The proceeds will help to implement a microfinance program
Christmas came early to poverty-stricken lake dwellers when representatives of French NGO Hamap and Siem Reap-based Osmose spent three days late in November distributing water filters to communities on Tonle Sap Lake and taking the first steps to create a sustainable microfinance program.
Hamap’s Floating Clinic project coordinator Astrid Desaché said they sold the filters to families and provided the training needed to use them as part of the develoment of a medical program.
“We went to the lake with 300 water filters purchased with funds from two French donors, L’Agence de L’eau Rhin Meuse and Codegaz. But the idea is not to give them for free. We buy them for about $10 and sell them for about $6. It’s affordable for people, who understand the value of it and won’t on sell them.”
The remaining filters will be sold in the coming weeks in the two communities, as well as Prek Toal, and the proceeds will help to implement a microfinance program for the local population with the assistance of Osmose staff.
“The idea is to start a saving group so people can borrow money to give them the chance to develop their finances. It will also help them to take care of their homes. Afterwards they have to repay the money to allow other members to borrow,” Desaché said.