has carried out two projects in Cambodia – one in 1999 to build 50 hand dug wells in nine villages and one in 2006 to help establish a family’s  fish farm. This year, we are starting a new project to provide clean water and sanitation training to Angkoul Village.

Background

Clean water for Cambodia_Just a DropWater and sanitation remain key development challenges in Cambodia. 88% of diarrhoea cases in the country are attributable to unsafe water, inadequate sanitation and insufficient hygiene training. In Angkoul Village the situation is dire – at least 60% of the population have no access to water, there are no filtration systems in place and the practice of open defecation is widespread The water sources currently used by the villagers are not safe, open and easily contaminated, untreated and also do not provide the levels of water that they need.

The project aims to provide safe, clean drinking water, suitable sanitation and appropriate training to allow for health, sanitation, behaviour and other fundamental improvements in Angkoul Village. On a less specific level the overall wellbeing of the community should be improved as they see their needs and requirements being addressed and their voice being heard, as well as taking measures to improve their own situations.

Angkoul Village

Clean water for Cambodia_Just a DropAngkoul Village is located in the District of Kralanh in Siem Reap Province, Cambodia. The village has a population of 945 people in 198 households. 10% of the population are under the age of five.

The majority of the population live on subsistence agriculture. This is a significant cause of severe poverty as the main crop is rice which can only be harvested once a year because of a lack of irrigation systems. Most of the people in this area will experience severe food shortages for four months of every year.

A particularly alarming statistic is that 50% of the children in Siem Reap are malnourished – this is in part due to water and sanitation related diseases and issues which this project aims to resolve.

The Project

Clean water for Cambodia_Just a DropJust a Drop will construct six wells and provide each household with a Bio Sand Filter (BSF) to filter the water they collect.

The BSF works through the sand removing pathogens and suspended solids from contaminated drinking water. The system has a filter capacity of up to 20litres of water per pour, pouring twice a day in the morning and the afternoon. They are also produced locally, easy to use and maintain and have a long life-span.

In addition, 68 households will be provided with latrines.

WASH training

The focus of WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) training for the village will be to ensure the following three behavioural changes that will have the greatest health impact:

  • Hand-washing with soap
  • Consistent and safe latrine use
  • Household water treatment and safe storage

Water Safety Plans will also be developed to ensure communities have the right knowledge and skills to use and treat their water safely.

Outcomes

Clean water for Cambodia_Just a DropThe project hopes to achieve the following outcomes, namely, a reduction in water, hygiene and sanitation related diseases by:

  • Villagers having access to 60 litres of safe drinking water per day
  • Improving access to safe drinking water by at least 50%
  • Every household having a latrine and using it
  • Reduction in work days lost, thus reducing poverty
  • Realisation of people’s right to live in a healthy environment
  • Improvement in attendance at schools by both girls and boys
  • Increased awareness about water, hygiene and sanitation issues and behavioural changes (particularly in hand-washing, water filtration, use of toilets)
  • Reduction in monies spent on health.

To find out more about our project work and how you could support it, please contact: brendan.hanlon@justadrop.org