The average Cambodia village looks like this – rice fields, simple one-room homes on stilts, some chickens scratching around. The rustic dwellings may lack certain comforts – a fitted kitchen and bathroom spring to mind – but most families seem to make do with what they have, except when they are without one crucial element that most Westerners take for granted. Many people in rural areas live without a clean and nearby water supply, and either have to travel long distances to fetch water every day, or have to purefy the water they have by boiling it.
There is a fix to this – a well equipped with a hand pump that the provincial authorities can install for around USD$500 or less.
This simple piece of equipment (which my friend Bo is helpfully demonstrating) provides enough water for 5 neighbouring families.
The second place we visited benefited a family with four children, as well as their neighbours. Immensely relieved by the fresh water supply, this woman bears the heavier burden in providing for the family, and not having to boil their water for ages is a great help to her (the well below was their old water supply).
If you do a quick search online, you’ll see there are dozens of organisations raising money to build wells in Cambodia. I can’t recommend any from personal experience, as these wells plus a third were funded by a Korean Rotary Club who asked Bo find locations for them and supervise their construction, but I do know that a small amount goes a long way.
Happy New Year 🙂 .