This photo story highlights a major challenge that villagers in Chrok Teak Village, Tropeang Chor Commune, Aroal District, Kompong Speu Province have faced for years – the lack of clean water for household use and farming. There are five ponds in the village, but due to the fact that there is no rain, the water in the ponds becomes muddy. Families who are in better living condition normally buy clean water from other villages, which costs 3000 riel for 50 liters. However, some poor villagers cannot afford to buy the clean water. Instead, they used the polluted water from the ponds, making the villagers face health problem, such as diarrhea, and itchy skin, and accordingly have to spend money on curing their disease, which continues to impoverish themselves. Therefore, the lack of clean water resource and sanitation is a silent disaster.
To achieve the sustainable development and Cambodia Millennium Development Goal , the government and development partners should provide more water resource to the places that are facing the problem, and should work together to improve the sanitation. Improving sanitation contributes to better health, increased education opportunities, safety and dignity, especially for women and girls.
It rarely rains in Chrok Teak Village, Tropeang Chor Commune, Aoral District, Kompong Speu Province. The water-well-pump in the village also does not work, making the villagers dig five ponds for water. After several years, the ponds are full of rubbish and moss, and the water becomes muddy.
Though the ponds are dirty, they are the main water resources in the village. “This is the only way that we can access to water, and if we want to get clean water, we need to buy it from other villages,” said 66-year-old Pov Sokhorn, a villager in Chrok Teak Village, adding that every day the villagers come to get the water, and at the same time they take shower, wash their clothes, and sometimes clean their cows.
“There is no rain and the weather is still hot even though this month is in rainy season,” Said Sokhorn. Every day she and her four grandchildren have to take water from the pond 4 or 5 times, or there is not enough water to use. She said she is getting old now, and she does not know how many years more she could come to take the water from the pond, adding that, “I wish I had enough clean water for everyday consumption.”
Sokhorn normally boils the pond water before drinking and using it to cook for fear that her family will be sick. However, she said some people in her village do not boil it at all because they do not want to waste time, making them face health problem, and therefore they need to spend more money for health care. Mr. Tep Nem, Tropeang Chor Commune chief says the government and development partners should continue to work together hand-in-hand to ensure that people in remote area can access to clean water as well as to achieve the Cambodia Millennium Development Goal, which contribute to sustainable development as a whole.