Sustainable Cambodia
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Sustainable Cambodia, Inc.
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Wells & Clean Water

The villages in which we work typically have no source of clean drinking water. Without access to clean water, families have usually relied on gathering dirty water from scum-covered nearby retaining ponds, or carrying water in plastic containers from far-away rivers.

We help the families gain access to clean water in three ways: Water wells, rainwater harvesting and biosand filters. Everything changes when clean water becomes available! Sickness and disease is dramatically reduced. Water becomes available for growing vegetable gardens or for fishponds, addressing hunger and malnutrition. Children who previously had to work for hours every day hauling water are able to attend school regularly. Life begins anew!

Wells are often chosen by the village families, and they are a joint project with the villagers. The Village Development Committee, our staff and the well drillers decide on the locations. The villagers themselves dig the initial well pit, around 20 to 30 feet deep, using hand tools (hard work!). The well driller then drills a conventional deep-water well through the bottom of the pit, and concrete ring liners are put in place, forming a cistern to hold water. The well is capped, and a hand pump installed. The Village Development Committee contracts with a particular family for the maintenance of each well. The cost of each well ranges, depending on the type of well, from US$1,200 (for a multi-purpose well) to $2,200 (for a deep-water well), including supplies, training and oversight to ensure the village is maintaining the wells. Each well serves 5 to 15 families, depending upon the type of well and the proximity of the families.

Villages also often choose biosand filters. These are concrete filters that the village families build with our guidance and help. The filters provide clean water even if the water source is a river or shallow well.

Often the families will choose rainwater catchment. Using these conrete containers, the family can capture enough clean water to last through the entire dry season.

The wells, biosand filters and rainwater catchment systems provide not only fresh, clean drinking water, but water for irrigation of vegetable gardens during the dry season. The quality of life in the village is forever changed through these projects. You can sponsor a well or water project, or a portion of one, by clicking here.