Ket Thy and Pov Sean in front of their new home
Ket Thy and his wife, Pov Sean, originally lived in the forest of Preak Thanong in the Botum Sakor district of Koh Kong. Like other poor, landless migrant families, Ket Thy came to Koh Kong to clear forestland for subsistence crops and to poach wildlife for survival. However, this unsustainable lifestyle brought with it uncertainty, instability and isolation. With a growing desire for community and security, Ket Thy and his wife decided to join Wildlife Alliance’s Community Agriculture Development Project in Sovanna Baitong in 2004.
With help from Wildlife Alliance’s agricultural technicians, Ket Thy and Pov Sean have been able to cultivate their own land, growing vegetables for their own consumption as well as cash crops. They have come a long way since their slash-and-burn and hunting days, now using climate-smart techniques like drip irrigation and composting to improve productivity without degrading natural resources.
Ket Thy has managed to not only lift his family out of poverty, but has also been able to save a significant portion of their income. After three years of saving, Ket Thy and Pov Sean will be moving their family into a newly constructed house. They are among a growing number of families in the community that have now been able to make major home improvements. This is an exciting step for Ket Thy and his family, because the move represents not only a new dwelling, but a permanent home and future in the community of Sovanna Baitong.
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Using climate smart techniques to grow cash crops