Water is essential for life, for cooking, washing and bathing. But water is also essential for subsistence farmers, for irrigation and agricultural use.
Most rural Cambodian households collect their daily water needs from rivers or streams – this not only takes up valuable time (mainly women’s) but it also means that the water sources are often polluted, and that collecting water for agricultural purposes is not possible so fields are left unirrigated.
The construction of water supply systems, open wells, and rainwater collectors provide communal access to cleaner drinking water. Community ponds, canals, reservoirs, river hand pumps and solar powered water pumping system provide irrigation for home-gardens and rice fields. Toilet construction aids hygiene and health of both the villagers and the environment. Children and women are the ones who benefit the most from water supply systems and the ponds as they no longer have to carry water to their houses from the far places.
We support families to build their own rainwater collectors next to their homes, which is a relatively clean, free and close source of water to be used for household consumption. We also support agricultural beneficiaries to set up small irrigation aids such as river hand pumps, which brings river water closer to the fields and enables farmers to grow off-season vegetables and sell them at profit.
Open wells are constructed by the villagers themselves and fitted with platforms and hand pumps to provide communal access to cleaner drinking water. The construction of these wells has many benefits compared to deep drilled wells, in that they are relatively easy to construct, do not collect arsenic, and can be easily repaired by the community. Coupled with hygiene and sanitation training and education, these wells improve human health and provide water for vegetable gardens and livestock.