Plan International Cambodia, stakeholders and communities on Friday inaugurated a community bottled water production station for the people, especially for children in O’Svay commune, Borey O’Svay Senchey district, in Stung Treng province.
The project aims to create a local enterprise to produce safe and clean drinking water for villagers, especially children who otherwise would not have access to affordable and sustainable clean water and sanitation in remote areas, said a Plan International Cambodia’s press release.
Yi Kimthan, the deputy country director for programmes at Plan International Cambodia, said the station will benefit over 1,128 households and two schools in the commune.
The Community Bottled Water Production station is a project under its strategic programme known as Wash Programme (water, sanitation and hygiene) which is in collaboration with the Ministry of Rural Development, relevant departments and the partner organisations in the province.
“The production unit from this station will offer a retail price that is sufficiently low, so the villagers can afford to buy the bottled drinking water.
“The project is also designed to change attitudes, behaviour and practices of households toward safe and clean drinking water to achieve long-term health and social benefits in these communities,” he said.
Since late 2017, Kimthan said, Plan and its partners have also built two other Community Bottled Water Production stations, 28 community wells (30 more are under construction), 10 school toilets and 38 school water treatment tower systems. Seven pipe-water systems are in construction.
“Besides improving access to clean water, the project also supports local youth development by enabling a group of unemployed youth from families in rural villages to develop entrepreneurial skills and become local operators,” he said.
Kimthan said completion of the construction of this Community Bottled Water Production station is not the end but the beginning of community ownership and sustainability.
“I hope that the provincial Department of Rural Development, Commune Council and village authorities will collaborate further to promote the production station and, together, save many lives, especially the children’s, with clean and safe drinking water.
Sambath Pesith, O’Svay commune clerk and the production station manager, said on Sunday that it helped to reduce the expenditure of people in the communities in addition to providing high-quality water.
“We sell the water to the locals at a lower price compared to sellers from outside. Earlier, people spent 4,000- 5,000 riel to buy 20 litres of water, but with the production station, they only pay 2,000 riel,” he said.
He said the income generated from selling the water is spent on water production and labour expenses. The rest is saved for developing the communities and donations to the poor.