Plan International Cambodia (PIC) completed a piped-water system which began operating on February 27 in Preah Rumkel commune of Stung Treng province’s Borey O’Svay Sen Chey district to provide safe drinking water to five villages with more than 500 families.
The ceremonial opening of the piped-water system was held in collaboration with the Ministry of Rural Development and the Stung Treng Provincial Department of Rural Development as well as the district administration and local NGO Wathnakpheap.
PIC said in a press release that the piped-water supply system was only one component of its “1,000 Days” project which also included plans for addressing food security and increasing resilience to improve maternal and infant health for 51 villages in 17 communes of three districts in the province.
“The main objective of the project is to reduce hunger and malnutrition among infants and women of reproductive age by applying integrated approaches to ensuring food security in target areas,” the press release said.
Yi Kim Than, PIC’s deputy country director, said the overall result of lack of access to safe drinking water – coupled with poor hygiene and sanitation conditions – was that it negatively impacted the growth and optimal cognitive development of children early on, thereby increasing the risk of illnesses and infections in addition to causing diarrhoea and malnutrition among children and adults.
“This in turn contributes to loss of
family income through medical expenses, loss of time at work and students’ absences from school,” he added.
He continued that the factors leading to successful community piped-water systems primarily included community involvement at all stages in the project’s design and construction; taxes or fees capable of covering costs of major repairs, rather than just minor operation and maintenance costs; strong leadership and high levels of transparency, especially with the community, commune council and district administration office; and proper water treatment and disinfectant use within the system.
According to PIC, the cost for the newly constructed piped-water system was around $100,000. PIC started the construction in early January 2021. The project is also funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and Plan International Germany, with around $2.5 million over five years from 2019-2024.
The press release said completion of the construction of the piped-water system was not the end but the beginning of the project. PIC and Wathanakpheap hope that the provincial rural development department, district and commune administrations will engage in their best efforts to promote the system to the community and take care of the system with proper operation and routine maintenance.
“PIC is a development and humanitarian organisation that advances children’s rights and equality for girls. We strive for a just world by working together with children, young people, our supporters and partners,” Kim Than said.
“With over 80 years of experience across the world, PIC’s programmes aim to support girls and boys to learn, lead, decide and thrive. PIC began operations in Cambodia in 2002 and is celebrating its 20th anniversary of operation in Cambodia this year.”
In October last year, PIC launched its fourth five-year country strategy “2.5 Million Reasons 2021-2026” with the ambition that in the next five years they would reach 2.5 million girls and young women in Cambodia under four strategic programmes.
Stung Treng provincial governor Svay Sam Eang and Provincial Council chairman Chheang Lak presided over the inauguration of the piped-water system in the Preah Rumkel community on February 26.
The provincial administration said that the station can supply water to five villages in Preah Rumkel commune, including Anlong Svay village, Leu village, Kandal village, Krom village and Krala Peas village, where about 700 families live.
Since January 2022, the station management has connected 323 families to the water network and has been working to expand the network to all other residents in the area upon request.