Japan International Cooperation Agency recently concluded a clean water project across Kampong Cham province that has seen the digging of 510 wells since 2006.
Takayuki Ohno, an engineer for the JICA project, said each well cost US$10,000 and provides clean water pumped from as deep as 70 metres below ground.
He said the project focused on Kampong Cham province because its proximity to the Mekong River made it relatively free of arsenic in the water table.
“The water from the well pumps is clean, but villagers are encouraged to boil it before drinking it,” he said.
About 1,000 villagers in Memot district suffer from diarrhoea and other infectious diseases because of a lack of clean water, said Kan Tuot Village Chief Chhay Saron. “We used to drink dirty water from canals behind our village,” he said.
Chhay Saron said that after JICA built four wells in the area, villagers are in better health and have a better standard of living.
“We are so grateful to the Japanese people and government.”