Community development improves with access to clean drinking water
Pong Ro Chass is a typical village located in the western part of Siem Reap Province; about 36 kilometers from the town. Over85 percent of the community depends on local resources to maintain their livelihoods such cropping rice, fishing and selling foresting products. Some people also migrate to work as laborers in the city and in the neighboring countries. Without clean drinking water and having poor local health services in the area, day-to-day life is difficult. Most local residents are very concerned about drought and a lack of water -especially in the dry season because the water very easily gets contaminated with germs and bacteria. Water is collected from boreholes and ponds in the village and is used for cooking, drinking, laundry, and bathing. The village school does not have access to clean water. The primary school in the village lacks access to clean water. The borehole and pond in the school are the only water sources available and this water is used for the latrines, gardening and drinking.
Mr. Met Tem is a member of the School Support Committee of Pong Ro Chass Village, has six children and lives close by the school. Tem explains their situation with concerns for water access and hygiene practices, “I work closely with all concerned people in order to improve safe water access in this community since there was nothing from the beginning. I realize that without access to safe water it prevents things from being developed. It is hard to control our villagers’ hygiene practices because there is no measuring tool on this and they still lack safe water at home. Living here is a struggle. I do not want to see my kids walk to collect water a far distance like other people have done because it impacts their school time.
“I used to drink water from the borehole at school and I got diarrhea many times. Now I have to buy bottled water from the drink shop in the village. I need clean water at the school so I can take it home and share with my family members,”explains Run Lina, a fourth-grade student at Pradak Primary School.
According to the School Headmaster, Mr. Ran Pek, “The school has no budget to buy bottled water even though it is really needed. We are faced with high absenteeism of students, particularly in the rainy season. I am very happy to hear that someone will bring a clean water treatment facility into this school for the sake of the students and the villagers here.”
"I know that some students are not healthy because of nutrition factor, but also because of the water they consume. Please help us to bring clean water into this school because many people will benefit,” stated Kun Sophea, Fifth Grade Teacher at Pong Ro Chass.