Have you ever thought about why a car battery in Cambodia only works for six months
to one year, while you can use a battery in other countries for three to five years?
The simple answer why is that all modern batteries are mistreated here because of
ignorance. I was amazed when I realized that there is nowhere you can buy battery
water, and nothing has changed in the three years I have been here.
In the eighties the batteries came mainly from the Soviet Union or Vietnam, and those
batteries needed acid in the water to continue to be strong. Now the car batteries
are dry-charged, predominately from Thailand and Japan, and the only thing you need
to add is water before you use them. In Thailand you can buy battery water at every
gas station. In Cambodia they still use the "electrolyte". Poor battery.
It's like adding tomato ketchup to your blood when you need a transfusion, only because
it is red and about as salty as blood.
The answer therefore is simply to collect rainwater.
If you don't take it from polluted areas (like central Phnom Penh) wait for a heavy
rainfall and filter the water after you've collected it , and you have a free source
of battery water. Maybe a suitable income generation project for a village?
- Kristen Winer, American Friends Service Committee, Phnom Penh.