Preventing Waterborne Diseases in Cambodia

13th March 2019

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Reth Dina is the Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene senior coordinator in Cambodia.

In recent years, Koeun Roub’s wife had surgery to remove gallstones and his son got a severe case of diarrhoea. In both situations they had to spend a lot of money for healthcare. A farmer like Roub didn’t have a budget for the extra expense.

In his village, waterborne diseases are prevalent. Their only source of water is from ponds, canals and wells.

“My family used rain water for drinking and water from ponds and canals for washing and cooking. I sometimes drank water directly from ponds because our family works in the rice field and we don’t have time to boil the water,” Roub said.

Roub is a rice and cassava farmer. He works hard to support his family.

“My children are smart and I love them more than my life. I work every day for my wife, my daughter and my son,” he said.

Samaritan’s Purse provided health education and BioSand Filters in Roub’s village. Many participated in the training and signed up for BioSand Filter construction at minimal cost.

“I received a lot of training from Samaritan’s Purse and I understand how to prevent illnesses from water. Now, at my home, I have a BioSand Filter. I built a latrine, and I also built a drying rack for dishes,” Roub said. “After three months, my family’s health improved because Samaritan’s Purse educated my family and everyone in our village. The BioSand Filter prevents my family from all kinds of illnesses.”

Recently, the village chief asked for volunteers to receive training on installing a BioSand Filter, maintenance and monitoring. Roub happily volunteered.

“If Samaritan’s Purse didn’t come to my village, my family would continue to be unhealthy,” Roub said. “I will continue to educate my neighbours and other villagers on BioSand Filters and good health.”

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