Can you imagine living without clean water on tap? Being caught in a reality where you have to prioritise collecting fresh drinking water over going to school?
For the children of Svaychey village in Cambodia these are no longer issues. Thanks to the Step2Foundation and a revolutionary water filtration system the school now has access to 800 litres of fresh drinking water per hour.
What does a lack of fresh water mean for children?
A quarter of the population and forty percent of primary schools in Cambodia lack safe drinking water. As a result, 380 children in Cambodia die from diarrhoea caused by water-borne diseases each year. It is the second largest cause of mortality for children under five and access to clean drinking water significantly reduces the threat (UNICEF).
When children are no longer required to trek long distances each day in search of water – from sources which are often contaminated by poor sanitation – there is time for school. This simple change opens up future opportunities that help the village as a whole to escape poverty.
Put simply; clean drinking water changes people’s lives by improving their health and wellbeing.
Safe drinking water is a basic human right.
Svaychey Village’s Innovative Water System
In many villages, water is collected in rainwater tanks or from a bore and sits for long periods of time. Water in these systems is susceptible to parasitic growth and creates the perfect environment for mosquito larvae to thrive. Bores are only successful with sufficient filtration to clean the water before use.
Obviously, producing fresh water every day of the year takes more than a pump and a rainwater tank. Planning for the Clean Water Project took these problems into consideration and worked with the local community to come up with the most effective, sustainable solution possible.
The resulting system transforms ground water into pure drinking water. Ground water is pumped into a 2000 litre tank and gravity fed through a filtration system comprised of four separate processes. A UV filter ensures that the resulting water is free from bacteria.
The filtrations system is protected by a purpose-built brick structure which the water tank sits above. External taps make it easy to access the clean water. Being involved in the development and installation of the system has given the local community ownership over the project in the long term.
How the Water Tank and Filtration System Changes Lives
The revolutionary yet simple water filtrations system at Svaychey village school provides water for over 1500 people.
Local Operations Manager Soviet Ty was excited to report that ‘the whole community is enjoying fresh drinking water’. He expanded to say that, ‘The kids are very pleased because they can drink as much as they like while at school. They are also taking water home in the afternoon’.
The long-term benefits of the water filtration system go beyond health. When students can attend school, rather than spending large amounts of time sourcing water, they cultivate opportunities through education. Ensuring the wellbeing and sustainability of the village, combined with access to quality education, can lift a community out of poverty.
The economic and social ramifications of the system for the village of Svaychey are huge.
Plans to Expand the Project to Lolei Village
The project has been so successful that we are already planning a second project for the neighbouring village of Lolei. The community there currently has no clean drinking water and a lack of general supplies make life difficult. Many of the children in the village have lost one or both of their parents leaving them responsible for themselves.
Step2Foundation has partnered with Lolei’s local NGO for some time to supply rice, food staples, and educational supplies. The people of Lolei would benefit enormously from an accessible supply of pure drinking water.
Help us to fund the Clean Water Project in Lolei by sharing this newsletter widely, purchasing a Step2Foundation raffle ticket, and encouraging your network to contribute to Step2Foundation’s life changing projects.
Funds for the Clean Water Project in Svaychey were raised by generous donors and through Step2Foundation’s fundraising raffle in 2016. Board members underwrite all projects undertaken by the Foundation to ensure that they are completed as planned.