Water for Health and Sanitation Promotion among Indigenous Communities
Friday 18 of June 2016 was the grand opening day of Water for Health and Sanitation Promotion among Indigenous Communities project in Pu Cha village, Sre Preah commune, Seima district (Protection Forest Area) in Mondulkiri province.
This project was developed by Cambodian Rural Development Team (CRDT) with funding support from AusAid who saw the need for water access in the remote area total where 80% of the population live in remote villages. Also there were 47% that could have access to drinking water and 31% access to sanitation. CRDT chose Pu Char village as its first pilot project as they saw the difficulties of people of the village most of whom are poor. Their main income sources are from rice cultivation, collecting non-timber products like honey, bamboo shoot, rattan, crop farming in plantation, and livestock raising. In the past, the villagers spent approximately 2 hours per day collecting water from the stream, 200m to 1000m away from their houses. It caused hardship, was time consuming and cost money.
According to Kloud Keov, a commune consults at Pu Cha village, “water is important for my daily life. Before CRDT installed the clean water system, I faced many issues. I sometimes went to the stream to collect water like other villagers. I had to carry water from 200m away from home. I spent, on average, about 14 hours a week collecting water for bathing, cooking and drinking. Once in a while I borrowed a neighbor’s moto to carry water but I had to pay for gas. It was a lot of hard work for me. My family got sickness such as diarrhea and borne diseases. In the meantime, I had to go to the forest to farm, and come home to carry water for household use. Since CRDT provided the clean water system at the back of my family’s house I don’t spend much time carrying water, so, I can use the 14 hours a week that I spent carrying water from the stream to farm and raise livestock. Additionally, I don’t have to worry about coming home without water. I am so happy that I am one of the beneficiaries in the village.”
CRDT decided to use a solar pump water system as this technology is environmently friendly. Moreover, it is a reliable energy system even in a rural area and it is easy to maintain with low cost. There are two solar system panels to supply 24m3 for 70 beneficiaries are the best choices for the community. CRDT not only provided the clean water system, but also, provided 35 toilets, 15 rainwater collectors, and 20 water filters for beneficiaries to experience the change.
The introduction of the clean water project by CRDT is a sustainable way for rural people to have access to clean water. The reason CRDT introduced this solar panel water pump project is because it has successfully implemented clean water projects in two villages in Stung Treng and Kratie.
On the remarkable day of the official grand opening which was witnessed by all related sectors. The villagers especially expressed their grateful thanks to the donor (AusAid) for providing funding to implement the project in their village.