It is not difficult to spot a tube-well while walking around the rural school compound in Kandal Province, Cambodia. They used to be the main source of drinking water but these tube-wells are now used by students and staff for other purposes such as watering plants and cleaning. Instead, students and staff ration what water they are able lug from home daily, to last through school.
Echoed across three rural schools in Kandal Province (Bu Yong Kbal Chroy, Hun Sen Set Tbo and AreyKhsat), poisonous arsenic-contaminated groundwater that is tapped on has rendered such tube-wells obsolete for drinking water. With a lack of water infrastructure to rely on, schools are unable to provide their staff and students with adequate clean drinking water.
When the school terms begins in September, the story changes for an estimated 1,268 beneficiaries.
Through a partnership between Lien AID, the Ministry of Rural Development Cambodia, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports Cambodia, as well as the school authorities, these three schools are now equipped with rainwater harvesting and treatment systems of sufficient capacity to collect, store and treat rainwater enough for the school community.
Hand in hand, two arsenic awareness campaigns were carried out in March at each school to increase the awareness of arsenic poisoning amongst the school community.
This project is part of a pilot by Lien AID to improve access to clean water to rural schools with arsenic-contaminated water sources in Kandal Province, Cambodia.
To find out more about our current work in Cambodia, take a look at Where We Work – Cambodia.