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 Health  Cambodia Project #30537

Improve Health with Clean Water in Rural Cambodia

by Trailblazer Foundation
Improve Health with Clean Water in Rural Cambodia
Improve Health with Clean Water in Rural Cambodia
Improve Health with Clean Water in Rural Cambodia
Improve Health with Clean Water in Rural Cambodia
Improve Health with Clean Water in Rural Cambodia
Improve Health with Clean Water in Rural Cambodia
Improve Health with Clean Water in Rural Cambodia
Improve Health with Clean Water in Rural Cambodia
Improve Health with Clean Water in Rural Cambodia
Improve Health with Clean Water in Rural Cambodia
Improve Health with Clean Water in Rural Cambodia
Improve Health with Clean Water in Rural Cambodia
Improve Health with Clean Water in Rural Cambodia
Improve Health with Clean Water in Rural Cambodia
Improve Health with Clean Water in Rural Cambodia
Improve Health with Clean Water in Rural Cambodia
Improve Health with Clean Water in Rural Cambodia
Improve Health with Clean Water in Rural Cambodia
Improve Health with Clean Water in Rural Cambodia
Improve Health with Clean Water in Rural Cambodia
Improve Health with Clean Water in Rural Cambodia
Improve Health with Clean Water in Rural Cambodia
Improve Health with Clean Water in Rural Cambodia
Improve Health with Clean Water in Rural Cambodia
Improve Health with Clean Water in Rural Cambodia
Improve Health with Clean Water in Rural Cambodia
Improve Health with Clean Water in Rural Cambodia
Improve Health with Clean Water in Rural Cambodia
Improve Health with Clean Water in Rural Cambodia
Improve Health with Clean Water in Rural Cambodia
Improve Health with Clean Water in Rural Cambodia
Improve Health with Clean Water in Rural Cambodia
Improve Health with Clean Water in Rural Cambodia
Improve Health with Clean Water in Rural Cambodia
Improve Health with Clean Water in Rural Cambodia
Improve Health with Clean Water in Rural Cambodia
Improve Health with Clean Water in Rural Cambodia
Improve Health with Clean Water in Rural Cambodia
Improve Health with Clean Water in Rural Cambodia
Improve Health with Clean Water in Rural Cambodia
Improve Health with Clean Water in Rural Cambodia
Improve Health with Clean Water in Rural Cambodia
Improve Health with Clean Water in Rural Cambodia
Improve Health with Clean Water in Rural Cambodia
Improve Health with Clean Water in Rural Cambodia
Improve Health with Clean Water in Rural Cambodia
Improve Health with Clean Water in Rural Cambodia
Improve Health with Clean Water in Rural Cambodia
Improve Health with Clean Water in Rural Cambodia
Improve Health with Clean Water in Rural Cambodia
Improve Health with Clean Water in Rural Cambodia
Improve Health with Clean Water in Rural Cambodia
Improve Health with Clean Water in Rural Cambodia
Improve Health with Clean Water in Rural Cambodia
Improve Health with Clean Water in Rural Cambodia
Improve Health with Clean Water in Rural Cambodia
Improve Health with Clean Water in Rural Cambodia
Improve Health with Clean Water in Rural Cambodia
Improve Health with Clean Water in Rural Cambodia
Improve Health with Clean Water in Rural Cambodia
Improve Health with Clean Water in Rural Cambodia

Since 2006, Trailblazer Foundation's main mission has been to improve health conditions in Cambodia's rural areas by providing access to safe drinking water. Trailblazer works with villages on drilling wells for access to water and distributing bio-sand water filters for potable water.

The quality of the water and the efficiency of the filters has been tested in the past. However, the environment around the wells and filters may have changed, sources of pollution may be present and have an influence on the quality of the water. Therefore, Trailblazer conducted a study on the quality of drilling water and filtered water in early 2019.

Eight villages in the province of Siem Reap were selected for this study, the analyzes were carried out on 8 wells and their 8 associated filters. Given the similarity of the plots and the small size of the villages, they were representative of the other wells and filters present in the villages. The water used in the villages came from wells that are about 25 meters deep, but this water is not drinkable because it contains pathogens that can cause diseases. The biosand filters installed by Trailblazer can treat this water and make it drinkable.

In a village, a well is installed per plot and a filter is installed for a household of about 5 people. Several homes can share the same well, in this case wells were very close to homes. All the studied wells were installed on plots with potential sources of pollution: presence of fenced-in or free-roaming animals, latrines, garbage, wastewater thrown open. We found these elements on the majority of the parcels of a village. The studied filters were between two to four years old.

Trailblazer used a local laboratory in Siem Reap for conducting the testing of the water samples. The laboratory enforces the drinking water quality standards of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Kingdom of Cambodia.

The analysis of water quality in these eight villages verified the effectiveness of bio-sand filters installed by Trailblazer. Indeed the well water was naturally full of Iron and Manganese which makes it unfit for consumption. In addition, the wells were subject to bacteriological pollution which was due to faecal contamination. This contamination can be explained by the presence of animals (pigs, poultry, bovins) and latrines on the plots. Effluent seeps into the soil and contaminates the water.

Results of the tests show that the bio-sand water filters Trailblazer installed are still eliminating this pollution, even after two to four years of use, and makes the water drinkable. There is no doubt that the consumption of water cleansed by bio-sand filters reduces the health risk for the populations.

We wish to thank all our supporters who have given the gift of clean water for a rural family that received a bio-sand water filter each year from Trailblazer. Hundreds of people are experiencing improved health through clean water and have hope of a better life.

 

How a bio-sand water filter works
How a bio-sand water filter works
Successful Garden
Successful Garden

Trailblazer has learned, and witnessed time and again over the years, that when people have access to life's most basic needs, water and food, further development naturally occurs. Through our comprehensive rural community development strategy, which starts with providing clean water to poor rural villagers, we are developing ripples of sustainability through community water projects.

Most people are aware of the direct connection between good health and the ability for a person to prosper. In most developing countries, this idea manifests itself in children being able go to school when they are healthy, and parents having enough time and energy to work in the store, the home, or the fields.

In Cambodia, one fifth of the deaths of children [age five and under] is attributed to high incidences of diarrhoeal diseases, a result of bad water. Creating clean environments for children improves their health and gives them a chance for a prosperous life. Therefore, Trailblazer's Health Program is focused on providing clean drinking water, access to water, and better sanitation conditions.

Secondly, Trailblazer's Food Security Program focuses on teaching villagers best practice techniques to make them more successful with starting and growing homestead gardens, to feed their family in a manner that helps reduce malnutrition and poverty. When families have an abundant access to water and receive agriculture training, they have the energy and ability to build a healthier life for their family.

A well provides a consistent year-round supply of water to irrigate a homestead garden to provide more nutritional food to feed a family. By eating quality food and a sufficient quantity of food, a villager will have the strength to increase his/her production for purposes of economic pursuits. If a villager grows more food than is needed by their family, they can earn income from selling their excess. This is one step in the development of a family becoming more sustainable and moving past a life of poverty and mere survival.

Thank you for your contribution in helping bring water and hope of a better life to rural families in Siem Reap province, Cambodia. Each year thousands of lives are changed for the better because of your investment. We hope we can count on your continued support, as the list of our rural partners in need of better health, food security and development is long.

Homestead Garden
Homestead Garden
Drip Irrigation Installation
Drip Irrigation Installation
Mr. and Mrs. Van with Board Member Justine Auton
Mr. and Mrs. Van with Board Member Justine Auton

On behalf of Trailblazer Foundation’s Board of Directors and staff, I want to express our deepest gratitude for your continued support of our work in rural Cambodia. You deserve the credit for all that we have accomplished in 2018. Over 6,000 rural villagers have a better quality of life because you wanted to help. That’s impressive, and we thank you for your role in this significant accomplishment.

So, what sort of improved quality of living did you help make a reality in 2018? On a recent trip to Cambodia, Trailblazer’s newest Board member, Justine Auton, spoke with Mr. and Mrs. Van, a married couple with three children living in a rural village about an hour outside of Siem Reap. This is just one story we could share from our work during this past year.

The Vans are farmers with a bit of land, where they have been growing rice and vegetables for years. Yet, they live on less than $2 a day. Their challenging situation inspired them to take advantage of two of Trailblazer’s programs: our Health Program (which provides Cambodian villagers with water filters and wells) and Food Security Program (which trains families how to grow more productive gardens).

Mrs. Van explained that, this year, she and her husband first participated in one of Trailblazer’s 28 homestead garden trainings. She then proudly told Justine that her family is already experiencing real benefits from having gone through our agricultural training. “Our lives are changed. We now grow better rice and vegetables. We work a lot more and it is good for my husband and our children.”

Next, the Vans asked Trailblazer to drill a well, so the family of five could have cleaner water for their cooking and personal hygiene, as well as more water for their crops. This allowed the Vans to not just grow food for themselves, but produce enough crops to sell some at the local market. Better yet, with the increased income and water, the Vans were able to buy some cows to raise and sell for beef.

Trailblazer’s Food Security Manager in Cambodia told Board member Justine that, through the changes the Vans made with their garden, the family’s income had increased about 150%. And there was potential for that to increase even more. Mrs. Van explained the impact on her family.

“Before we just had a little money and now we have a lot more. We have vegetables to take to the market all year round now. Our lives are easier, less stressful.”

If this story warms your heart as much as it does mine, I hope you’ll feel the same sense of accomplishment I do for having played a role in that success story. And I hope our success will excite you to make a year-end contribution to Trailblazer, so we can continue transforming the hopes and aspirations of Cambodian villagers into reality.

GlobalGiving is running a Recurring Match Campaign through the end of the year.  Your recurring donation will receive a one-time 100% match.  Start your recurring donation today!  

Such a simple act can, and will, produce powerful life-changing results for families like the Vans. Together, in 2019, we can improve the lives of even more people in rural Cambodia. Thank you again. 

Best wishes, 

Chris Coats, Executive Director / Co-Founder

Links:

A more sanitary place to defecate
A more sanitary place to defecate

Cambodia’s more current census has an estimated population of 16.25 million, with 50% of the population under 22 years old.Only 75% of the country has improved access to drinking water, and only 42% of the population has access to improved sanitation facilities as well. Although these numbers show a promise that the country is developing, there is still work to be done until 100% of the country has potable water and latrines. 

High incidences of diarrheal diseases alone account for one fifth of the deaths of children age five and under in Cambodia, and an estimated 10,000 overall deaths annually, largely owing to lack of sanitation and poor hygiene practices. Less than 1 in 3 Cambodians have access to latrines and hand washing facilities, one of the lowest rates in Southeast Asia. According to the World Health Organization diarrhea continues to be the second leading cause of death among children in East Asia. Creating clean environments for children averts threats to their health and supports the best chance at a prosperous life.

Nearly 70% of Cambodia’s rural population – roughly 6.4 million people – still practice open defecation as their principle sanitation option. Findings from a 2010 National Sanitation and Hygiene Survey show that only 31.8% of Cambodians use latrines, only 16.7% of Cambodians have a fixed hand washing place in their homes and only 62% of respondents reported practicing hand washing. Yet, the use of a toilet can decrease diarrheal deaths by 30% and hand washing with soap by more than 40%.

This makes Trailblazer’s work all the more important and impactful.  As of the end of September, 2018, to address these serious health issues,Trailblazer has:

  • distributed 336 water filters, reducing waterborne disease with safe drinking water for 1,680 people.
  • drilled 99 wells, giving increased access to water for personal and agriculture purposes for 495 people.
  • built 43 latrines, reducing disease through improved sanitation and hygiene for 215 people.

As we draw near to the end of 2018, I hope you will take a moment to consider what difference it is you wish to continue to make in the lives of rural Cambodians. Your investment allows for you to be part of something bigger to help the world, and is truly making an impact. Donors like you are the backbone of the organization. We could not accomplish this vital work without your support.

We can’t express enough how much your continued investments have meant to us, and to the recipients whose lives have been changed for the better.

With our deepest gratitude.

Access to water
Access to water
A gift that keeps giving - clean water
A gift that keeps giving - clean water

Water-borne diseases are the greatest health threat in Cambodia’s Siem Reap province. In Cambodia, a country of fifteen million people, there are more than nine million cases of diarrheal disease annually, estimated to cost the nation about $448 million a year. These diseases are most easily combatted by providing access to clean water.

For Trailblazer Foundation, providing access to clean water includes both digging wells to access water, and constructing and delivering bio-sand water filters to purify both surface water and well water (the latter of which is cleaner than surface water, but still not always safe to drink). 

Constructing and delivering our bio-sand water filters to villagers is Trailblazer Foundation’s first priority, in terms of the services and products we provide. We distribute more water filters than wells, because most families already have access to some sort of surface water, although the water is typically not healthy for human consumption. This explains why water filters are the product or service most requested by the villages, through the local needs assessment process.

Given that one family each uses a water filter, with an average of 5 people per family, Trailblazer has benefitted 965 people so far this year by installing 193 bio-sand water filters.

Trailblazer is very grateful and proud of raising money because people are inspired to give for products and services which support the important work done in Cambodia. Our passion for improving health conditions and reducing poverty for our rural village partners cannot happen without your help.

You have the power to be an agent of healing and hope for rural villagers. Every gift counts. I want to thank all our donors for their continued support. Your contributions are making a difference and transforming the lives of people in rural Cambodia every year.

Thank you for bringing clean water and hope of a better life to rural families in Siem Reap province.

 

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Organization Information

Trailblazer Foundation

Location: Fort Collins, CO - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @Trailblazerfdn
Project Leader:
Chris Coats
Executive Director
Fort Collins, Colorado United States
$29,422 raised of $40,000 goal
 
1,251 donations
$10,578 to go
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