Lifesaving Community Programs: WaterAid in Cambodia

As a supporter of WaterAid, Diona's Executive General Manager Charlie Haire was very fortunate and humbled to visit Cambodia last week to see first-hand the wonderful work they do for the Cambodian community.

WaterAid have an exciting, diverse, committed and professional team delivering lifesaving and changing programs.

WaterAid educates and support local communities to own and maintain water infrastructure by facilitating community groups and their interactions with local government, to deliver long term and sustainable community benefits.

"It was really fulfilling to sit with the local people and listen to their genuine belief and optimism in the WaterAid programs," Mr Haire said.

"Their smiles confirmed the excellent work that WaterAid delivers to local communities and the positive impact it has.”

Some of WaterAid's projects in Cambodia include:

  • Supporting Cambodia’s next generation of Water And Sanitation Hygiene (WASH) leaders – a workforce of qualified, motivated and inspired leaders and technical personnel to deliver and sustain projects. We met three female water engineers of ten in total, who are supported by WaterAid Australia through university programs.
  • Strengthening universal access to systems at local and national levels. We visited an operating water treatment plant [40m3/day] servicing 1,300 families. WaterAid is strengthening regulations and standards to make this sustainable and repeatable in urban and rural areas.
  • Making hygiene behaviour change commonplace – support government to roll out a compelling national hygiene behaviour change programs. We had a meeting with the local WASH committee and district governor who confirmed they're committed to 100% water and sewer hygiene by 2023.
  • Marginalised groups championing inclusive WASH – Ensure key actors are practicing inclusive Water And Sanitation Hygiene – We visited a marginalised village subject to flooding and spoke to the locals who confirmed they are seeing an improvement in behaviour and practice of good hygiene.
  • A healthy start for mothers and children – WaterAid supports the government to improve quality of healthcare though a people centred approach. We visited a health centre where diseases associated with poor water and sanitation had reduced by around 50%. Thanks to a 50% increase in clean water and decent toilets facilitated by WaterAid programs.

If you have any contacts or expertise, there are two areas where you can help:

1. Water treatment plant operators to mentors operators in Cambodia

2. Any ideas on improvements to water treatment plants and networks.

For more information visit the WaterAid Australia website.