In 2014, the U.N. General assembly declared water a human right, “meaning every person should have access to safe water and basic sanitation”(WHO). According to UNICEF, diarrhea is second leading cause of death for children under the age of five in Cambodia, while vitamin and mineral deficiencies due to diarrhea results in an annual loss of US$146 million to Cambodia’s GDP. Access to clean water allows for improved sanitation and overall health, enabling communities to prosper and grow.
Trailblazer Foundation has been partnering with Cambodian villages in the Siem Reap province to provide families with bio-sand water filters to improve the sanitation and health of the area. With access to reliable clean water on their property, families no longer have to experience the burden of illness due to unclean water, experience shortages, or have to walk far to collect water.
For Jomreoun, a 27 year old woman living in a small village in the Pouk district of Siem Reap province, access to water is essential to her well being and that of her husband, and their 2 year old child. Like Jomreoun, 12.3 million others in Cambodia do not have access to a piped water supply. This makes up 70% of Cambodia’s total population. (World Bank 2015). Instead, Jomreoun’s water came from her father’s house where she would have to walk everyday to collect. She described this water as dirty, it caused her family sickness, requiring them to spend money on medical expenses. Sometimes they experienced shortages of water, which she said wasted time and energy, and increased their health problems.
Jomreoun and her family received a bio-sand water filter from the Trailblazer Foundation in 2017, and since, her life has changed drastically. Before the bio-sand filter, Jomreoun was tired of hauling water everyday, and the shortages disrupted her life. Now with a bio-sand water filter on her own property, Jomreoun has access to water she describes as clean and good tasting. Her family’s health has improved greatly and they no longer have to spend money on medicine. Jomreoun can use this clean water to drink, cook, and bathe her child without worry.
Reliable and safe access to drinking water is a foundational step for development and the wellbeing of rural Cambodian communities. With clean water, illness decreases, enabling children to attend school, and adults to have more time to work and feed their families. It allows communities to flourish and achieve a higher quality of life. Water-borne diseases are the greatest threat to the Siem Reap province where Jomreoun lives, and that is why it is one of the leading efforts of Trailblazer Foundation to help people get access to clean drinking water.
Trailblazer is on track for distributing its goal of 450 bio-sand water filters in 2018, as part of our Health Program, having installed over 100 bio-sand water filters so far.
With your continued support we are confident we will reach, and perhaps exceed our total goal. Thank you for the support you have given to help us reach these rural families with potable water, bringing them hope of a better life.
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