“I am very happy because from now on, everyone is able to drink treated water. When we bought the water from the Community Water Enterprise, we demonstrated to the children that this water is safe for drinking. We also told them that they should only drink water from these bottles from now on. The children do not like drinking the river water anyway, because it is smelly and still dirty.” – Ms Seung Khom, 39
Kampong Chhnang Province
The need for an affordable source of clean drinking water continues to plague poor rural communities in Cambodia. In some communities, clean drinking water is simply not available with no connectivity with water infrastructure. In many, commercially-produced bottled water remains too expensive.
In 2010, Lien AID has worked in close partnership with the Ministry of Rural Development in Cambodia to pilot the first community water enterprise in Chhnok Trou Commune, in the Kampong Chhnang Province. Three years later, this enterprise continues to be a thriving social business that is owned and run by the community, providing bottle water at a quarter of the commercial price, and conveniently within the commune as well as for the neighbouring floating villages.
While the pilot began within the floating villages of Kampong Chhnang Province, it was soon ascertained that communities that lived on floodplains as well as those on land were equally needing improved access to clean water.
Recently, Lien AID handed over a record twelve community water enterprises to the community, benefitting close to 30,000 people across 23 villages (including those on floodplains and on land) in the Kampong Chhnang and Siem Reap Provinces. Cambodian government officials and villagers were present at the milestone event.
“This achievement has significantly contributed into the government commitment as set in national policy and national rectangular strategy phase II to improve the well-being and living standard of the Cambodian people. In the name of the Ministry of Rural Development, I suggest commune councils continue to manage and maintain these plants to ensure its sustainable operations to meet the needs of the rural community and in the line of the Ministry of Rural Development’s objective under its slogan of Sustainable Rural Development.” – H.E. Tray Meng, Secretary of State, Ministry of Rural Development
The organisation continues to reach out to more communities to provide an improved and sustainable access to clean water in Cambodia, expanding its coverage to Kandal and Kg. Cham Provinces. Beyond Cambodia, it is also expanding the community water enterprises programme to Tra VInh Province in Vietnam.
To find out more about our programmes, take a look at Implement Sustainable Programmes.