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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
Improve Health with Clean Water in Rural Cambodia
Improve Health with Clean Water in Rural Cambodia
Happy family with filter
Happy family with filter

Prohut village is one of many remote villages in Siem Reap province, Cambodia where Trailblazer works. In the rainy season, which is happening right now, only bicycles and motorbikes - with the help of being pushed by the riders, can travel to villages like Prohut. Villages like Prohut have less access to clean water, therefore, villagers are forced to use rain water and/or pond water to meet their water needs. However, these sources of water are not potable, even if boiled, and cause serious health issues. Few families can afford to purchase a filter from the market to have for clean water for their family.

In 2015, Trailblazer drilled pump wells and installed bio-sand water filters in Prohut Village for several families. One example the impact of having clean water and access to water can make is with Mr. Hoy and his family. Mr. Hoy and his wife Hann were one of the recipient families that received a bio-sand water filter and a pump well. They have three children. Their daughter studies in Prohut Village Primary school.

Mr. Hoy recently told Trailblazer, “Before our family received the bio-sand water filter and the pump well, we had difficulties in our living, especially problems with our health. We got diarrhea and were sick often. We faced money problems because we lost production time in our garden, and had to use the money we could earn from our hard work to pay for medicine and health care. We didn’t have enough water to raise animals or irrigate our small garden."

Mr. Hoy continued, "We were very happy when Trailblazer introduced us to the bio-sand filter and trained us about hygiene. This is very important. We lived our life without knowing that by consuming clean water it would save our health and improve our economic ability. After using the pump well and filtered water from the bio-sand filter, we noticed that our health situation improved, and continued to get better. No one is sick with diarrhea now. We can save money to buy study materials for our daughter. It has been four years now, and the bio-sand filter still works well, and we are having a productive life." 

Now in 2019, Mr. Hoy has a small tractor, two motorbikes, one bicycle, 5 cows, 15 ducks, and 10 chickens. This economic growth is clearly a result of better health because of clean water and access to water. Owning livestock raises a families level of poverty from extremely poor to simply poor. Mr. Hoy and his wife thank the donors and Trailblazer for receiving the bio-sand filter and pump well. It was life changing.

Other villagers in Prohut Village who received a bio-sand filter and pump well from Trailblazer reported experiencing a similar positive impact and benefit to their lives as Mr. Hoy and Hann have.

We wish thank all of you who aided in this effort to bring clean water and hope of a better life to rural villagers throughout Siem Reap province, 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
 

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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
$34,223 raised of $40,000 goal
 
1,471 donations
$5,777 to go
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