Water access is a huge challenge for the 244 families who live in Boeung Snul village in Cambodia. In the dry season, families are often forced to buy bottled water in order to make it through the driest months. They can’t afford the bottled water, so they use as little as they can. It still means a financial burden, just to survive.
Unfortunately, this is a pervasive problem in rural Cambodia. CWS and our partner, the Association for Development and Our Village’s Rights, are working with villages like Boeung Snul to dig ponds. Families provide the labor and small cash investments, and CWS provides the rest of the funds as well as technical support. Together, we dig ponds as needed.
Once the immediate challenge of just having enough water has been met, we also provide information about the importance of using clean water. We talk about boiling water for safety or using filters, especially for cooking and drinking. Families also learn about proper sanitation and good hygiene, which are now possible because of the water access. They can now better prevent water-related illnesses.
Poeun Teng lives in Boeung Snul. Her family teamed up with 18 others in her neighborhood to dig a pond that’s about 5,400 square feet. Thanks to support from CWS, Teng says, “We are most grateful that we are no longer burdened with the expense of buying water.”
Helping families attain their basic rights to water and sanitation is a core part of our work in Cambodia, and worldwide. Digging ponds like the ones in Boeung Snul is one of several ways to make this a reality.