How SC is helping Cambodia get access to clean water

One of our highest priorities is to give access to clean water to families living in rural Cambodia because access to a steady source of clean water is a main priority for developing the communities. In many places around the country water is scarce, even more during the dry season. That means that people have to walk many kilometres in order to get some buckets filled with water. This is keeping kids out of school and men and women away from the possibility of earning some money to support their family. But the problem is that the water collected is not safe drinking water... it is dirty water which makes this people sick and kids are the ones who suffer the most.

What is SC doing with the help received by supporters from all over the world? 

First we identify the villages that need more urgent help and we will create a Community Development Committee (CDC). SC staff members organize a community wide meeting to introduce themselves and the water programs they wish to implement. Afterwards, SC staff members describe the purpose and responsibilities of CDC members. Those willing to participate are identified, and a general vote is held to determine who will become members. The main responsibility of the CDC is serving as the intermediary between SC and the members of their community and represent their community. The CDC is in charge of determining whether a certain program would prove beneficial for their community members. To ensure their ability to manage the programs in which they become involved, the CDC members receive training. 

By creating the CDC we are empowering local members to be part of the planning, implementation and management of the water solution presented by SC. When we involve the villagers in the process, we are helping them become self-sufficient so they learn how to do it by themselves rather than depending on SC. Once the water solution is implemented, the CDC is responsible for their maintenance and for reporting to SC on a monthly or bi-monthly meeting so we can ensure that everything is running smoothly. 
The different water solutions we are providing include:
  • BioSand Filter (BSF): it is simple structure consisting of nothing more than a concrete container filled with layers of sand, gravel and a copper pipe. As uncomplicated as it may, the BSF is a highly efficient water filter. The sand and gravel effectively remove dirt, bacteria, viruses, parasites and other impurities from the water. The BSF, therefore, renders turbid water drinkable. 

SC has installed almost 2,500 BioSand filters in the communities and more than 15,000 people use them every day.

  • Wells: There are 4 different kinds of wells that may be installed in a community, depending on the depth of the water table: a shallow well is any well less than 5 meters in depth. A multipurpose well is between 5 and 7 meters in depth. A deep well can reach as far down as 75 meters. A rope pump well will reach up to 30 meters (with concrete rings and rope pump). Wells are very useful when there is no water source nearby so that communities do not need to walk long distances to get it.

  • Rooftop Rainwater Harvesting (RRH): a hollow two meter tall concrete sphere, sitting atop a small concrete base that it is connected to a slanted metal (typically zinc) roof, through a traditional gutter system. With a capacity of 4,000 liters, a single RRH holds sufficient water to provide a family with drinking water throughout the dry season. SC has installed almost 400 RRHs in rural areas in communities, serving more than 4,000 people.

  • Community Ponds: very common in community areas, village families use them to store water for several purposes like watering plants and vegetables, domestic animals drinking and even fishing. More than 60 ponds are installed by SC around rural areas. One pond can serve to more than 50 people with 13 Width x  17 Height x 2.50 Depth.

Something that most people take for granted everyday is so precious for families in rural Cambodia. Clean water is more than a natural resource. Clean water is health, education, opportunity and future. 

We are committed to help families in rural Cambodia achieve self-sufficiency by providing sustainable solutions that will work for them. With empowerment, dedication, training and passion we are already making a positive change and giving hope to many families.

To get more information about our water projects you can contact us here. And if you feel like taking part of the journey of bringing clean water to many families, you can make your contribution right here.


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