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A Little Water Goes a Long Way!

Andrew, from our office in Cambodia, writes about our work providing clean water to the villages of Banteay Meanchey province in Cambodia.

This week we had the privilege of hosting a team of students from Greenpoint College, Australia. I always enjoy having visitors, but this week gave me a fresh look at the people we are helping through the eyes of those who have never seen it before.

The following pictures are from visits to Water for Kids and Water for Families (BioSand Filters).

Water for Kids

water-for-kidsOn Friday, the team visited the Water for Kids project at one of the primary schools where Samaritan’s Purse provided a clean water supply, water filters, and toilets in 2013. It’s amazing seeing the difference from what the school was like last year to now.

Before this year, the students typically would scoop out water from a dirty pond to drink when they were thirsty. As a result, they were often getting sick and missing school.

They also had no toilets to use at the school, making the area smelly and unsanitary. Thanks to the team and our supporters, 460 students at this school now have a toilet to use and are enjoying clean, safe water. Their health is better now they are able to attend school more often.

The principal is delighted and says that the number of students attending his school has increased by 25% because parents want their children to go to a school that will improve their health and not make them sick.

Cambodia BSF698 July 14 307_webWater for Families

On Saturday, the team went to a village where our Water for Families project is installing BioSand water filters (BSFs) for households that are struggling to obtain clean water.

A BSF is a low-cost means of water treatment and easy to produce with just concrete, sand and PVC pipe – all materials that are locally available. The team had a blast learning the technical process of setting up a new filter and seeing the results.

When installing a BSF, our staff must always ensure that the sand is properly compacted, cleaned and disinfected prior to use.

Proper usage is critical to the BSF’s ability to treat water. Since this is a new technology for most people, Samaritan’s Purse field staff visit the house of every beneficiary to train them in how to set up, use and maintain the BSF.

To check that the families are satisfied with the filter, staff follow up with each household at least 4 times and up to one year after it is installed.