Got H2O?

An estimated 2.5 billion people worldwide still lack access to proper sanitation, most of whom live in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.

Since 2006, Lien AID has partnered with governments, international development agencies, non-governmental organisations as well as the local community to improve access to proper sanitation for poor rural communities in 6 countries across Asia : Cambodia, China, Vietnam, Thailand, Myanmar and Indonesia. From 2010 to 2012 in one of its larger initiatives in Cambodia, we partnered with the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (UNC) and the United States Alliance for International Development (USAID) through WaterSHED, to facilitate the formation of a rural sanitation industry in 3 provinces, bringing affordable toilet options by local suppliers, to low-income rural communities. The initiative saw an estimated 98, 160 beneficiaries equipped with latrines in their homes.

The improved access to proper sanitation is intrinsically linked to an improved access to clean water, and an increased awareness of proper personal hygiene habits. Without an improved access to clean water, it is difficult to practice proper personal hygiene, also an important indicator in the improvement of access to proper sanitation.


On 19 November, the global community marked the first World Toilet Day, as designated by the United Nations, urging changes in both behavior and policy on issues ranging from enhancing water management to ending open-air defecation.

Lien AID joined in the global dialogue, presenting its experiences on sanitation and hygiene at the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Conference organised by the Restroom Association of Singapore with the support of the National Environment Agency (NEA) of Singapore.

As the global community rallies, we shine a spotlight on the real stories of our beneficiaries who remind us how many still lack access to clean water and proper sanitation, and how improved access changes their world.

To find out more about our work, take a look at What We Do.

I’m a doctor, but I can’t cure the problem

If there is anything that matters to a doctor, it will be ensuring his patients are healthy and well.

While technology has been developing around the world, untreated water and unimproved latrines remain common in Cambodia, even in referral hospitals located in the provinces across the country. The lack of funds and technical know-how make it almost impossible for the hospital administration to make necessary improvements. Patients have barely any facilities that meet required health standards, and conditions get worse when the only water pump breaks down once every four months. 

” We don’t have any solutions to these problems. I know that a hospital environment needs to be clean, and I’m a doctor but I can’t cure the problem,” said a helpless Dr Yi Heng of the Gynecology and Maternity department. His ambition to be a doctor was fueled by the thought of helping the villagers in his hometown. He has been working in the Kong Pisey Referral Hospital for more than a decade.”  

“It pains me to see my patients deprived of better facilities. If we can renovate and improve the toilet blocks and water system, at least there is hope for the patients to be clean and hygienic in a sterile hospital environment, ” he continued.

Have you washed your hands?

Every year on Oct 15th, the world marks Global Handwashing Day, a celebration that aims to foster and support a global and local culture of handwashing with soap; shine a spotlight on the state of handwashing in each country; and raise awareness about the benefits of handwashing with soap.

Taken from, handwashing with soap is still the most effective and inexpensive way to prevent diarrheal and acute respiratory infections that take the lives of millions of children in developing countries every year. Yet, despite its lifesaving potential, handwashing with soap is seldom practiced and difficult to promote.

In all our projects, we have always made it a point to emphasize the importance of personal hygiene through carrying out mandatory health and hygiene awareness training for benefitting communities as part of our intervention. We find that to effect sustainable impact, it is important to address poor hygiene habits concurrently with poor water and sanitation infrastructure, and work towards changing behaviors. These are carried out in communal settings (e.g. at school assemblies, in class, community meetings etc.) and complement the improvements to water and sanitation infrastructure made.

We have also worked on national-level campaigns, like the “Stop the Diarrhoea” social marketing campaign in Cambodia and the “I love the water and sanitation for my own health and for the community” campaign in Vietnam to promote key water, sanitation and hygiene messages.

For the “Stop the Diarrhoea” social marketing campaign in 2011, a set of campaign tools (Stop the Diarrhoea : Use a Latrine, Drink Safe Water, Wash your hands with Soap) were jointly developed by Lien AID with the Ministry of Rural Development Cambodia, and other participating partners and disseminated at no-cost to all interested organisations for their use in their various water, sanitation and hygiene programmes.

The “I love the water and sanitation for my own health and for the community” campaign in Vietnam in 2010 – 2012 saw the appointment of popular Vietnamese actor/comedian Xuan Bac as Goodwill Ambassador for Rural Water Supply and Environmental Sanitation, and as the campaign’s celebrity advocate. Through road-shows to the provinces, TV spots on national television channels VTV1 and VTV3 and a national creative contest across schools in 63 provinces in Vietnam, an estimated 1 million indirect beneficiaries were reached.

Our work is far from finished and we want you to join us in this journey to improve their world. Take a look at  What We Do for more information on our work.

Water Tanks of Hope : Lien AID CEO speaks on Singapore Radio Station 938Live’s breakfast club

In May this year, Lien AID CEO Koh Lian Hock was invited as a guest on Singapore Radio Station 938Live’s daily morning programme. He candidly shared with listeners on the water and sanitation crisis in Asia and how Lien AID’s Gift of Water programmes are working towards changing the worlds of poor rural communities in the region, through improving their access to clean water.

Every drop counts: Singapore World Water Day 2013

Water is precious; every drop counts.

Lien AID marked Singapore World Water Day 2013 together with an estimated 25, 000 people across 15 locations island-wide in an event organised by the Public Utilities Board Singapore. At the anchor location Marina Barrage, Lien AID raised awareness about the poor access to clean water that still faces disadvantaged communities in Asia. Photo stories illustrating the real experiences of families and individuals across these communities were displayed at the event. These stories were put together last year as part of the Pour A Glass of Hope Campaign; an advocacy initiative carried out in partnership with a class of students and their professors from the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information, Nanyang Technological University. The class had travelled to Cambodia in Feb 2012 as part of their curriculum and were given the opportunity to interact with beneficiaries and government officials at selected project sites. Two student volunteers, Cynthia and Athena were also on hand at the event to share their experiences in Cambodia.

The public was also urged to show their support for the 31st article in the UN Declaration of Human Rights, the right to clean water. Coined the Blue Right by Lien AID, people were encouraged to document their support through photo declarations at the event. School children, families, friends and government officials were photographed showing that they believe in the Blue Right as shown in the photo gallery.