WATER is flowing through the pipes of a primary school that was dry for almost a
decade - thanks to the Phnom Penh Post.
The Post revealed that Sothearos Primary School was one of 46 of Phnom Penh's 150
schools forced to survive without a mains water supply after being landed with massive
bills by the Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority (PPWSA).
The day after our story was published the PPWSA agreed to waive the school's debt
of 15 million riel and reconnect it to the mains.
The move will save the school tens of thousands of riel a month. The bill for having
clean water delivered reached 150,000 riel a month, but with mains water it is expected
to be half that.
School director Bun Sary said: "It is thanks to the story in the Phnom Penh
Post that our children now have a fresh water supply. I am delighted. The PPWSA agreed
to cancel the debt because both education and water are run by the government, so
it was a case of the government owing itself money."
An anonymous Khmer donor has also stepped in to pay for 15 new toilets to be installed
after reading our report.
Sothearos is not the only school to benefit from our story.
Building contractor Soth Sopanha has donated five truckloads of soil to Chau Pinya
Hoc Primary School to level its single remaining playing field. It has lost land
following agreements to share or hand over part of its campus to the Ministry of
Education and an international school.