WORK crews are spread around the old French-style compound that makes up Kampong Speu Referral Hospital – the medical facility serving the entire province – as an array of projects aimed at improving health conditions is underway.
Hospital director Tim Thany could not be happier. “On behalf of all the staff – we are very happy for this support. This is a very good project,” he said, “and we are all very proud of it.”
According to program manager Lyn McLennan of Lien Aid, when the NGOs first examined the hospital as a potential project, the toilets were in disrepair, the septic tank was overflowing, there were no bathing or washing facilities – and the hospital was using the town’s water supply.
“As a result of discussions with hospital staff, we got an understanding of the problems. This enabled us to develop this as a benchmark,” McLennan said.
The project scope includes installing PVC pipes to all the toilets and bathing facilities, all renovated or new toilets, multi-purpose wash rooms with maximum ventilation and natural light, a decentralised wastewater treatment system – the first one for a Cambodian hospital - and possibly a water-treatment system.
The project is also being supported by NGO Bremen Overseas Research & Development Association, from the city of Bremen in northern Germany.
Project coordinator Alex Campbell says two local engineers have been working on the planning and design.
Total project cost is about $130,000. BORDA-Cambodia has provided services to develop a Decentralised Wastewater Treatment System at the Kampong Speu Referral Hospital.
DEWATS is a wastewater-treatment system that can be tailor-made to fit to local conditions and treat wastewater to government discharge standards.
The services provided by BORDA-Cambodia include a feasibly study, DEWATS’ detailed engineering design, construction supervision and operation and maintenance training. The DEWATS at the hospital will be able to treat up to 40 cubic meters of wastewater a day.
For the Kampong Speu Referral Hospital project BORDA-Cambodia has acted as a technical consultant for Lien Aid to improve the water and sanitation infrastructure.
BORDA-Cambodia works with NGOs, government agencies and SMEs to provide DEWATS related services.
BORDA-Cambodia has completed three DEWATS in Cambodia so far and the hospital will be the fourth.
The first was a unit to treat wastewater from a small town in Takeo, the second was for an orphanage in Kandaland the other was for a school-based sanitation (SBS) project at a primary school in Phnom Penh. All of these projects were implemented in cooperation with project owners, NGOs, multiple donors and local authorities.
“For 2011 we plan to implement two more SBS projects in Phnom Penh, but there are also some other projects in the pipeline,” said Campbell. After listening to hospital staff, program designers are working to accommodate families that inevitable accompany relatives to hospital – for sleeping, washing and bathing.
Another program is the training of staff so that everything is kept clean.
“This is the first time for a lot of these people to be trained for anything,” said McLennan.