Improving access to Clean Water in Cambodia!
Most of us use water everyday without thinking about it. We drink water, wash with water, cook with water and clean ourselves, our beds and our clothes with water. Water is a human right, one that is often taken for granted. As soon as clean water is removed from your home, most tasks we do everyday become impossible.
Unfortunately this is the reality for far too many people across the globe. In fact, it is the reality for 2 billion people. These 2 billion people only have the option to drink from a contaminated water source.
A lack of access to clean water causes sanitation issues. It also increases the spread of water borne diseases and prevents people from earning a wage through farming and fishing. All of this prevents those in more rural areas from developing and living a fulfilling life.
Globalteer is working to improve the livelihoods of people living in areas without access to clean water with our partner project in Cambodia. According to WaterAid, 3.8 million people in Cambodia lack access to clean water. This is the equivalent to 1 in 4 people in the country. To help these 3.8 million people, the project makes and distribute Biosand filters to villages; bringing clean water into the homes of those affected by the limited access.
What is a Biosand filter?
The process of this project involves building Biosand filters & supplying them to the villages. They help dig wells and educating the local community about how to use and maintain their filters.
The technology behind these Biosand filters was developed by Centre for Affordable Water and Sanitation Technology (CAWST); a Canadian charity and licensed engineering firm.
These filters are made from concrete and filled with layers of carefully selected and cleaned rocks, pebbles and sand. The water travels through and a layer of biological bacteria then develops on the surface of the sand. This layer removes any pathogens or dirt in the water that could make us sick; creating a clean water source that gradually drips out the spout.
Looking after the filters
“The people working here really take time to educate the local communities about how these filters work. They give them a booklet with lots of information and ask them questions such as how many people live in your house and how many pets do you have. They also advise them on where the filter is best placed in their home” - Shira Raz, Globalteer Clean Water Project Volunteer 2020.
Educating the local community on how to use their filters and maintain them is the other side of the story. Without this, the water would soon stop flowing or could become dirty again. Maintaining the filter means washing out the biological layer and letting a new one grow. By doing this regularly these filters could last 20-30 years.
Globalteer assists these projects by sending volunteers out to help build these filters. These volunteers work with the staff to sieve and wash the sand and paint the boxes, ready for filling! Once a week they also visit the local villages with the staff to install filters and educate the local community on their use.
Shira volunteered with the project in January 2020 after taking a sabbatical from her job in cyber security to volunteer across Asia. “The low-waste and inexpensive solution that they have developed was what drew me to the project and I was really impressed by the operation that’s set up here, it’s very organised and smart.”
Find out how you can get involved to help those in desperate need for clean water across Cambodia.