Bio-digesters and Solar Water Pumping Systems for Climate Change Adaptation in the Mekong Flooded Forest

Climate change: its impacts on our environment, economy, and social welfare are unavoidable issues. Climate Change is a deservedly important topic and one that concerns the whole world. Specifically, it has a serious impact on people situated in rural areas who make a living relying on agriculture. This current projects aims to address this issue through climate change adaptation and mitigation. Climate change adaptation and mitigation is the method of preventing the emission of greenhouse gases through new technologies and renewable energy methods.

From November, it will be three months into a six and a half month project on a new water pumping system using solar panels. These solar panels have been implemented to power a water pump and in turn improve the livelihood of small-scale farmers. The project is run by CRDT and funded by the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) through the Thailand Environment Institute (TEI). The project has targeted 50 households with 225 people (120 being women) in Koh Chhba village. Within this village, five households have been selected to develop five demo organic-farms and participate in additional training in agricultural techniques.

The CRDT project team situated in the Sambour district have installed the water pumping system and solar panel to the beneficiaries at Koh Chhba village. The purpose of this installation was to deal with water shortages, using the solar panel to pump the water from the Mekong river. Additionally, bio-digesters have been installed. Bio-gas is a renewable fuel produced by the bio-digester when animal byproducts and water are mixed. It provides a simple and reliable energy source that is sustainable and therefore contributes to reducing the climate change effect. The core benefits of bio-gas are that it produces clean energy, prevents methane use, promotes sanitation, creates an excellent organic fertilizer, and has positive health implications. After the water pumping system and bio-digesters had been installed, the project team met with Mrs. Hong Limhin and asked for her comments about the project:

“I am delighted with this project. I will not be worried about water use in the dry season, because from now on, I will have enough water for agriculture, such as vegetable growing, fruits growing, and livestock to sustain daily. It differs from the past where many of my vegetables died due to the difficulty in removing the water from the Mekong River as a result of climate change. This project has helped me to produce bio-gas energy from animal waste as well as fertilizer (composts) for vegetable growing. We do not need to use chemical fertilizer, which has health benefits too. Bio-gas is a natural source of energy which can be used to cook and to produce organic fertilizer for vegetable growing.”

The five demo organic-farm families were united together when installing the water pumping system. They are also helping to continuously dig the land to make bio-digesters.

by Calum McGuicken
Project Volunteer, Sambour project sites

bio-digester under construction

bio-digester under construction

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