Access to Clean Water: An Issue During Flooding

Phnom Penh - October 12, 2013: As flooding still threatens the livelihoods of Cambodia’s population, many cases of water-borne diseases are occurring, especially amongst children who have been evacuated. This is because they are drinking unclean water, sourced from floodwaters.

“In assessments we conducted in the most affected provinces of Battambang, Siem Reap, and Banteay Meanchey, we are now seeing many children suffering from diarrhea because of the unclean water they are drinking” says World Vision’s National Director, Jason Evans, adding that a general lack of understanding in communities about water, sanitation and hygiene is of great concern.

Mr. Seng Voeun, a Village Chief from Banteay Meanchey province says “the flooding prevents people from finding the firewood they need to boil water. That is why people are using floodwater to drink, which causes illness, especially diarrhea in children.”

To ensure that children are enjoying good health during their time in the safety areas, World Vision helps provide education to parents and children on personal hygiene, sanitation, environment and waste management, and conducts lessons with parents on children’s health and safety.

Mr. So Socheat, World Vision’s Manager for Humanitarian and Emergency Affairs, says that the organization is providing daily safe drinking water to evacuees. “We also provide people the water purification packs and training on how to use it”, he said, adding that latrines and water containers are also installed to maintain better levels of health of the evacuees.

“We are providing latrines so that people will not practice open defecation, which can contaminate the water around that they use daily for drinking and cooking”, he said.

According to data from National Committee for Disaster Management (NCDM), the flooding has hit 20 provinces in Cambodia, causing 104 fatalities and affected 1.5 million people.

Key Statistic: (As of October 11)

World Vision has provided:

- 265,080 water purification packs, 100 rubbish collection points, 50 latrines, 785 x 20-Litre water bottles, 659 water containers, 8,400 tissue boxes, 4,051 personal toiletries and sanitation items

- 22,530 kg of rice, 9,182 canned fish, 1,732 box of instant noodle, 111 kg of sugar, 222 bottles of soy and fish sauce, 280 kg of cooking oil and other groceries

- 806 tents, 931 mosquito net, 1,043 sarongs and mats and scarfs, 172 balms, 80 wood pillars, setup and operating 18 child-friendly spaces

- 24 First Aid Kits, 375 life jackets

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