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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Rural areas gain clean water

Rural areas gain clean water

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Clean water for sale in a side-street shop in Phnom Penh. Photograph: Heng Chivoan/Phnom Penh Post

An NGO has plans to supply clean water to 60 towns in 24 rural provinces between 2013 and 2016 in an effort to increase access to water and meet the demand of their citizens.

Chai Lo, the founder and country director of 1001 Fontaines, said at the opening of its headquarters last week that since  the beginning of the project in 2005, the organisation had installed 62 treatment stations to provide clean water in a number of Cambodian provinces.

The supply of clean water has been distributed to tens of thousands of people in several provinces.

Once donations ceased, the treatment stations were operated by locals and water sold to residents for 1,000 to 1,200 riel per 20 litres, Chai Lo said.

“We help for a year, then the communities manage it themselves. The organisation still helps maintain the system.

“The residents' health is improved by clean water.”

Mao Saray, president of the Clean Water Department at the Ministry of Rural Development, said Cambodia had begun a clean-water program in 1993. By 2008, it had reached 4.5 per cent of the country.

The growth rate of people with access to clean water increased by around 1.5 per cent each year but Cambodia was not concerned about reaching its Millennium Development Goal (MDG) because several organisations were developing their own projects for producing clean water in Cambodia, he said.

“Our MDG is that 50 per cent of the population has access to clean water, and we will make gradual gains.”

The installation of 60 water treatment stations next year will enhance access to clean water to more people.

“Based on this project, more clean water will be supplied to rural areas,” Mao Saray said.

More than three billion riel ($750,000) of the national budget each year is spent on the care of thousands of wells.

Other developments for access to clean water are financed by donors.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rann Reuy at reuy.rann@phnompenhpost.com

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