Improving the health of rural communities with clean water

This project implements sustainable improvements to the health of people in poor, isolated communities in Cambodia. This is achieved by enabling the local production and distribution of safe drinking water through social enterprise. The model ensures that each village is self-sufficient and the solutions are sustainable for the future.

The context

In rural Cambodia, a third of the population do not have access to safe drinking water and have no choice but to drink contaminated water from rivers, ponds and swamps. Inadequate access to microbiologically safe drinking water continuously threatens the health and well-being of more than a billion people. Yet in such cases, decentralised water treatment can be used.

The project

This project seeks to further access to clean and safe drinking water for households and communities, by using low greenhouse gas emitting water purification technologies at water treatment stations in rural areas. The project enables locals to earn a living by purifying and distributing sourced water locally. There are currently more than 150 enterprises providing clean, affordable water to over 220,000 people.

The benefits

Purchasing or collecting firewood or fossil fuels to boil and purify water constitutes a significant expense for the poorest households and communities in Cambodia. This project addresses this issue twofold: offering scope for micro-entrepreneurs, creating jobs and supporting families, whilst also reducing fuel costs needed for water boiling. The project greatly improves health outcomes for local people, especially children, and significantly reduces deforestation caused by the need for firewood to boil water.

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