DrinkPure Water filters for Cambodia
(written by Andrea Brüschweiler, manager of the Swiss Non-Profit Association Seed – Small Beginnings)
In January, I drove to a remote village in Cambodia with a bag full of DrinkPure filters. The village of Bech Khlok doesn’t have any access to tap water and especially not clean drinking water. The only way to get water is from manmade ponds, which are heavily polluted by animal and human waste, and collected rain water, as long as the family can afford a tin roof, drains and a water tank. Most cannot.
Help is evidently required, but logistically difficult as the village is hard to reach. A large part of the approx. 3-hour journey from Battambang, a city in western Cambodia, takes you over muddy paths with deep puddles- or Sand holes during dry season. More than once have we gotten stuck with the old Jeep (so far we have only found one driver willing to make the trip), and were forced to wait a long time for help. Motorbikes are an easier choice, the main method of transport in South-East Aisa. With this we can always reach the village, but carrying any materials is difficult.
This time, we have chosen to use the Jeep, since it hasn’t rained in a while, and the driver was willing to transport a lot of materials. The villagers, especially the children, greeted us with excitement and we got to work straight away. The families were all well prepared, since they had already had two courses about clean drinking water in Autumn 2017. The DrinkPure filters will be used in addition to the Biosand water filters, for young children, the elderly and sick. The robust Biosand water filters are perfect to clean the dirty pond water, they only filter about 85-95% of bacteria however. This is why we prefer the more vulnerable to use the smaller DrinkPure filers for extra safety.
With our onsite project manager, Heang Ho, we visited the first few families. Since the huts of the villagers are fairly far away from each other, this took quite a bit of time. Although we had already explained how to use the DrinkPure filters perviously, we demonstrated it a second time for the families. Previous experience taught us that reteaching instructions is often necessary.
Since we were unable to visit all the families in one day, Heang will take over the task of giving out the rest of the filters over the next weeks without me. He is in Bech Khlok three days of the week, and takes care of the Drink Water Project amongst other things. It is very important to us that the families have someone to go to when they need help or have questions.
Later in the afternoon, I took the bumpy journey back to Battambang, where I arrived dusty, tired and happy that the trip went well.
On our website, you can find information on how you can support our projects in Cambodia or donate a DrinkPure water filter direct on this website. www.seedbeginnings.com