PHNOM PENH — For years, Cambodia has struggled with the state of its water quality and the overwhelming amount of illness and preventable disease caused by the lack of clean water. According to Water.org, 3.8 million people lack access to clean water, resulting in improper sanitation and the recurrence of waterborne diseases.
Furthermore, in 2012 Cambodia had one of the highest infant mortality rates in Southeast Asia as a result of bodies of water contaminated with waste, bacteria, and industrial runoff. The issue of water in Cambodia is a worldwide problem, especially since the U.N. officially declared access to clean water as a human right.
Unfortunately, not enough is being done to help those who are unable to exercise this right. While organizations such as Water for Cambodia try to stop the spread of preventable disease through unclean water by improving infrastructure and constructing wells and filters, it is going to take a lot more initiative to make a difference in improving the water in Cambodia.
There are a variety of ways everyday people can make a difference in the lives of Cambodians affected by the lack of clean water in the country. For one, donate. Organizations like Water for Cambodia accepts donations and put the money towards improving Cambodians’ access to clean water, especially in rural areas where the need is greatest.
For the past decade, Water for Cambodia has been installing biosand filters in rural communities in Cambodia to provide clean water for up to eight years. While it is working hard to keep access to safe, filtered water high, the organization relies on voluntary contributions to keep the project going. Water for Cambodia accepts donations here.
Investing in helpful organizations, such as MadiDrop, an organization that constructs natural filters used for the cleansing of unclean water, is another way to help. Not only do the M-Drop tablets disinfect daily household water, but they also ensure that stored water stays uncontaminated. The silver ions in the tablets disinfect water in as little as four hours after being immersed.
The reliance of many of these organizations on volunteering and raising awareness for their causes is huge. Many organizations are looking for volunteers to help them construct and install proper sanitation methods in communities in Cambodia, as well as teach education classes about hygiene.
A lot can be done to inform people about the state of water in Cambodia in individual communities. By encouraging others to learn about the cause and volunteer, everyday people are making a difference for Cambodians.
– Jacqueline Artz