Life Stories - Au Vorn’s Village Gets Clean Water

Clean water for the village. Au Vorn, 56 years old

Au Vorn, 56, is a member of the Chak Touch Village Older People’s Association (OPA) in northwest Cambodia.

Clean water is a concern for most villages in Cambodia.  Dry season occurs from November to April with an average rainfall of 34 millimeters over 4 days per month. In rural village households, it is common for water to be manually collected from rooftop catchments.  This stored water must last through the dry season to provide daily household bathing, cooking, drinking, gardening and livestock needs.

Last year, with the support of KOICA, HelpAge rehabilitated an existing pond in the Chak Touch village to provide large-scale rainwater storage. OPA members received training on maintenance and usage of the pond so it will be a sustainable source of water during the dry season.

Before, when there was no pond in our village, there was not enough water for the villagers.  It took a lot of time to buy water from outside our village and it was dangerous for older people living alone to do this.  Sometimes children were absent from class because they were too busy collecting water. Now that we have the pond, we have easy access to clean water every day, and we will be healthier.

The OPA will continue to educate the community about hygiene, safe drinking practices and sanitation.  The OPA will also organize a village project to raise funds and build a fence around the pond to protect the water from contamination from livestock.