Beung Khaik Village, Peam Meanchey Commune
Mrs. Yong Pom used to spend about 10 to 15 USD every time one of her grandchildren got sick. Their illnesses, mostly diarrhoea caused by unsafe drinking water, would require four to five doses of medicine. Drinking water, imported from nearby Vietnam, costs 2,500 Riel (about 0.55 USD) per 20-litre bottle and they could not afford to drink it regularly.
Peam Meanchey commune where Mrs Yong Pom lives, is on an island approximately 80km from Phnom Penh. Her children work in garment factories in the city and send home what they can to help Mrs. Yong care for their children while they are away. Despite this income, Mrs. Yong’s family is living in poverty (according to Cambodia’s ID Poor programme).
In March 2015 the UNICEF funded Community Water Treatment plant opened in Peam Meanchey commune and now an affordable 20-litre bottle of treated water can be purchased for just 1,000 Riel (about 0.25 USD) from a storefront just a kilometer away from Mrs Yong’s house. “This affordable supply of water lets me provide my grandchildren with something safe to drink. I’m grateful that we can now drink clean water and get sick less often. We spend less money on treated water than we spent before on medicine alone.” Said Mrs. Yong.