Collaboration Between The Singaporeans And Cambodians In SIF’s Water For Life Project Brings Clean Drinking Water To 70,000 Villagers In Cambodia
Four-year project in Chi Kraeng and Svay Leu augments Cambodian government’s goals and global efforts to provide universal access to safe drinking water.
Siem Reap, Cambodia, 27 September 2017 – The Singapore International Foundation (SIF) has launched another of its signature Water for Life projects in Siem Reap. The four-year project aims to provide 9,000 Cambodian villagers in the districts of Chi Kraeng and Svay Leu in Siem Reap with access to clean water and equip them with basic hygiene knowledge to reduce the incidence of water-borne diseases.
Water for Life was first launched in 2010 in the Dan Run and Dam Dek communes in Siem Reap. At its close, 17,000 villagers had benefited from 2,600 bio-sand filters installed in their homes which saw an 85% drop in the incidence of water borne diseases. Between 2012 to 2017, over 400 Singaporeans volunteered in 12 communes in Kampong Speu to install 1,700 bio-sand filters as well as build borehole wells and latrines to provide safe and accessible drinking water and improved sanitation for 44,000 villagers.
Over the next four years, over 240 volunteers from Singapore will install 900 bio-sand filters and conduct basic hygiene education classes for villagers, school teachers and children. This project is done in partnership with Water for Cambodia and sponsored by Ngee Ann Development Pte Ltd.
Nearly a quarter of Cambodia’s 15.6 million populace does not have access to clean water. The country also has one of the highest infant mortality rates in Asia, and most of these premature deaths could be attributed to water-borne diseases like diarrhoea, hepatitis A and typhoid. Studies have shown that bio-sand water filters – the water solution system employed for Water for Life – effectively removes more than 90 percent of harmful bacteria, and 100 percent of parasites.
The Water for Life (Siem Reap) Phase 2 Project augments the Cambodian government’s national strategy for rural Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) which aims to provide every person in a rural community with sustained access to safe water supply and sanitation services, and a hygienic living environment by 2025. On a global scale, the Water for Life programme contributes towards global efforts such as UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, one of which aims for universal access to water and sanitation for all by 2030.
Mr Lian Wee Cheow, Governor, Singapore International Foundation shared, “Being from a water-scarce nation which actively champions water conservation as a way of life, we do recognise the importance of having access to drinking water. Seven years after we launched the first Water for Life project in Siem Reap, it is heartening to return to launch its second phase. It not only allows us to reach out to and make a meaningful difference to the lives of our Cambodian friends, it also validates our efforts in bringing communities together for a better world. We hope this project continues to address the critical need to provide Cambodians in rural areas with safe water, reducing the incidence of water-borne diseases in the process.”
Mr Liugi Giani, Director of Operations, Water for Cambodia, added, “This partnership with the Singapore International Foundation would help us reach out to areas such as the Chi Kraeng and Svay Leu districts. It complements our efforts to provide clean water to those who need it most – thousands of villagers who depend on the river for their water needs despite the high incidence of waterborne diseases. It would be our second time partnering with the SIF – we are looking forward to another successful collaboration.”
Mr Teo Chiang Long, Executive Director of Ngee Ann Development Pte Ltd shared, “Water is an essential need, and yet access to clean and safe drinking water proves a challenge for many in the world. Ngee Ann Development Pte Ltd is honoured to be able to make a difference in our neighbour’s lives by sponsoring the Water for Life project in Siem Reap since 2010.”
The Water for Life (Siem Reap) Phase 2 Project is another milestone in the 15-year friendship between the SIF and communities in Cambodia to uplift lives and come together to do good in meaningful ways. Through sending Singapore volunteers such as educators and medical professionals to partner agencies and communities in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Kandal and Kampong Speu, and through welcoming Cambodian professionals, students and government officials to Singapore, the SIF has harnessed the power of friendships to enrich lives and effect positive change.
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