The Kingdom of Cambodia has a population of approximately 15 million people. Decades of conflict have left the country severely under-developed, but over the last 10 years it has seen robust economic growth and consequently, life expectancy and infant mortality rates have greatly improved. However, the GDP per capita remains low for the region and a third of the population continues to live below the international poverty line. This is compounded by the fact that, as a legacy of conflict and genocide in the 1970s, over half the population is under 25 years of age.
Four out of five Cambodians live in rural areas, most of which lack access to even basic infrastructure. Almost half of Cambodia’s rural population do not have access to safe drinking water and a staggering 82% do not have access to adequate sanitation facilities. In addition, freshwater sources, while abundant in the rainy season, are at risk from pollution and human and animal waste. Waterborne diseases pose a significant health threat to the population and account for the deaths of at least 3% of Cambodia’s children every year.
- In 2006, Just a Drop installed a fish farm which enabled a family of six to start building their own livelihood
- We undertook a major project in 1999 to build 50 new hand-dug ring wells in nine villages and develop community health education programmes to benefit over 16,000 people. The programme had a particular emphasis on the prevention and treatment of childhood and water-related illnesses.
The project also supported:
- The restoration of existing wells
- The promotion of safe sanitary practices, environmental management and hygiene
- A disaster response programme to educate the community on how to prepare for natural disasters such as floods
*Photo credit: Nick Chudeau