Speech By Mr Lian Wee Cheow, SIF Governor, At The Launch Of The Water For Life (Siem Reap) Phase 2 Project In Siem Reap, Cambodia

Mr Nhol Kheng, Director, Provincial Department of Rural Development, Siem Reap,
Mr Chrea Mony Deputy Governor, Chi Kraeng District,
Mr Chum Chantheng, Deputy Governor, Svay Leu District,
Mr Luigi Giani, Director of Operations, Water for Cambodia,
Distinguished guests and Friends,

Good morning, and welcome to the launch of Water for Life a project by the Singapore International Foundation (SIF). This is our second project in Siem Reap and we’re happy to be back.

Cambodia is the first country the SIF ventured into in the field of direct-service work, with the Water for Life pilot launched in 2010, followed by similar projects in Indonesia and Myanmar. Over the years, the friendships formed between our communities have grown from strength to strength as we worked together to bring clean water to rural communities and improve lives. So far, the Water for Life programme has brought clean drinking water to over 61,000 Cambodian villagers in Siem Reap and Kampong Speu.

Through this second phase, we aim to provide over 9,000 villagers in Chi Kraeng and Svay Leu districts with access to clean drinking water. Over the next four years, with our partner Water for Cambodia and alongside Singapore International Volunteers, we would install 900 bio-sand water filters in these two districts.

Singapore volunteers will also help empower Cambodian school children and educators with good hygiene knowledge to improve their general health and well-being. With access to safe water and better hygiene habits, the incidence of waterborne diseases such as typhoid and diarrhoea will significantly decrease. And healthier children will be able to attend school, benefitting from the foundation of an uninterrupted education. This will contribute to better jobs prospects in future, uplifting their lives and those of their families and communities.

This project is made possible with the generosity of our sponsor, Ngee Ann Development Pte Ltd, as well as the continued support from our host partner, Water for Cambodia.  I would also like to thank our student volunteers from Singapore and Germany who have installed bio-sand filters and conducted hygiene classes over the last few days. I trust your learnings have been mutual and enriching.

We are grateful as well to the Cambodian community for having welcomed us warmly into your homes. We appreciate the opportunity to experience a slice of your life and to share ours with you, in deepening mutual understanding between our peoples.  The next four years will be a time of learning, sharing and growing for all of us. I am confident that the bonds between Singaporeans and Cambodians will be further strengthened through collaboration in this Water for Life project. We look forward to our journey together to create firm friendships for a better world. Aw Khun!



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