Around 84 per cent of Siem Reap province’s population now has access to clean water, a significant contribution to the improvement of living standards, while access to sanitation has reached 78 per cent, according to the provincial Department of Rural Development.
Department director Kheng Nhol told The Post on March 1 that rural water supply and sanitation services are needed to protect and improve the health and wellbeing of people in rural areas and improve their economic situation.
“Angkor Chum district has achieved 100 per cent, according to the figures for our province, while other districts have not yet reached this level. Once everyone has full access to clean water and sanitation, it will alleviate their poverty because these things drastically reduce illness in the community. Illness is a leading cause of financial hardship for our people,” Nhol said.
He said the process of supplying clean water to the public is dependent on the circumstances of each locality. Some areas are provided with wells or ponds and some are connected to water pipes.
“We create water sources close to where people live. For example, we have drilled deep wells in some places. Our teams are capable of sinking a well up to 100m deep,” he said.
The department estimates there are about 30,000 wells in the province and about 20 small-scale water distribution lines in each village.
Angkor Chum district governor Luk Phos told The Post on March 1 that to achieve 100 per cent clean water and sanitation, the local people had been working with the authorities for about five years.
He said the achievement could be seen in a general improvement in the health of the district residents, especially among children.
“It took a lot of effort by the authorities, partners and district residents to achieve this goal. I think people are changing their attitudes, both young and old, and realising the importance of hygiene,” Phos said.
According to the government’s vision of rural water supply and sanitation, by 2023 all people in rural areas must have access to clean water and 90 per cent should have access to good sanitation. The ultimate aim is to achieve 100 per cent supply by 2025.