Siem Reap and Bakong Well Project – Cambodia
This project is made possible through the partnership of WATER CHARITY and the NATIONAL PEACE CORPS ASSOCIATION.
Caring for Cambodia (CFC) partners with the Cambodian government to provide preschool and K-12 education to 6,567 children in Siem Reap Province, including 3,392 females. CFC also supports 12 village-based preschools which focus on developing parenting skills and early childhood development for families in the communities surrounding target primary schools.
This project impacts the students, faculty, and community at eight of their nine K-12 target schools including 5 primary schools, 2 Junior High Schools, and 1 High School. All of these target schools are public schools operated through a partnership between Cambodia’s Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sport and Caring for Cambodia.
Many of the students and the families live in homes without water, and must either purchase or carry in and filter their own drinking, toothbrushing, cooking and handwashing water supply. The ninth target school recently upgraded their filtration system with the support of Water Charity, so they already have a new well.
To address a significant need within the surrounding communities, CFC supports water and filtration systems on each campus to provide water for students, teachers, and the wider communities, allowing families who need it to come and access potable water for their families.
In total, the target schools use almost 32,000 liters of well water each day, more than half of which is filtered for drinking and brushing teeth. The remainder is used in the schools’ life skills gardens and in the bathrooms.
Clean, potable water on school campuses has a strong and direct impact on the students’ health, directly correlating with their attendance and achievement. Access to clean water and toilets helps stop the spread of transmissible diseases, which weaken the students over time and can cause them to miss school, fall behind, and eventually make the choice that school is not for them.
However, the wells are beginning to face many problems. During the dry season the water table is now too low and over-working in a drier well is causing many repair issues with the motor and pumps.
This project is to drill new 8 new wells, which will create improved WASH systems at our target schools.
The new wells will be drilled to a depth of 55m. To further improve the longevity of the motors and pumps, an automatic shut-off mechanism will be installed for the pump so that the motor and pump stop working either when the water table is low or when the water tank is full.
These improved systems will reduce maintenance costs as the motor and pump will have a greater lifespan due to the automatic shut-off systems, which causes the systems to be more sustainable in an eventual handover to the schools and broader community.
The new wells will be connected to the existing WASH infrastructure, including pipe systems to toilets as well as to the existing biosand filtration systems, which distribute potable water to handwashing stations and bottle refill stations across the campuses.
The local company doing the installation has agreed to significant discounts on materials and labor as the company recognizes the project’s importance to the communities and its long-term investment to the country in promoting improved education outcomes. The schools will provide unskilled labor, local materials, and a small amount of money for a total community contribution of 10%
6,567 people, plus their families and the communities surrounding the schools, will benefit from the project.
Christin Spoolstra, Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (RPCV), now Deputy Country Director, Caring for Cambodia. To read about the 5 prior projects Christin did with Water Charity, CLICK HERE.
Monitoring and Maintenance
The WASH systems will continue to be supported in conjunction with each school by Caring for Cambodia until a more permanent handover of the organization’s projects to the Ministry of Education. Until that time, CFC will continue to lead regular WASH Team meetings to train school staff on proper maintenance of the WASH infrastructure.
Furthermore, by utilizing the newer technology of the automatic shut-off motor and pump, there will be less long-term financial commitment from the schools for repairs.
Let Girls Learn
Slightly more than half of the students are females, who benefit the most from WASH projects, including from gender-separated toilets, on each campus.
Furthermore, filtered water available to the community members in the households surrounding the schools serves to reduce the time and effort to gather and boil water, chores which mostly fall to the female members of the household.
Funds raised in excess of the project amount will be allocated to other projects in the country.
Donations Collected to Date
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